DRILLBITS – July 2015
This Month’s Articles
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IADC identifies need for further collaboration on BSEE proposed well control rule
IADC, along with six other oil and gas industry trade associations, submitted a joint letter on 17 July to BSEE with comments on the agency’s Proposed Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control rule. IADC supplemented this letter with a separate letter, which specifically addressed the concerns of drilling contractors.
Specifically with regard to drilling contractors, IADC identified three major areas of concern with the proposed rule. These include its prescriptive requirements that go beyond international standards and will negatively affect the US market for MODUs; the significant costs to drilling contractors to comply with the rule, which were not accounted for in BSEE’s impact analysis; and the inspection and more massive BOP equipment requirements, which will negatively impact operations.
“IADC welcomes any opportunity to work collaboratively and constructively with BSEE and Director Salerno, as we believe in the need for better regulation. That is regulation that is fair, fit for purpose, practically implementable and affordable for our industry. We understand the weight of expectation on this proposed rule, given that well control is a key area of public concern, and we respect the direction of travel set by BSEE. However, the lengthy period of gestation of the rule is regrettably unmatched by the very short period for public comment on it, as the rule is both technical and wide-ranging,” said Stephen Colville, IADC President and CEO.
“Our industry has identified a number of measures that are variously technically unfeasible, with little overall benefit to safety standards and unrealistic deadlines, and the related costs of compliance are very high. IADC has identified areas where the duties of the drilling contractor need to be better defined in light of BSEE’s evolving view of the responsibilities and liabilities of entities other than the operator,” Mr. Colville continued. “Overall, the high cost imposed by the rule greatly exceeds the potential benefits derived from it, and will challenge the economics of outer continental shelf (OCS) operations. We know Admiral Salerno and BSEE share IADC’s concern to achieve the best possible outcome for safety in OCS well operations. So at IADC, we are confident that as BSEE and other key stakeholders come to recognize soon the shortcomings in the current proposed regulation, they will work urgently and collaboratively with the industry to rectify them.”
IADC WellSharp training and assessment program reaches milestones
Training industry personnel for well control proficiency is critical, particularly as the area of well control has been a subject of scrutiny in the years since Macondo. WellSharp is IADC’s answer. WellSharp was introduced in April 2015 to provide the definitive standard for well control training and assessment. Industry experts contributed thousands of hours of their time, on a volunteer basis, to contribute to its development because they believed in getting well control training and assessment right.
WellSharp requires a more rigorous assessment processes and longer courses, proctored tests and additional resources – all of which come at an increased cost. The value of the training is believed to be worth the cost, as training is an investment that ensures the safety of the industry’s people, equipment and the environment, guarding against risk.
The accredited providers who have transitioned their programs to comply with WellSharp standards deliver 70 to 80 percent of all IADC well control training worldwide.
IADC continues to review test questions and has established a formal appeals process for disputed test questions and answers. Since its launch in April, IADC has continued to refine WellSharp. Important database reporting features for training providers to monitor their own performance have been added. Currently, work is underway to implement an offline test for training providers who do not have internet access; translate the test into a total of 15 languages; and make online practice tests available.
Updated IADC Federal Regulatory Summary for Offshore Operations now available
IADC recently issued an updated edition of the Federal Regulatory Actions Impacting Offshore Drilling Contractors. Released semi-annually, the report details federal regulatory actions that could impact offshore drilling activities.
The report reflects regulatory actions announced in the Federal Register or other available sources through June 2015.
The report can be accessed via IADC’s website.
Multi-user licenses available for IADC eBooks
Multi-user licenses are now available for IADC eBooks through Thomson Reuter, a new publishing partner for the Association. While IADC eBooks remain available through www.IADC.org/ebookstore, Thomson Reuter makes possible print on demand, as well as multi-user licenses enabling as many as nine people to access the same electronic book. Go to http://www.techstreet.com/publishers/3264.
Solutions are also available for organizations wishing to enable more than nine people to access IADC eBooks. For more on this option or for any questions about the IADC eBook program, contact Mike Killalea, ext 222 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
IADC Chairman Ed Jacob discusses current initiatives at IADC South Louisiana Chapter meeting
IADC 2015 Chairman Ed Jacob, who is director, president and chief operating officer, Independence Contract Drilling, spoke at the South Louisiana Chapter meeting on 27 July in Lafayette. In his address, which focused on current IADC initiatives, Mr. Jacob discussed the global energy market, noting, “It is easy to succumb to the pressures of the market and choose to take short cuts or make business decisions that seem to be the easiest and least expensive, but become ‘stepping over dollars to pick up nickels’,” urging members to act now for the industry’s future best interests.
Pointing to safety statistics that indicate a 98% drop in LTI rates between 1968 and 2014, he noted that while drilling operations today are significantly safer than in previous generations, employees are still getting hurt. “The numbers may be lower than they once were, but the percentage points represent people. People who returned home with injuries, or not at all. And that is unacceptable. We have a duty to arm our employees with the knowledge and skills they need to do their job safely and efficiently,” Mr. Jacob acknowledged.
In his prepared remarks, Mr Jacob discussed the importance of industry safety and that a focus on training and education is key to ensure success. He then detailed several of IADC’s current initiatives which target personnel training and competence, including updated information on the new well control training and assessment program, WellSharp, the Workforce Attraction and Development Initiative (WADI), the availability of the IADC Safety Toolbox and the newly updated and available IADC Deepwater Well Control Guidelines and IADC Drilling Manual.
Mr Jacob also outlined activities within the Policy, Government and Regulatory Affairs (PGRA) division of IADC, highlighting the ongoing advocacy work with regulators and legislators on behalf of IADC members.
He concluded with a promise to continue to work with the assembled members and support them in delivering improved performance, noting, “IADC has 75 years of experience advocating on behalf of the drilling industry. The association has survived and thrived in both the best and worst of times, delivering on the promise to catalyze improved performance for the drilling industry.”
US-EPA proposes Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program
The US Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a proposal for a voluntary Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program, which would provide a new mechanism through which companies could make and track ambitious commitments to reduce methane emissions. The program is based on extensive stakeholder outreach and reflects a revision of the EPA’s previously proposed framework, Gas STAR Gold, for an enhanced voluntary partnership in the oil and gas sector after it reached out to stakeholder groups for comment.
The proposed program will create a platform for leading companies to go above and beyond existing voluntary action and make meaningful and transparent commitments to yield significant methane emissions reductions in a quick, flexible and cost-effective way.
EPA will host a series of Methane Challenge Webinars to provide details about the proposed Methane Challenge Program. Each webinar will address specific oil and gas sectors. EPA intends to launch the Methane Challenge Program later in 2015, possibly in conjunction with the next Natural Gas STAR Annual Implemtnation Workshop in November 2015. The EPA is still expected to propose regulations later this summer on methane emissions, with the goal of reducing oil and gas industry methane emissions by up to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025.
IADC launches Gateway™, an accreditation program for IADC’s Workforce Attraction and Development Initiatives
IADC recently launched Gateway™, the first accreditation program for training providers launched through the Workforce Attraction and Development Initiative (WADI) under the IADC Workforce Development Committee.
The Gateway accreditation program is an output of WADI, which was initiated in 2012 to bring together institutions of higher learning with industry partners to develop course curriculums for entry-level, new-hire oil and gas industry candidates.
As a result of the WADI collaboration, the Introduction to Oil and Gas Training Program was developed to help companies connect with colleges, training providers and other organizations to attract, hire, train and promote onshore and offshore oil and gas workers worldwide.
The training program offers a standard baseline curriculum comprising RigPass, WellSharp Awareness-Level well control, a general introduction to the industry, behavioral training (human factors), a module on rig life, technical math, rigging basics, electrical and fluid safety, industrial practices and considerable hands-on training. The program is designed to better prepare new employees for working on a rig, thereby helping companies improve safety culture in the field while reducing turnover rates.
For the latest safety alerts, visit www.iadc.org/safety-alerts
Alert 15-05: Smashed fingers on tongs
Alert 15-06: Caught between winch truck and half pit
Alert 15-07: Poor situation awareness/Line of fire incident results in OSHA Recordable
Rigs Receive ISP Certificates
For certificates received since last LTI (in years):
New IADC Members
IADC welcomes 23 new members:
DRILLBITS Volume 25, Number 7
Ed Jacob, Chairman • Stephen Colville, President and CEO • Amy Rose, Editor
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