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Atwood Aurora delivered from Texas yard

 John Irwin (right), president & CEO of Atwood Oceanics, and GS Tan, president & CEO of Keppel AmFELS, congratulate each other on the completion of the Atwood Aurora jackup.

Atwood Oceanics subsidiary Atwood Oceanics Pacific took delivery of its newly constructed LeTourneau SUPER 116E jackup, Atwood Aurora, from Keppel AmFELS in Brownsville, Texas in mid-December. The rig will undergo additional final commissioning prior to being loaded on a vessel for transport to offshore Egypt to commence a two-year contract with RWE.

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Thunder Horse production tops 200,000 bbl/day

 BP announced that it has successfully started production from the third and fourth wells at the Thunder Horse field, with production now in excess of 200,000 bbl/day of oil equivalent, signaling the completion of commissioning and commencement of full operation. BP plans to start up additional production from the Thunder Horse North field in the first half of 2009.

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IADC is seeking a Director of European Operations, responsible for actively supporting a wide variety of membership interests across Europe with focus on HSE, training and regulatory issues. This full-time contract position will allow you to use your in-depth knowledge of the global oil and gas industry to build a substantial network within the association and the industry within Europe. Primary tasks will include:

  • IADC HSE Case development and maintenance
  • Development of IADC Offshore Competency Training Programme
  • Coordination of the IADC European Operations Forum
  • Participation in workgroups and projects around strategic initiatives as required
  • Representation of IADC membership before industry groups and technical committees
  • Participation to help build strong working relationships with industry peers and regulators
For additional information, visit www.iadc.org/euroops or e-mail europe@iadc.org.

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Well control roundtable focuses on using shear blind rams with surface stack BOPs

Well control professionals focused on use of shear blind rams (SBR) with surface stack BOPs during the IADC Middle East Regional Well Control Roundtable, which directly followed IADC Well Control Middle East 2008 on 4 December. Two dozen well control professionals attended the roundtable, held 4th December at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Muscat, Oman. Attendees hailed from Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Qatar, Singapore, the US and the UK.

Led by Paul Sonnemann of Chevron, the discussion centered on individual company practices regarding the placement, intent, and consequences of using shear-blind rams with surface BOPs.

Potential considerations identified outlet configuration, design purpose, bypass sequence and control system sizing, ram locks, well design, avoiding inadvertent shear, shear capability testing and closing ratio listings.

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Omani oil minister praises industry safety; Keynoter warns of tough year in

 The drilling industry in Oman places "a high level of excellence in safety at the forefront" of its operations, said Omani Minister of Oil and Gas, His Excellency Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy, making opening remarks at IADC Well Control Middle East 2008, held 3-4 December in Muscat, Oman.

"Companies - operators and contractors alike - are working hard for safety," Dr Al Rumhy said. "We are very proud of this, and believe it will help provide a bright future which will benefit all of us in Oman."

Dr Al Rumhy said the industry is also working diligently on other issues such as environmental awareness and security.

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Competency & compliance the roots of well control incidents

All well-control incidents come down to one of two factors – competency and compliance, remarked Eamon Gorman, Well Engineering Director for Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), in his keynote address on the second day of the IADC Well Control Middle East 2008 conference & exhibition, held 2-3 December in Muscat, Oman.

Risks associated with drilling activities are generally well-defined, he said. They are seen to fall into three categories; geological uncertainty, reservoir section and high staff turnover. These risks can be mitigated by a number of barriers including equipment inspection and certification, identification of safety-critical positions and training.

Risks associated with well intervention are somewhat different, however, Mr Gorman observed. These risks require a different set of mitigating measures involving specific well control procedures, enhanced training and strengthened supervision, all aimed at embedding professional standards.

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IADC UBO guidelines accepted as API RP92U

Guidelines on underbalanced operations developed by the IADC Underbalanced Operations & Managed Pressure Drilling Committee have been formally adopted as API Recommended Practice 92U ("Underbalanced Operations, First Edition").

The effort was led by John Ramalho, Shell, who chairs the UBO/MPD Committee's Standards & Nomenclature Subcommittee. Gavin Humphreys, Stena Drilling, chairs the full IADC UBO/MPD Committee.

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DEA Shoulder/Thread Verifier System project wraps up

 A project sponsored under the auspices of the Drilling Engineering Association to help eliminate drill-pipe twist off caused by poor shoulder engagement or torque has been successfully completed. The nearly three-year project, run by Global Systems, was supported by ConocoPhillips and Chevron, among others, uses STV imaging systems to quickly verify connections in the field. The system is also applicable to avoiding casing/tubing leaks caused by lack of seal or thread engagement.

For more information, check the DEA website.






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Safety alerts detail crane, rig-control, rig-move, travelling-block accidents

Four recent IADC Safety Alerts describe serious errors that led to significant injuries. The four are:

IADC Safety Alerts are contributed to IADC, and published anonymously at no charge for the betterment of industry HSE.

To participate, go to the website or contact Joe Hurt at IADC.

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