IADC Well Control Conference of the Americas & Exhibition

Start: 6 December 2017
End: 7 December 2017

Venue: Moody Gardens Hotel
Location: Galveston, Texas, USA

Conference Sponsors


Registration Information

Click Here To Register Online For This Event

  • Registration for this event is $600 per attendee.
  • Employees of federal regulatory agencies may be eligible for a 50% discount on conference registration.
  • Speakers, sponsors and exhibitors are not eligible for online registration. (Complete the Conference Registration Form PDF below)
  • In order to receive a letter of invitation, IADC requires payment via Wire Transfer. The wire transfer information is included on the registration form. (Complete the Conference Registration Form PDF below)
  • Click here to download the Conference Registration Form in fillable PDF format.
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Conference Links

For questions regarding the conference, please contact Lori Gagula at lori.gagula@iadc.org or +1.713.292.1945.


The IADC Well Control Conference of the Americas will seek to examine the innovations that are shaping the future of well control, from technology to personnel competencies. This event will focus on timely technical presentations highlighting recent developments and innovations in technology, techniques, training, management systems, and a wide variety of other topics that affect well control.

Conference Program

Tuesday, 5 December

1:00-4:00 pm   Salons FG
IADC Well Control Committee Meeting
Register online for the IADC Well Control Committee Meeting at http://www.iadc.org/well-control-committee/meeting-schedule/. For further information, please contact Holly Shock, IADC Committee Coordinator, at holly.shock@iadc.org.

Wednesday, 6 December

7:15 am   Salons ABC & Foyer
Registration, Coffee Service & Exhibit Viewing

7:45 am   Moody II
Speaker Briefing   (Speakers, session chairs and moderators only)

8:20 am   Moody II
Welcome & Introduction

  • Steve Kropla, Vice President Offshore Division, IADC
  • Aaron Mueller, Chairman, IADC Well Control Committee; Vice President HSE, Independence Contract Drilling Inc.

8:30 am
Keynote Presentation: Qualifying People for Low Probability-High Consequence Events: How the Airlines Do It: Andrew Dingee, Director Operational Excellence, The Frontline Group

9:00 am
BSEE Well Control Rule: Where are we after 7 Years?
Moderator: Pete Bennett, Director Subsea Support, Pacific Drilling
The panel will examine the status of BSEE’s Well Control Rule and its impact on all industry stakeholders. In addition, panelists will explore issues and challenges that remain.

  • Deepak Gala, Senior Well Engineer, Shell
  • Panelist to be named, BSEE
  • Michael Fry, President & CEO, Deepwater Subsea
  • Ricky Cummings, Senior Advisor – Global WI & WCS, Chevron
  • Jon Shoemaker, Director Subsea, Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc.

10:30 am
Coffee Service & Exhibit Viewing

11:00 am  
Risk Assessment
Session Chair: Charlie Holt, Global Wells Organization – Senior Operations Specialist, BP

NASA Probabilistic Risk Assessment Applied to Generic 20K Blowout Preventer (BOP): David Kaplan, Safety & Mission Assurance, NASA
NASA has a world-class capability for quantitatively assessing the risk of highly-complex, isolated engineering structures operated in extremely hostile environments. Working with Anadarko under a Space Act Agreement, NASA and Anadarko have completed a Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) for a generic 20K Blowout Preventer (BOP) that includes both hardware and human reliability. NASA will summarize some of the preliminary insights gained to date from that 20K BOP PRA. NASA will also describe its subsequent activities with industry partners to jointly develop increasingly complex PRA’s that analyze other critical drilling and production system components.

BSEE-NASA Probabilistic Risk Assessment Study: Allison Fischman, Program Analyst, Mike Worden, BSEE, David Kaplan, NASA
In January 2016, BSEE and NASA entered into an agreement to, among other joint goals, evaluate the use of probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) as a potential risk assessment tool for operators entering less-understood offshore environments or introducing new technologies. In the first phase of PRA work, BSEE and NASA developed a draft PRA guide for the use of PRA in the offshore oil and gas industry. The guide is not a policy document and does not discuss regulatory requirements; rather, it discusses particular modeling techniques that have been found useful for decision-making in complex and high-hazard operations. BSEE intends to continue to solicit industry involvement in evaluating PRA’s suitability and applicability to the offshore oil and gas industry.

11:45 am   Salon D
Luncheon & Exhibit Viewing   Sponsored by Wild Well Control

1:00 pm
Session Chair: Deepak Gala, Senior Well Engineer, Shell

Source Control Operation Proved to be a Viable Solution for Controlling Multiple Well Blowout Fires on a Production Platform: Case Study: Douglas Derr, Strategic Business Manager, Miguel Figuerora Munoz, Michael Foreman, Carl Cramm, Halliburton – Boots & Coots Services
The challenges of managing and controlling multiple blowout fires on an offshore platform with 30 producing wells will be demonstrated. The presentation includes pictures and videos of the platform condition during the blowout and source control operation. The integrity of the platform was compromised by the fire. Debris was cleared, and the platform was prepared for the source control operation to contain the fires and cap the wells. A jet cutting operation was performed to prepare the wells for capping. After the wells were capped, kill fluid was pumped to contain hydrocarbon flow.

Development of a Casing-Integrated Well Control Tool: Zach Owens, Senior Managing Engineer, Nicoli Ames, Brian Smyth, Brun Hilbert, John Pye, Exponent, Hector Mendez, Shell, Bob Brooks, RM Taber LLC
A Shell-sponsored initiative to develop a surface-activated, casing-integrated, flow-restriction tool capable of stopping flow during an uncontrolled blowout will be documented. The tool is similar in function to a subsurface safety valve (SSSV), but is designed to fit directly into a 9-5/8-inch casing string. Unlike a SSSV, the well restriction tool (WRT) described here is intended for use during drilling operations and can be installed deep in the well near the end of the casing string. The design basis for the tool will be presented along with results of a successful hydrostatic test of the initial prototype to 10,000 psi.

Emergency Well Control on Multi-Well High-Density Drilling Pads: Scott Jortner, Senior Technical Advisor, Gerry Raabe, Wild Well Control
Multi-well high-density pads can include multiple wells, full scale production facilities and involve comprehensive simultaneous operations with both drilling and workover activities. Historically, pad are designed for minimum impact to the environment while maximizing production and sized for direct operations and production. However, they are devoid of emergency operational support and can pose major challenges to emergency well control operations. Suggestions will be presented to offer assistance in primary design and future pad upgrades.

2:30 pm
Relief Wells
Session Chair: Deepak Gala, Senior Well Engineer, Shell

Ranging Solutions for Intervention Wells: Clinton Moss, President, Marksman Ranging Technology, Dan Eby, Blowout Engineers
Relief well drilling requires proximity ranging services to locate the target well. There are several types of ranging tools available to accomplish this task. Different methods can be used independently or in conjunction to provide a ranging solution for specific intercept projects. The history of the development of the different ranging tools will be offered as well as the technical details of each method. A discussion of the types of ranging services available and which vendor offers each service will also be given. Examples of specific ranging solutions for target wells and new tools on the market will be included.

3:00 pm
Coffee Service & Exhibit Viewing

3:30 pm
Automating Well Control
Session Chair: Richard Grayson, HSE Manager, Nabors Industries

Advancements in MPD Influx Management Matrix – Defining the Safety and Operational Limits while Displacing Influx using MPD: Harshad Patil, Senior Project Engineer, Maurizio Arnone, Mehdi Mir Rajabi, Don Hannegan, Weatherford, Terry Lamar Ponder, Chevron
Most MPD systems in the market manually control or stop the influx by adding backpressure (SBP) before the well is shut in. With constant advancements in the MPD technology, some current MPD systems are designed to handle influxes automatically, preventing shut-in scenarios while reducing the overall risks associated with well control events. This presentation primarily defines the road map and brief history of the advancements in the methodology for calculating “what,” “when” and “how much“ of an influx the MPD system can comfortably control and circulate without the need of shutting-in on BOP’s. It conceptually explains the various parameters that determine the shape of the MPD Influx Envelope and the reasoning behind selecting them and their limitations.

4:00 pm
Well Control & Human Factors
Session Chair: Richard Grayson, HSE Manager, Nabors Industries

Developing the Workforce of Tomorrow through Competency-Based Training: Michael Fry, President & CEO, Deepwater Subsea
In a world where regulatory compliance and competency assurance go hand in hand we need to look at a different approach to training today’s worker. We will demonstrate innovative ways to address the knowledge gap in the workplace through competency-based education and performance-based assessments while addressing the question: “Are we training our people for subject mastery or just general knowledge?”

Moving from “Realistic” Well Control Simulation to “Real” Well Control Simulation: Paul Sonnemann, Vice President Technology, Helio Santos, SafeKick, Leandro Rocha, Eugenio Campos, Odebrecht Oil & Gas
The latest generation of simulators now being used by leading well control training organizations may properly be considered impressively “realistic.” It is still true, however, that the equipment available to crews actually on the rig is frequently slightly different from that used during such training. One way to improve on this situation is to link the well-known ability of these advanced simulators to the display systems actually being used by the crew on their rig. With the existing training simulator serving to generate well data, an advanced well data display system now being used on some rigs to integrate data from various, customizable information sources can provide an opportunity for crews to train to understand and respond to exactly the types of information they may encounter on their actual rig. This makes it possible to help them learn how to access, select, utilize and respond to information, alerts, alarms, warnings, and data displays on their rig.

5:00 pm   Salons ABC & Foyer
Welcoming Reception & Exhibit Viewing

Thursday, 7 December

7:30 am   Salons ABC & Foyer
Registration, Coffee Service & Exhibit Viewing

8:25 am   Moody II
Welcome & Introduction

  • Steve Kropla, Vice President Offshore Division, IADC

8:30 am
BOP Reliability JIP Update: Mark Siegmund, Senior Reliability Specialist, BP
This presentation will discuss this important joint industry project, now in its second phase and being rebranded as BOP RAPID-S53. RAPID stands for Reliability and Performance Information Database with  S53 referring to API Standard 53, the industry standard for Well Control Systems. The focus will be on  benefits already realized by the 29 companies participating in the initiative as well as future plans.

9:00 am
Competency & Retention
Moderator: Charlie Holt, Global Wells Organization – Senior Operations Specialist, BP
A group of industry leaders will examine competency and retention as it relates to well control. Rig site training vs. simulators and associated costs will be discussed, as well as challenges in the well control arena, people vs. automation and other topics.

  • Mark Cockram, Team Lead-Process Safety, Shell International E&P
  • Fritz Golding, Director Learning & Development, Noble Drilling
  • Martha Jones, Competency Manager, Schlumberger
  • Robert Carvell, Vice President, Energy & Marine Risk Services, Inc.

10:30 am
Coffee Service & Exhibit Viewing

11:00 am
Regulatory Issues
Session Chair: Eugene Sweeney, Global Wells Organization – Well Control Team Lead, BP

A Comprehensive Design for Reliability Protocol for Ultra-Deepwater Applications in Completion System Development that Greatly Reduces Risk in Design and Installation: Douglas Lehr, Senior Manager–Design for Reliability, Kim Tijerina, Baker Hughes, a GE company
A comprehensive Design for Reliability (DfR) protocol that uses Failure Mode & Effects Critical Analysis (FMECA)/Failure Mode & Impact Critical Analysis (FMICA) will be described. The protocol is applied to system development, lab testing and installation procedures. Several reliability methods are available for this purpose; two that are used are Failure Mode & Effects Critical Analysis (dFMECA) and Failure Mode & Impacts Criticality Analysis (dFMICA). These methods are used at multiple points in the completion hardware development process. Every component in the completion system is assessed in multiple ways to identify and mitigate risks. Similar methodologies, pFMECA or pFMICA, are used for process aspects. This approach again identifies potential risks and mitigation steps for field installation and production processes.

11:30 am   Salon D
Luncheon & Exhibit Viewing Sponsored by BP

12:45 pm
Well Control Competencies
Session Chair: Robert Ziegler, Global Director Well Control Technology, Weatherford

Driving Globally Consistent and Relevant Well Control Training in the Post Macondo Era: Martha Jones, Vice Chair, IOGP WEC Competence and Training Subcommittee; Competency Manager, Schlumberger
Migrating the industry from a “two sizes fits all” to a “role specific” approach for developing globally consistent well control competence has been proposed. The first steps of this evolutionary process are formalized in IOGP Report 476, the product of a global team effort by IADC, IWCF and IOGP operator membership. This presentation describes key changes to well control training paradigms that are proposed in this important report.

Multiphase Kick Simulation: A New Modified Method: Christina Huang, Engineer, Halliburton
The newly modified non-Newtonian fluid calculation results are first compared to the traditional multiphase approach and then to real field cases; similar trends for predicting pressure profile and pit gain are identified. Using the conventional model for critical cases does not always produce conservative results when estimating maximum wellbore pressure or minimum pressure margins encountered during well kill operations. This new method supports the most commonly used non-Newtonian fluid rheology. It provides more comprehensive gas kick simulation analysis and results for well control crews to accurately evaluate kill procedures and cautiously control gas influx.

Using Crew Resource Management for Training Effective Decision Making at the Supervisory Level: Evelyn Baldwin, Assistant Operations Manager/Human Factors Lead, Kim Laursen, Operations Manager, Maersk Training
Non-Technical Skills, the foundation of Crew Resource Management, are required for a driller to move from simply detecting a kick and shutting in a well to then isolating the problem and recovering from it while avoiding escalation. Specific attention will be given to complex topics such as advanced situation awareness, decision making and leadership.

2:15 pm
Coffee Break & Exhibit Viewing

2:45 pm
Well Integrity
Session Chair: Steve Kropla, Vice President Offshore Division, IADC

Geohazards Monitoring in the Riserless Section: James Keenan, Geohazards Services Manager, Daniel Wedding, Marine Geologist, William J. Berger III, Berger Geosciences, LLC
Deepwater geohazards, specifically Shallow Water Flow, continues to be a costly risk for Oil & Gas operators. An early detection process is key to mitigation and well success.

Deeper and Hotter – Use of Advanced Simulation to Enhance Well Integrity: Nathan Pinkston, Senior Engineer, Alistair Gill, Wild Well Control
Work will be showcased that is currently being completed in the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf to assess barrier performance by considering the well as a system through the use of advanced finite element analysis methods. Such a methodology achieves a more realistic analysis of the barrier performance of an HPHT well design.

3:45 pm
Conference Recap: Steve Kropla, Vice President Offshore Division, IADC
Participants will have the opportunity to provide feedback on conference presentations and to discuss key learnings & highlights.

4:00 pm
Closing Remarks & Adjournment: Steve Kropla, Vice President Offshore Division, IADC


Unassigned Papers of Note:
The following paper proposals will be included in the conference if a scheduled paper becomes unavailable. In addition, these presentations will be made available in the IADC conference proceedings, should the author so desire.

Rapid Capping Deployment to Mitigate Effects of Catastrophic Subsea Loss of Well Control: Andy Cuthbert, Global Engineering & Technology Manager, Carl Cramm, Guy Fox, Boots & Coots
Mitigating the effects of a subsea blowout by mobilizing available capping stack technology that was built using ram-based technology, creates a convoluted logistical process that precludes a rapid response. Reaction times are measured in weeks, especially if the incident were to occur in a deep water environment. Therefore a development differentia in capping stack technology is required to exact the speed of response that the industry calls for, and to meet the expectations of stakeholders and the general public. Ultimately the deployment response to affect the source control, to a location anywhere in the world, should be measured in days.

Detecting Well Kicks with Machine Learning: Philippe Herve, Vice President Solutions, SparkCognition
Well kicks present a major threat to drilling operations. If outside fluids or gasses enter a well, operations could be damaged or a safety or environmental disaster could take place. However, currently kicks are detected simply by human observation, an unreliable method for discovering such a high-risk issue. In this case study, we will be discussing a machine learning application that provides a digital indication that a kick has occurred by merging data from surface-level sensors with data from downhole sensors. By combining this data, a machine learning application can immediately alert personnel when a kick has occurred.

Conference Program Committee

Aaron Mueller, Independence Contract Drilling Inc.
Benny Mason, Rig QA International
Charlie Holt, BP
Deepak Gala, Shell
Pete Bennett, Pacific Drilling
Richard Grayson, Nabors Industries
Robert Ziegler, Weatherford
Trampas Poldrack, Basic Energy Services
Steve Kropla, IADC


Murchison Drilling Schools, Inc.
Well Control School
Falck Safety Services
CS Manufacturing, Inc.
Boots & Coots – A Halliburton Service Company
HDI Instruments, LLC
IADC Bookstore
IADC Accreditation & Credentialing

Exhibition Information

Cost for the 10′ x 10′ space is $2,000.
The space will be set with a skirted table, two chairs and access to electricity.
With the space, you receive one complimentary conference registration and up to two additional registrations at half price.
No refunds for cancellations will be issued.

  • Exhibitors can set-up after 3:00 pm on Tuesday, 5 December 2017. All booths must be completely set up by 6:30 am on Wednesday, 6 December 2017.
  • You may tear down your booth space after the last coffee break ends at TBD on Thursday, 7 December 2017.
  • The exhibitor space is a 10′ x 10′ area. It will be set with a 6′ skirted table and two chairs with access to electricity. Please do not exceed 10′ across, as the space in the exhibition area will be limited.
  • Wall space for signs/banners will not be available. All signs/banners must be affixed to the table or free standing.
  • All personnel working the exhibition must be registered. With your space, you will receive one complimentary registration and up to two additional registrations for half price or $300.

Click here to view exhibition diagram.

Exhibitions at IADC events will be limited to showcasing products and services that advance technology, competency or HSE. Exhibitions centered on recruitment or employment should not take space at IADC events.

For exhibition details, please contact:
Lori Gagula, lori.gagula@iadc.org, or Stephanie Carling, stephanie.carling@iadc.org at +1.713.292.1945.

Sponsorship Opportunities

There are four levels of sponsoring: Diamond sponsors, Platinum Sponsors, Gold Sponsors, and Silver Sponsors. Event sponsorships are also available and will be categorized by monetary contribution with the appropriate level of sponsorship. Please find the benefits of the sponsor packages below. The conference sponsor will receive high profile recognition before, during and after the conference.

Diamond Sponsor Header

Diamond $25,000
(10 Comps*)


Platinum $15,000
(5 Comps*)


Gold $10,000
(3 Comps*)


Silver $5,000
(1 Comp*)


Event sponsorships are also available!

For more information please contact:
Lori Gagula, lori.gagula@iadc.org, or Stephanie Carling, stephanie.carling@iadc.org at +1.713.292.1945.

* Comps refer to number of complimentary registrations

Hotel Information

Please make your room reservations directly with the hotel.
Please be sure to mention IADC Well Control Conference Block to obtain discounted rate.

Moody Gardens Hotel

Seven Hope Boulevard, Galveston, Texas 77554, United States
Phone: +1.409.741.8484  Toll Free: +1.888.388.8484  Fax: +1.409.683.4936
Room Rates: $149.00 per night (single or double)
Rates are available until 13 November 2017.

Click here to view the hotel website.

Warning: Please note that there is a company named Exhibition Housing Services (EHS) actively approaching conference delegates and exhibitors by phone and email trying to sell hotel rooms at the Hotel for a cheaper rate than the published rate on this conference website. Please note that Exhibition Housing Services does not represent IADC or the hotel, nor has IADC or the hotel authorized EHS to use their names or trademarks on information they send out to exhibitors and delegates.

To avoid being a victim of fraud, please do not give out your credit card details to any other party and make your hotel reservations exclusively through the Hotel.


Press Policy

Complimentary press registration is limited to one (1) person per company. This individual must be a titled editor, writer, reporter or other bona fide editorial representative of a legitimate industry or consumer publication. Publishers and sales and marketing specialists are excluded from this complimentary registration practice and must pay the full conference registration fee to attend an event.

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Event Summary

IADC Well Control Conference of the Americas & Exhibition