By Ed Jacob, 2015 IADC Chairman
I have been an active member of IADC for more than 30 years and a member of this industry for more than 40. This year’s market correction has changed the landscape for drilling contractors, and while times have been tough for all of us, I am proud of what our association has accomplished this year. It is in the toughest of times that we prove our strength, and IADC has a 75-year history to back up its formidable strength.
Throughout this year of my chairmanship, my core message has remained unchanged. Safety, training and properly preparing our personnel to perform their job duties remain critically important. I have stressed the importance of staying the course and not cutting corners when it comes to workforce training. We have made huge strides in reducing incident rates over the past 47 years. However, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported preliminary 2014 fatality numbers back in September, and the numbers for oil and gas increased from 2013. While we can parse the numbers many different ways, what is clear is that we still have work to do. Any fatality, any injury, is unacceptable and only strengthens the criticality of workforce training. Using a market correction to justify lesser training has the potential to set back all of our progress and slow our momentum toward achieving a goal of zero incidents and zero fatalities.
It is timely then, that the IADC WellSharp well control training and assessment program was introduced this year. Without a doubt, this program is the biggest highlight of my chairmanship this year. The contributions of so many of our industry’s experts and veterans have produced a new program that is rigorous and represents a real step-change in how well control training is delivered and assessed. It is an accomplishment that we can all point to with pride, as it would not have been possible without the collaboration of our members.
This year, for the first time, we are also recognizing individuals who have made a significant contribution to improving performance for the industry with the IADC Chairman’s Anniversary Award. When we set out to review the more than 20 nominations to identify this year’s winning recipient, I had no idea that there would be so many compelling entries. It opened my eyes even further to the innovative minds that exist throughout our industry. Entries were submitted by drilling contractors, operators and service companies who represented organizations from across the globe.
Kenny Baker at Cactus Drilling Company was ultimately selected as our winner for his design and implementation of severe weather shelters on rig sites. His winning entry exemplifies the spirit of the award and our industry’s commitment to the safety and performance of our workforce. My congratulations to Kenny and Cactus, along with all of the nominated individuals and companies, your work is truly inspiring.
I am proud to cap off my chairmanship year with a recognition of improved safety. I’m proud of our members who faced so many challenges this year, and continue to face challenges, for their commitment to this association and its success.
After all of these many years, I know this: The upturn will come. The world depends on the energy we provide. We have a moral imperative to provide that energy as safely and efficiently as possible. Throughout this year, I have had the opportunity to meet and talk with so many of our members across the globe. All of those conversations have convinced me that we will come out of this market correction a stronger industry. I thank all of you for the opportunity to serve as our association’s chairman for 2015, particularly during this 75th anniversary year, and I look forward to collaborating with our strong membership in the years ahead. DC