As an international association, IADC takes seriously its mandate to provide representation for the drilling industry in all geographies in which its members operate. The issues and challenges we face vary vastly by region. As Vice President for IADC’s International Division, I work closely with our network of regional representatives to determine how the association can most effectively function as a strong proponent on behalf of member interests on a worldwide scale.
With IADC headquarters based in the US, our regional representatives serve as the eyes and ears for the association globally. Working together with member companies and local and regional regulators and legislators, they determine how we can best use IADC’s resources to advocate for fair and transparent industry oversight.
Our representatives are well versed in the politics and policies of the regions they serve. Their years of experience give them an upper hand when negotiating on behalf of our industry. The work they do is essential to the international function of this association.
In the past few years, our regional representatives have been actively engaged on issues such as cabotage in Indonesia, VAT implementation in the Middle East and discussions with the director-general of aviation in India to advocate on legislative requirements, among others.
Beyond that, we continuously search for ways that IADC can add value to our international membership. This year, for the first time, IADC will host a conference in Mexico City. The IADC Critical Issues Latin America Conference, to be held 16-17 October, is an opportunity for IADC to expand its presence in a region that has tremendous growth potential.
In 2013, the Mexican government launched a reform for the country’s energy sector, opening it to private participation and competition. The reforms represent a unique opportunity to introduce global industry standards and best practices in technical processes, safety protocols and environmental safeguards to the region. IADC has worked to develop a relationship with the Mexican regulatory authorities and continues to offer assistance to the evolving industry in the country. This is the first regional conference in Mexico for IADC, but we hope to continue to grow our presence in the region.
Looking beyond the Americas, last year IADC announced the official revitalization of the Caspian Chapter. The group hosted its first meeting in January in Baku. The chapter covers the Caspian area, including Kazakhstan. Membership has grown from an initial 11 member companies to more than 25 participating companies now.
At IADC, we talk a lot about the value of membership. The establishment of chapters in regions around the globe is an area in which the association shines. Today, we have nine regional chapters outside of the US. These chapters allow companies to network with those who share similar challenges. This year, the IADC North Sea Chapter celebrated its 45th anniversary, and chapter members once again recognized industry safety in the region during its annual safety awards gala in April. Similarly, the IADC Australasia Chapter is celebrating its 53rd anniversary and recently recognized industry performance in that region. In India, the IADC South Central Asia Chapter hosted a hand and finger injury workshop to educate its members on this important safety component. All of these serve as reminders of the vital necessity of our chapters. I’m proud that our member companies share this belief.
The scope of my responsibilities has widened in the past two years, as IADC introduced its student chapter initiative based at institutions of higher learning. The program, which began with a single student chapter at Texas A&M University, has expanded to include two other US-based universities – the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and Missouri University of Science & Technology.
The enthusiasm for this program, by both the student members and IADC member companies, has been overwhelming. IADC members have stepped up to provide students majoring in petroleum engineering, as well as other engineering disciplines, with opportunities to attend our conferences, facility tours and rig visits.
This hands-on learning has proven invaluable, and students involved with the IADC chapters have been grateful for the mentorship. Throughout the remainder of 2018 and beyond, we will be working to establish more student chapters both in the US and worldwide.
While I’ve been on the IADC staff for the past five years, my involvement in the association goes back decades. I believe in the mission of this association, and I believe that, over the course of our 78 years, our industry is better for having an association that is focused solely on advocating for the interests of drilling contractors. I look forward to continuing that work on an international scale. As always, that work is only possible with the participation of our global membership, and I thank all of those who contribute to our immeasurable success. It is important for our members to know that IADC is at work for them, around the clock and around the world. DC