DRILLBITS – September 2015
This Month’s Articles
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IADC comments on Senate American Energy Innovations Act 2015
On 22 September, US Senate Democrats dropped the American Energy Innovations Act of 2015, which outlines several new proposals impacting the oil and gas industry. Of particular interest to drilling contractors are proposed new regulations for venting and flaring of natural gas, per-acre fees for non-producing leases and a repeal of tax measures for all major integrated oil companies.
“The bill dropped today by Senate Democrats contains measures that will increase the costs of oil and gas production at a time when the market is going through a correction and thousands of people have been laid off. If these measures were to be enacted, it would result in more jobs lost due to government regulations.” said Stephen Colville, IADC President and CEO. “The EIA forecasts that fossil fuels will continue to supply almost 80 percent of world’s energy use through 2040, so we cannot simply move to other sources of energy without a direct impact on consumers and reliability. It is also the view of IADC’s members that all legislation should be enabling, transparent and fit-for-purpose, while encouraging the economic benefits that derive from a strong energy sector. The provisions contained in today’s bill do not reach this threshold.”
IADC supports vote to lift US Crude Oil Export Ban
On 17 September, the full U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee voted on H.R. 702, passing the bipartisan bill that seeks to end the U.S. export ban on crude oil. The legislation, introduced by Representative Joe Barton (R-Tex), will now be sent to the U.S. House Floor for a vote later this year.
“Lifting the export restrictions on crude oil will bolster growth for domestically produced oil and facilitate job creation,” said Stephen Colville, IADC President and CEO. “According to recent studies, lifting the ban would result in an average of 124,000 new jobs in the supply chain, contributing to 394,000 jobs in the greater economy through 2030. Particularly during a time of market uncertainty in the oil and gas industry, these job numbers are big, and meaningful. Combined with the expected addition of $26 billion to the GDP per year from the crude oil supply chain, these numbers provide a deeply compelling case for the US House to vote to lift the ban.”
IADC outlines ways to spur U.S. energy production
IADC recently submitted comments in response to the 14 September field hearing held by the US House Committee on Natural Resources, “The Impacts of Federal Policies on Energy Production and Economic Growth in the Gulf”. IADC’s comments outline changes to existing law to help spur safer energy production.
The comments cite the need for predicable and clear laws and regulations that give the drilling contractor confidence to make business decisions knowing what the regulatory outlook is on the horizon. Clarifying the contractor liabilities/responsibilities under BSEE regulations; increasing access for offshore drilling activities; amending the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to perform inspections on a risk basis; and lifting the Crude Oil Export Ban were identified as actions the Committee should consider while they work to develop new policies and legislation.
“The next three years are poised to be challenging for drilling contractors, particularly with the uncertainty regarding federal regulations and oil prices. According to EIA estimates, U.S. crude oil production will continue to decline before resuming growth again in late 2016. What remains to be seen is how well industry will fair in the upswing as drilling contractors and operators attempt to implement costly and overly prescriptive regulations,” said Stephen Colville, IADC President and CEO.
State-of-the-art IADC WellSharp well control training and assessment program achieves major milestone
More than 50% of IADC’s training providers have transitioned to the new WellSharp training and assessment program. Collectively, the group is responsible for training about 80% of all trainees in the industry, with current training pass rates at 90%.
WellSharp, introduced in April 2015, is a rigorous well control training and assessment program, which offers content on prevention, situational awareness, barriers and risk awareness and management. It encourages blended learning with required electronic testing to enhance the quality and value of the training, a format that has thus far been well received.
“There were initial industry concerns that WellSharp would be too challenging, but the consistent feedback we’re getting from trainers is that, if candidates do the work, they pass,” said Brenda Kelly, IADC Senior Director, Program Development. “Trainers have noticed that WellSharp’s more robust training and testing regime improves trainee confidence when they successfully complete the course. WellSharp is producing individuals with both the knowledge to know when something’s wrong and the confidence to take the appropriate action, and that’s what we set out to do. We continue to work with our industry partners to refine and sustain WellSharp as the foundation of high quality well control practice in the twenty first century.”
WellSharp emphasizes the effective delivery of the appropriate level of training for every person with well control responsibilities, whether office-based or rig-based.
“There are a lot of things that industry came up with that really put WellSharp above what we used to be doing, and we are really excited about it,” said Randy Smith, Smith Mason & Co. “WellSharp puts all training providers on a level playing field, and we have already noticed a change in student’s attitudes. They know they need to pass the test, listen, learn and study. Homework is a must now, everybody is on their own, and we are seeing success.”
“WellSharp is a fit-for-purpose well control training and assessment program for a high reliability industry. It helps to ensure that rig crews know what they need to do and have the skills to do it right, every time, all the time,” said Stephen Colville, IADC President and CEO. “The enthusiastic adoption of WellSharp so quickly and at a time of real economic challenge, shows that it delivers. It is a valuable asset for the global drilling industry and will make a powerful contribution to improved performance and safer operations around the world.”
For more information about the WellSharp program, please visit IADC’s website, www.iadc.org/accreditation.
U.S. Department of Interior announces sage grouse does not require endangered species protection
On 22 September Sally Jewel, Secretary of the Interior, announced that cooperative conservation efforts have spared the need to impose federal endangered species protections for the greater sage grouse.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service had contemplated a decision to list the greater sage grouse on the endangered species list, and had until 30 September to review the status. Numerous federal agencies, the 11 states that include parts of the bird’s habitat, and dozens of public and private partners worked together on efforts to protect the sage grouse habitat.
IADC worked with allied trades in the western states to advance efforts to keep the greater sage grouse off the Endangered Species List.
Secretary Jewell announced in a video posted to Twitter that “because of an unprecedented effort by dozens of partners across 11 western states,” the Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the quirky bird – whose habitat overlaps with land that oil and gas interested have long eyed for potential development – does not require endangered species protections.
IADC supports passage of US Permit Streamlining Bill
The US House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 348, the “Responsibly and Professionally Invigorating Development (RAPID) Act, which, if enacted, would bring reforms to streamline the federal permitting process for infrastructure and energy projects.
IADC joined with other industry associations to issue a letter in support of the legislation. The letter noted that the RAPID Act would address problems facing many projects, including lengthy project delays from endless environmental reviews and challenges that result in lost opportunities to create jobs and grow the economy.
If enacted, the RAPID Act of 2015 would improve the environmental review and permitting process by:
- Coordinating responsibilities among multiple agencies involved in environmental reviews;
- Provide for concurrent reviews by agencies, rather than serial reviews;
- Allow state-level environmental reviews to be used where the state has done a competent job, thereby avoiding needless duplication of state work by federal reviewers.
- Require that agencies involve themselves early in the process and comment early, avoiding last minute objections that can restart the entire review timetable;
- Establish a reasonable process for determining the scope of project alternatives, so that the environmental review does not devolve into an endless quest to evaluate infeasible alternatives;
- Consolidate the process into a single Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and single Environmental Assessment (EA) for a project, except where otherwise provided by law;
- Impose reasonable fixed deadlines for completion of an EIS or EA; and
- Reduce the statute of limitations to challenge a final EIS or EA from six years to 180 days.
More information can be found at Congress.gov.
BSEE to host BAST Determination Process Presentation
The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) will present their Best Available and Safest Technology (BAST) Determination Process on 12 November in Houston. The process, worked on over many months with industry and stakeholder teams will feature presentations by BSEE representatives including Doug Morris and Joe Levine.
The event will be held from 8 a.m. until noon, and registration is free, but limited to 300 seats. To register, please visit the BSEE website.
API proposes STD 18LCM, Standard for Product Lifecycle Management
API has initiated a ballot, Ballot 3697, on its proposed STD, 18LCM, Standard for Product Lifecycle Management for the Petroleum and Natural Gas Industry, 1st Edition. This important new standard is being balloted to all voting companies of SC18 (Quality). Non-voters can also provide comment on the proposed standard.
Driller’s Knowledge Book now Available for purchase
Written for experienced drillers, the “Drillers Knowledge Book” provides never-before published solutions to common drilling problems and methods to continually improve efficiency during drilling. The “Drillers Knowledge Book” covers all aspects of drilling, including well design and construction, hydraulic optimization, rock mechanics, drilling fluid processing and much more. The book focuses on field-proven techniques and procedures necessary for a drilling rig to drill at its maximum potential, while eliminating trouble time and costs that delay drilling and increase risks.
The book’s distinguished authors, Dr Leon Robinson and Juan Garcia, between them boast more than a century of drilling experience. Click below to view an exclusive video of the authors.
Published under the auspices of the IADC Technical Publications Committee as part of the IADC Drilling Series, a collection of books covering key drilling topics. Available in both print and electronic formats. 288 pages. Copyright IADC 2015. All rights reserved.
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 25, Number 9
Ed Jacob, Chairman • Stephen Colville, President and CEO • Amy Rose, Editor
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