By Linda Hsieh, Managing Editor
The global drilling industry is going through a rough patch. Falling oil prices have put companies on edge, stirring anxieties about what lies ahead in 2015 and pushing cost reduction to the forefront.
Panic is not running rampant, however. Industry leaders recognize both the cyclicality of this business and the strength of the long-term fundamentals. They’re also keeping lessons learned over the past decade – particularly about people, competency and operational integrity – close to their hearts.
“Our expenditures on training, safety and well control integrity don’t move with cycles,” Atwood Oceanics President/CEO Rob Saltiel said. “We’ve been through downturns before… Over the longer run, our industry will not only survive, but thrive.”
To further push performance, offshore contractors are focusing on equipment reliability, particularly around subsea BOPs. Onshore, where the well construction process has largely been industrialized, optimization is the name of the game. “Every element of the drilling process is under scrutiny for optimization,” Kevin Neveu, President/CEO of Precision Drilling, said.
Meanwhile, operators like Petrobras, Statoil and Shell are looking to technologies – MPD, dual-gradient drilling and automation – to enhance productivity and safety. They’re also taking much closer looks at the well planning phase. “I compare it to ski jumping,” Statoil VP of Drilling & Wells Uno Holm Rognli said. “The preparation, training and getting into the right mindset – you have to do all that before you start. When you are mid-air, it is too late.”
- Kevin Neveu, Precision Drilling
- Christian George, Shell
- Jeroen Holwerda, KCA Deutag
- Kanit Sangwongwanich, PTT Exploration & Production
- John Thorogood, Drilling Global Consultant
- Rudimar Lorenzatto, Petrobras
- Uno Holm Rognli, Statoil
- Rob Saltiel, Atwood Oceanics
- Robert Kennedy, Continental Resources
- Mike Simpson, Cansco Well Control
- Khaled Al Mogharbel, Schlumberger