DRILLBITS – March 2016
This Month’s Articles
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Jason McFarland named President of IADC
In February, the Executive Committee of IADC appointed Jason McFarland as President of the IADC, pending ratification by the Board of Directors during IADC’s Annual General Meeting this November.
“Jason has capably served as our interim President since December 2015, and since then has proven to the Executive Committee that he has the leadership and strategic and operational skills necessary to guide the Association into the future,” said Tom Burke, 2016 IADC Chairman, and President & CEO of Rowan Companies. “These are difficult times for our industry, and the IADC needs a strong leader to help its members weather these challenging conditions. The Executive Committee members and I strongly believe that Jason’s long tenure with IADC and focus on delivering value to the membership will ensure his success in this important industry leadership role.”
Jason McFarland said, “After more than 20 years with IADC, I am humbled and honored for the opportunity to serve as President of this dynamic association. We are incredibly fortunate to have a highly engaged and active membership whose participation and support has led to IADC’s 75-year history of success. I look forward to building on our strong legacy, and am committed to continuing IADC’s longstanding role as a leader in advocating on behalf of drilling contractors worldwide.”
IADC Comments on Federal Offshore Leasing Program, Expresses Disappointment with Exclusion of Atlantic Lease Sale 260
In response to the release of the US Department of the Interior’s proposed 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Proposed Program, IADC President Jason McFarland issued the following statement:
“This Administration says it promotes an ‘all of the above’ energy mix for this country, but their words are not backed up by their actions. By failing to include an Atlantic lease sale in the upcoming 5-year-program, the Administration is taking jobs off the table and failing to prudently develop the natural resources that belong to all Americans. This is a missed opportunity for our members to supply more jobs for the American economy.”
“Opening the Atlantic to drilling exploration could have resulted in thousands of new jobs, billions of dollars in investment and an estimated 3.3 billion barrels of oil and 31.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas expected to be accessible off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.”
“The U.S. needs and requires energy policy that facilitates the robust energy exploration and production that provides much needed fuel of our economy. IADC remains steadfast in supporting policies that enables safe and efficient drilling activities. With this proposed lease sale, the Interior Department had an opportunity to increase US economic growth, and they chose not to, which makes this news even more disappointing.”
OSHA announces final rule on respirable silica dust
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a final rule that puts limits on exposure to respirable crystalline silica for American workers.
OSHA estimates that 2.3 million workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in their workplaces, including 2 million construction workers and 300,000 workers in general industry positions, which includes hydraulic fracturing operations. Exposure to such silicas has been linked to diseases such as lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease. The rule is estimated to save over 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year, once its effects are fully realized.
Responsible employers have been protecting workers from harmful exposure to respirable crystalline silica for years, using widely-available equipment that controls dust with water or vacuum systems.
The final rule will improve worker protection by:
- Reducing the permissible exposure limit for crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour shift.
- Requiring employers to use engineering controls, such as water or ventilation, and work practices to limit worker exposure; provide respiratory protection when controls are not able to limit exposures to the permissible level; limit access to high exposure areas; train workers; and provide medical exams to highly exposed workers.
- Providing greater certainty and ease of compliance to construction employees – including many small employers – by including a table of specified controls they can follow to be in compliance, without having to monitor exposures.
The final rule has been issued as two separate standards – one for general industry and maritime and the other for construction – in order to tailor requirements to the circumstances found in these sectors.
Employers covered by the construction standard have until 23 June 2017 to comply with more requirements. Employers covered by the general industry and maritime standard have until 23 June 2018 to comply with most requirements. Additional time is provided to offer medical exams to some workers and for hydraulic fracturing employers to install dust controls to meet the new exposure limit.
More information can be found at OSHA’s website.
IADC announces availability of cybersecurity guidelines
IADC has released new Guidelines for Assessing and Managing Cybersecurity Risk to Drilling Assets. The guidelines were developed by the IADC Cybersecurity Subcommittee, lead by Chairwoman Dr. Siv Hilde Houmb, Chief Technology Officer for Secure-NOK.
The guidelines are the only guidance specifically for drilling operations. They draw from international standards to provide a means to assess the risk to drilling rigs from cyber attacks. “The goal was to create easy to use and practical guidelines that drilling contractors could actually use on their drilling rigs,” said Dr. Houmb.
For more information or to purchase the guidelines, visit the IADC Bookstore.
Railroad Commission of Texas issues clarifications to Statewide Rule 13
On 4 March, the Railroad Commission of Texas issued clarifications to Statewide Rule 13 – Casing, Cementing, Drilling, Well Control, and Completion Requirements.
The RRC is Texas’ primary regulatory body governing the exploration and production industry. The RRC regulates more than 265,000 active oil and gas wells and 270,000 intrastate pipeline miles and hydraulic fracturing.
In January 2014, the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) amended Rule 13, the primary purposes of which are to protect fresh water and maintain well control. Subsections of the rule required well control equipment to comply with API Standard 53, which was last revised to reflect an emphasis on offshore equipment. 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 unit due to the extraordinary cost of modifying equipment.
The newly issued clarifications of well control issues address these concerns.
The full text of clarifications to the rule can be accessed via the Railroad Commission of Texas website.
US National Offshore Safety Advisory Committee seeks new members
The US Coast Guard recently published a notice seeking applications for membership on the National Offshore Safety Advisory Committee (NOSAC). NOSAC advises the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security on matter and actions concerning activities directly involved with, or in support of, the exploration of offshore mineral and energy resources as they relate to matters within the Coast Guard jurisdiction.
Applications are currently being sought for six positions that will be vacant on 31 January 2017, one of which is specifically identified as representing drilling interests.
To be eligible, applicants should be employed by companies, organizations, enterprises or similar entities associated with the exploration for, and the recovery of, oil, gas and other minerals on the US Outer Continental Shelf. They should also have expertise, knowledge and experience regarding the technology, equipment and techniques that are used or being developed for use in the exploration for, and the recovery of, offshore mineral resources.
NOSAC typically meets in two-day sessions twice per year, with members also serving to coordinate working groups between sessions.
Completed applications should reach the Coast Guard on or before 17 May 2016.
For more information, please visit the Federal Register website.
UK HSE announces availability of new guidance
The UK Health and Safety Executive recently announced the availability of a new guidance, along with two notices. These include:
- Guidance on the Offshore Installations (Offshore Safety Directive)(Safety Case etc) Regulations 2015. The guidance is for anyone who has duties under the Offshore Installation (Offshore Safety Directive) (Safety Case,etc) Regulations 2015 (SCR 2015), for example licensees, production installation operators, non-production installation owners and well operators.
The publication can be purchased at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l154.htm?ebul=gas&cr=2/15-Mar-16
- Operations Notice 6 – Reporting of offshore installation movements. This notice provides guidance for reporting of offshore installation movements. It has been revised to take into account legislative changes and contact address details.
- Operations Notice 30 – Arrangements for Reporting of Offshore Incidents. Changes are now in operation associated with the administrative arrangement for statutory reporting of incidents in relation to: an offshore workplace; a well; an offshore pipeline or pipeline works, and diving operations. The changes also affect voluntary reporting of information concerning releases of hydrocarbons in relation to an offshore workplace.
The notice can be accessed at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/osdr/assets/docs/operations-notice-30-reporting-oil-gas-incidents.pdf?ebul=gas&cr=4/15-Mar-16
IADC details concerns with pending BSEE Well Control Rule in meeting with US government agencies
On 2 March, IADC met with the US Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to present industry concerns regarding the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (BSEE) pending rule on Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control.
During the meeting, and in a follow-up letter issued on 7 March, IADC reiterated industry concerns that the extremely complex rule will directly impose requirements on drilling contractors and other equipment owners. IADC also noted that portions of the rule are likely to lead to increased, rather than decreased, risk; would impose technical requirements differing from those which were extensively discussed during the development of API S 53; would impose technical requirements that are not cost effective; and suggested requirements that would be infeasible to implement in the times proposed.
The full text of IADC’s 7 March letter, which memorializes the industry concerns presented to OIRA, can be found via IADC’s website, along with copies of the IADC and joint-trade association 16 July submissions to BSEE’s regulatory docket.
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 20 new members:
DRILLBITS Volume 26, Number 3
Tom Burke, Chairman • Jason McFarland, President • Amy Rose, Editor
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