DRILLBITS – June 2016
This Month’s Articles
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IADC Members Facilitate Well Control Orientation Seminar for Railroad Commission of Texas
On 25 May, IADC members led an interactive well control orientation seminar for more than 30 field operations staff from the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC).
After working collaboratively on clarifications to the RRC’s Rule 13, IADC’s subject matter experts, including Robert Urbanowski, Precision Drilling, Aaron Mueller, Independence Contract Drilling, and Katy Holst, Patterson-UTI, were asked by the RRC to organize an introductory seminar on the basics of well control for their staff.
The primary purpose of Rule 13 is to protect fresh water and maintain well control. Rule 13 included language that could significantly impact onshore contractors, where the rule would have meant the difference between a contractor moving ahead or idling a drilling rig due to the costs of modifying equipment. After working with industry subject matter experts, the RRC issued clarifications to the rule to address these concerns in March.
The seminar was led by Randy Smith and Harris LaFleur with Smith Mason & Co., and focused on well control concepts, technical concepts, equipment, pressure control and geology, among other topics.
Willy Brandt Receives IADC Exemplary Service Award
Willy Brandt, who recently retired from Transocean as VP of Customer Accounts and Advisor to the COO, was presented the IADC Exemplary Service Award during the 2016 IADC World Drilling Conference on 15 June.
Mr. Brandt has more than four decades of industry experience, and has held positions in both headquarters and field assignments in locations such as West Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and the U.S. At IADC, he has served as Chairman of the IADC North Sea Chapter and a member of the IADC World Drilling Program Committee for nine years. He was also a member of the High-Pressure, High-Temperature Workgroup North Sea in 1989 and a member of the IADC Rig Safety Group in 1980.
During his acceptance of the award, Mr. Brandt said, “I would like to thank the IADC to have been given the opportunity to work with great people –great collaboration. When I look back, I can only look at it with great pleasure.”
IADC Welcomes Committee Passage of U.S. House Interior Appropriations Bill
On 15 June, in response to the committee’s passage of the U.S. House Interior Appropriations Bill, IADC President Jason McFarland issued the following press statement:
“The committee approval of this appropriations bill is an important step forward in ensuring that oil and gas regulations are fair and sensible. Of particular interest to drilling contractors is the inclusion of language surrounding the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) Air Quality Control, Reporting and Compliance rule. Representatives John Culberson (R-TX) and Steven Palazzo (R-MS) led the effort by offering an amendment that ensures BOEM is unable to enforce a final rule until they have completed their own air quality modeling studies and those have been reviewed and made available for public comment.”
“IADC thanks Representatives Culberson and Palazzo for their leadership on the amendment and for members of the committee who voted in support of the measure. The amendment takes a common-sense approach, and IADC appreciates their willingness to challenge BOEM in pursuit of an air quality rule based on sound science. In addition, IADC would also like to thank the committee for the inclusion of language regarding BSEE’s well control rule.”
BOEM Must Complete Air Quality Studies Before Instituting Final Rule, According to Letter from IADC, Industry Trades
On 20 June, IADC, along with other industry trade associations issued a letter to the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management regarding the Air Quality Control, Reporting and Compliance Proposed Rule. In response to those comments, IADC President Jason McFarland issued the following statement:
“IADC and its members are committed to drilling for this country’s vast energy resources in a manner that respects and protects the environment and we support regulation that is sensible and transparent. However, in it’s current state, BOEM’s air quality proposed rule would offer no beneficial impact on air quality while imposing significant financial and data collection burdens to industry.
“The proposed rule was devised before ongoing air quality studies, conducted under the auspices of BOEM, could be completed. An understanding of whether activities on the outer continental shelf even have a negative impact on onshore air quality is imperative. Scientific data may well prove that a revised rule is unnecessary. Industry is owed a thorough analysis before being asked to make costly operational changes.
The U.S. House Appropriations Committee agrees, and last week included an amendment in its Interior Appropriations bill addressing this very point, by requiring BOEM to complete their own air quality modeling studies before enforcing a final rule. It is also worthwhile to consider that the existing BOEM air quality regulatory program has worked successfully for more than 30 years.”
“IADC, along with industry partners, has asked BOEM to reconsider their tight timeline for instituting a final rule in order to adequately address concerns that it will impose unintended costs and contains provisions outside of BOEM’s authority. We look forward to an opportunity to work collaboratively to develop a final rule that protects the environment without hindering the oil and gas industry from providing the energy that fuels the U.S. economy.”
The letter can be accessed via the IADC Website.
Lone Star College First Recipient of IADC Gateway Accreditation
Lone Star College, headquartered in Houston, Texas, recently became the first college accredited to deliver training through the IADC Gateway™ Accreditation Program.
In 2012, IADC’s Workforce Development Committee initiated the Workforce Attraction and Development Initiative (WADI) to bring together industry partners and more than 50 institutions of higher learning to develop course curriculums.
The result of four years of work is Gateway. As envisioned, Gateway will eventually comprise a suite of specialized training programs. The Introduction to Oil and Gas is the first available course, and aims to help companies connect with colleges, training providers and other organizations to attract, screen, hire, train and promote onshore and offshore oil and gas workers worldwide.
Linda Head, Associate Vice Chancellor, Lone Star College, was instrumental in the development of the program. “I personally spent a lot of time with IADC’s member companies on this program. The commitment by members of IADC to spend hours of time developing and designing the 360 technical behavioral competencies for this program was amazing. They showed up every week, either in person or on the phone, and spent time in between editing and modifying the nine different areas that were part of this project. The team I was involved with was very committed and involved and I’m proud of what we accomplished.”
The Introduction to Oil and Gas course offers a standard baseline curriculum comprising RigPass, WellSharp Awareness Level well control, a general introduction to the industry, behaviorial 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.
Lone Star has trained more than 300 people since becoming accredited and offers an 8 week program delivered at their University Park campus in Houston. Their trainers have been recruited from industry and all training is lab-based. Lone Star has partnered locally with Baker Hughes to provide training resources, and have purchased 18 acres in Tomball, Texas, outside of Houston, to develop a facility that will house a rig specifically for training purposes.
Coiled Tubing Operations Book Now Available
Coiled Tubing Operations, a comprehensive new book covering the spectrum of coiled-tubing operations, is now available for purchase for both technical and non-technical readers through the IADC Bookstore. The publication provides general descriptions of coiled tubing units (CTU), as well as CTU components, operations and applications, including CT Drilling. Appendices provide detailed mathematical derivations and calculations for CT operations.
Wyoming District Court Sets Aside U.S. Bureau of Land Management Hydraulic Fracturing Rule
On 21 June, a federal judge struck down the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) hydraulic fracturing rule, stating that the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) does not have congressional authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing.
The rule was issued by the DOI in March 2015, and it imposed regulations that applied to hydraulic fracturing activities on federal and Indian lands. It was initially slated to take effect on 24 June 2015, before being postponed by the Court.
More information can be found on the US Courts website.
IADC Joins Allied Trade Associations to Comment on Proposed OCS Leasing Program
In June, IADC joined with allied trade associations to submit joint comments on the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Proposed Program. The comments called for sustained sales in the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico and in the Alaskan Arctic, and urged BOEM to stay the course and not lose sight of what energy security means to the U.S.
To date, close to 2,500 comments have been submitted to the docket. All submitted comments can be accessed via the U.S. government regulations website.
UK HSE Publishes Annual Offshore Statistics and Regulatory Activity Report
The UK HSE recently published its Annual Offshore Statistics and Regulatory Report for 2015, which provides details of offshore injuries, dangerous occurrences and ill health reported to the HSE. The Offshore Hydrocarbon Population Data and Offshore Hydrocarbon Releases for 1999-2015 were also published.
Statistics for 2015 include:
- There were no fatal injuries in 2015; there have been three fatalities in the last 5 years and seven in the last 10 years
- There were 33 specified injuries, with a rate of 103 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers
- There were 80 over-7-day injuries, a rate of 249 per 100,000 FTE workers
- There were 15 occupational diseases, a slight decrease on the previous year
- There were 299 dangerous occurrences; a fall of over a quarter compared to last year
- There were 94 hydrocarbon releases, the same number reported in 2014; the hydrocarbon release rate has fluctuated over the last 10 years
- There were 135 inspections undertaken at 104 offshore installations, operated by 47 operators
- 97 safety cases were assessed, an increase of over a third on the previous year
- 92 investigations were completed
- 63 workplace health and safety concerns were followed up
- 752 non-compliance issues were raised with operators
- 35 enforcement notices were issued (34 improvement notices and one
- There were two prosecution cases instituted and heard, both resulting in convictions
The full report can be accessed via the UK HSE website.
IADC Federal Regulatory Summary for Offshore Operations Now Available
On 1 July, IADC will issue 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 activities announced in the Federal Register or other available sources through June 2016.
The full report can be accessed beginning 1 July via the IADC Offshore Division webpage.
IOGP Publishes Revision to IOGP Report 365-6, Land Transportation Safety Recommended Practice – Guidance Note 6
IOGP recently announced the publication of the revision of IOGP Report 365-6, Land Transportation Safety Recommended Practice – Guidance Note 6 issued by the Land Transportation Safety Subcommittee under the auspices of the Safety Committee.
The revised questionnaire/checklist supports version 2 of Report 365, Land Transportation Safety Recommended Practice. It is intended for use by land transport/road safety management specialists who evaluate suitability and/or assess the performance of land transport operations. It provides an easy reference to the principal areas of land transport safety management. The assessment covers appraisal of operations and support including training, vehicles, manuals and documentation. It provides the user with sufficient information to assess the general standard of land transport operations, and companies with land transport activities with a basis to recognize any gaps between their current land transport safety management system and Report 365 as a foundation for becoming fully aligned.
The report is available to download from the members area library and is also made available to the public via the IOGP website.
Railroad Commission of Texas to Host Regulatory Seminars in Houston
The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) will host two one-day sessions of the Oil & Gas Regulatory Seminar on Tuesday, 12 July and Wednesday, 13 July in Houston.
The seminars will focus on educating and training oil and gas industry representatives on a variety of topics including:
- Drilling permits
- Inactive well requirements (Statewide Rule 15)
- Oil, gas or geothermal resource operations in hydrogen sulfide areas (Statewide Rule 36)
- Production reporting
- Pipeline accident and incident reporting
- Pipeline permitting
- Surface casing exceptions (Statewide Rule 13)
- Website queries for information
For additional information and to register, please visit the RRC website.
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 16 new members:
DRILLBITS Volume 26, Number 6
Tom Burke, Chairman • Jason McFarland, President • Amy Rose, Editor
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