IADC Well Control Conference of the Americas & Exhibition


The IADC Well Control Conference of the Americas & Exhibition 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.

StartAugust 24, 2021EndAugust 25, 2021
CityNew Orleans
CountryUnited States
Ritz Carlton New Orleans

2019 Event Demographics

Registrants by Job Title

  • Management
  • Quality, Health, Safety & Environment
  • Library/Miscellaneous
  • Training/Education
  • Company Owner/Corporate Officer
  • Complimentary
  • Drilling and/or Completion Operations
  • Drilling Engineer

Conference Attendees


Exhibiting Companies

Registrants by Company Type

  • Equipment Manufacturer
  • Independent Oil Producer
  • Land Drilling Contractor
  • Land/Offshore Drilling Contractor
  • Land/Offshore Well Servicing Contractor
  • Major Oil Producer
  • National Oil Company
  • Offshore Drilling Contractor
  • Oilfield Service/Consultant
  • Training

Registrants by Location

  • Registrants
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We thank you for your support!

The International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) is a non-profit organization. Income from this event will be invested back into other IADC initiatives we develop to serve the drilling industry to connect, share knowledge, tackle common problems and develop solutions to critical issues in different parts of the world. By participating in an IADC event you will be improving and supporting your own industry.
IADC provides web links as a member service. IADC does not warranty or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any of the information, content, or advertisements contained on websites linked to IADC.org or any of its subsidiary pages.

Venue & Hotel

The Ritz Carlton

Address 921 Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
Phone +1.504.524.1331

Negotiated Room Rate $159 (plus taxes/fees)
Single/Double Occupancy

NOTE: Rates available until Monday, 26 July 2021. Please make your room reservations directly with the hotel. Please be sure to mention IADC to obtain discounted rate.

Please note that there are several 3rd party companies actively approaching conference delegates and exhibitors by phone and email trying to sell hotel rooms at the contracted hotel for a cheaper rate than the published rate on this conference website. Please note that these companies do not represent IADC or the hotel, nor has IADC or the hotel authorized them 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 be sure to make your hotel reservations exclusively through the contracted hotel.

Venue Details

921 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70112

Registration Information

  • Registration fee: : $600
  • 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 above)
  • 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 above)
  • IADC offers discounted registration to full time students not currently employed in industry.  Please contact registration@iadc.org for further information.
  • No refunds will be made for cancellations 30 days prior to the conference date.

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.

Need Help? registration@iadc.org / +1.713.292.1945

Conference Program

Monday, 23 August

1-4 pm  IADC Well Control Committee Meeting (Separate registration required)   LaSalle

Tuesday, 24 August

7:30 am   Registration, Coffee Service & Exhibit Viewing   Lafayette Ballroom & Foyer

7:45 am   Speaker Briefing (Speakers, Moderators & Session Chairs only)   Salons 1/2

8:30 am   Welcome & Introduction   Salons 1/2

  • Jim Rocco, Senior Director – Government & Industry Affairs – Offshore, IADC
  • Nial Shepherd, Chair, IADC Well Control Committee; Vice President Operations, US South, Ensign Energy Services

8:45 am   Keynote Presentation: Senator Sharon Hewitt, Senate Majority Leader, State of Louisiana

9:15 am   Regulatory Matters

  • Matthew Warren, Oil and Gas Program Lead, BLM
  • Stacey Noem, Chief, Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs, BSEE

10:15 am   Coffee Service & Exhibit Viewing

10:45 am   Mud/Gas Separators
Mud/Gas Separators are in use on almost all drilling locations and have been around for many years yet remain a poorly understood piece of equipment. This panel will discuss some dos and don’ts along with real world knowledge of how this equipment is designed to operate.

  • Richard Grayson, Senior QHSE Manager, Global Well Control Focal Point, Nabors Industries
  • Nial Shepherd, Chair, IADC Well Control Committee; Vice President Operations, US South, Ensign Energy Services
  • Martin Brown, Well Control Instructor, BP

11:30 am   Comparing Casing Shoe Pressures during Gas Kick – Comparing gas solubility cases to free gas cases: Harshad Patil, MPD Engineer, Earl Dietrich, Svein Hovland, Frontier International, Sourabh Hulawale, Cairn India, Abiruddin Kazi, Gumpro Drilling Fluids India, Vaishnavi Tandale, ONGC India, Akshay Manjramkar, Hanumant Gophane, Akash Jadhav, Maharashtra Institute of Technology
The work encompasses development of a simplistic semi-analytical model that provides not only a single bubble, ideal gas theory or Boyle’s law, but iterations based on real gas deviation factors (Z-factors) and density checks during first circulation of Drillers’ method comparing casing pressures for various kick sizes and intensities. The program methodology further attempts to include gas solubility in mud and uses the cubic form of equation of state (SRK & Peng-Robinson) to estimate and compare the casing shoe pressures while iterating for Z factors for the mixture. 

noon   Luncheon & Exhibit Viewing   Salon 3

1:15 pm   Where we are now with Cloud-based Simulations and what is to come: Kim Laursen, CTO, Endeavor Technologies Corp
The past year has been devastating for people, businesses, and overall progress in many areas. However, even with the new reality we have managed to find ways to continue pushing on with new technologies. Face to face meetings were changed out with teams and Zoom. The platforms evolved with break out rooms and collaborative white boards etc. So, we managed the new situation and overcame obstacles by being creative and by developing new ways of doing business. One of the areas that was proving to be challenging was training. The travel restrictions and lock downs made it very difficult for drillers to renew their certification. By developing and utilizing cloud-based simulations, every student suddenly had access to a simulator from the comfort of their living room. This presentation will be where we are now with cloud-based simulations and what is to come.

1:45 pm   Virtual Well Control Training
Moderator: Gerardo Barrera, Program Manager, IADC
Virtual learning has proven key to maintaining a highly trained workforce as industry continues to navigate pandemic related challenges and market downturn. This panel will provide insight on multiple virtual training programs and lessons learned.

  • Brandon Rosler, Technical Training Specialist, Nabors Drilling
  • Marcus Mason, CEO, Smith Mason & Co LLC
  • Brooke Polk, Senior Director – Accreditation Operations, IADC

3:00 pm   Coffee Service & Exhibit Viewing

3:30 pm   Predictive BOP Pressure Testing using Machine Learning: Moadh Mallek, Senior Data Scientist, Amine Meziou, Oussama Hattab, Jose Meraz, Ken Dupal, Mark Siegmund, Aquila Engineering LLC
The presentation includes three major parts. The first part is a general introduction of the methods used to develop the predictive pressure test tool for BOPs and Choke & Kill Manifolds. Then, some actual examples of pressure test tool results will be shared for both passed and failed tests demonstrating the tool accuracy over conventional human based interpretative methods. Finally, the main findings, key performance metrics, and built-in smart logic algorithms from the developed tool will be presented creating a new standard for BOP test automation, collaboration, and certainty.

4:00 pm   MPD Tripping Techniques to Manage Trip Gas and Possible Shut-in Scenarios while Running Casings in Long Laterals: Said Boutalbi, Technical & Sales Director, Harshad Patil, Earl Dietrich, Svein Hovland, Frontier International
The presentation illustrates some of the real data observed during the MPD tripping process. It highlights the actual pressure control data during tripping in and out of the long ERD laterals along with tell-tale signs of spots where BU are needed. The calculations and methodology used to spot and run BHA in heavy pills are illustrated from a well control point of view while monitoring for the surface gas trends and hole fill.

4:30 pm   A Digital Twin Remote Verification of Subsea Blowout Preventers (BOP): Amine Meziou, Engineering Manager, Oussama Hattab, Jose Meraz, Mark Siegmund, Moadh Mallek, Aquila Engineering LLC
The presentation starts by outlining the objective of the newly proposed BOP remote verification program (Provide a full life cycle verification of the BOP using digital solutions). The details of the cloud architecture will be then presented. The Designed tools are described and demonstrated, through field data, to achieve an improved accuracy and process safety performance. The results of the different tests are presented and analyzed with respect to time. This data is used as metric to detect components health degradation. Finally, the presentation will highlight how the proposed verification product can drive BOP predictive maintenance on the rig.

5:00 pm   Welcoming Reception & Exhibit Viewing   Lafayette Ballroom

Wednesday, 25 August

7:45 am   Registration, Coffee Service & Exhibit Viewing   Lafayette Ballroom & Foyer

8:30 am   Welcome & Introduction   Salons 1/2

  • Jim Rocco, Senior Director – Government & Industry Affairs – Offshore, IADC

8:40 am   IADC Well Control Committee Update: Nial Shepherd, Chair, IADC Well Control Committee; Vice President Operations, US South, Ensign Energy Services

9:00 am   Keynote Address: Evolving Understanding of Human Performance and Error Mitigation Across High Reliability Industries: Yarko “JJ” Sos, Founder/Director, Check-6 Inc
The study of human fallibility and human performance has uncovered a universal truth, that people make mistakes. Human error is not 100% preventable, so organizations must build systems and processes that trap or minimize the effects of human error. This presentation will address: Evolution of thought around Human Performance; “Blame and Punish” versus “Learn and Improve” cultures; Building “Resiliency” in operations; and, Error trap and mitigation tools both in the oilfield and other industries.

9:30 am   Addressing the Human Factor Impacts of Startle and Surprise on Decision Making during Routine Operations: Mark Denkowski, Drilling Services Manager GoM, JP Pean, MEM/Crisis Division Manager, RelyOn Nutec
As automation continues to change rig operations, an often-overlooked component of decision making is how crews react to being startled and/or surprised.  Decisions made within the first 30 to 60 seconds after an upset situation can impact every decision made throughout an event and can be the difference between success and failure.  Through case studies, we will show how decision making is impacted during upset situations and will offer market solutions that address the problem.

10:00 am   Practicing Emotional Intelligence for Workplace Success: Steve Anderson, PhD, President, Integrated Leadership Systems
This presentation uncovers the crucial role of self-awareness in forming successful professional relationships. Participants will leave with an understanding of how the brain works, how staying cool and building confidence can boost productivity, and how to develop their leadership skills by recognizing and managing damaging workplace behaviors.

10:30 am   Coffee Service & Exhibit Viewing

11:00 am   A Holistic Approach to Well Control for the Changing Industry: Brooke Polk, Senior Director-Accreditation Operations, Gerardo Barrera, Program Manager, IADC
The world and the oil and gas industry are rapidly changing around us. It is essential to the safety of our personnel, environment, and assets that we take a holistic approach to well control. To adapt to the changing needs of the industry, we must take a comprehensive approach that focuses on all components of well control as an interconnected process. While one piece of the well control process for learning and competency development adds value, it is the sum of those pieces, the whole process, that adds the most value. This presentation will also review the WellSharp Program, industry developments and updates that have been launched in 2021 and those underway. 

11:45 am   Eliminate the Learning Curve: Terry Barrett, Chief Strategy Officer, David Burnham, CAVU
CAVU combined their human performance improvement methods with a major Norwegian contractor’s state-of-the-art drilling equipment to enable the best rigs to run by the best people. CAVU integrated a non-technical WOCRM training program with a technical, scenario based, simulation training program to set the basis for a high-performance culture which includes maximizing Rate of Penetration (ROP), minimizing connection time, optimizing circulation time, and reducing Non-Productive Time (NPT). Mission Success – North Sea campaign completed 150+ days ahead of the drill plan with Zero incidents.

12:15 pm   Luncheon & Exhibit Viewing   Salon 3

1:30 pm   Market Outlook: William Turner, Senior Analyst, Rystad America

2:00 pm   Well Control Incident statistics and causes for the NCS: Roar Sognnes, Principal Engineer, Øyvind Tuntland, Petroleum Safety Authority
This presentation will give insight into the different types of drilling activities associated with WCIs on the NCS over the last four years and any commonalities in causes, with further details on WCIs caused by errors in pore pressure predictions. 

2:30 pm   Closing Remarks & Adjournment

On-Demand Presentation:
Automated Well Control: Field Trial and Results: Bryan Atchison, Managing Director, Safe Influx Ltd
The Automated Well Control technology has been fundamentally designed to fully automate influx detection and shut-in sequences. The system enables fast identification of an influx and then reacts by performing a series of commands to stop the top drive, space out, shut down the mud pumps and shut-in the BOP. A comprehensive Field Trial was performed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the standard system, and the Automated Well Control, which was designed for a cyber rig, could interface with a traditional, non-cyber rig. The presentation will describe why the system was designed, how it works, field trialing activities and results.

Conference Program Committee

  • Deric Simmons, Precision Drilling
  • Jeremy Sokol, Chevron
  • John Broussard, BP
  • Jon Shoemaker, Diamond Offshore Drilling
  • Keeley Bell, Noble
  • Mike Garvin, Patterson-UTI Drilling Company
  • Mitch McKinnis, Helmerich & Payne
  • Nial Shepherd, Ensign Energy Services
  • Pete Bennett Pacific Drilling
  • Philip Dalrymple, Independence Contract Drilling
  • Richard Grayson, Nabors Industries
  • Jim Rocco, IADC

Conference Exhibitions

Cost for the 10′ x 10′ space is $2,000. IADC membership required.

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 Monday, 23 August. All booths must be completely set up by 6:30 am on Tuesday, 24 August.

  • You may tear down your booth space after the last break ends on Wednesday, 25 August.

  • 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.

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.

IADC Membership is mandatory for booking an exhibition space at this event. IADC Exhibitions will solely be visited by conference attendees. Non-conference attendees are not allowed to enter the exhibition area.

Exhibition space is sold on a first come, first served basis!
Interested? Contact lori.gagula@iadc.org / +1 713.292.1945


There are five 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. IADC membership required to be eligible.

*Comps refer to number of complimentary registrations.
Interested? Contact lori.gagula@iadc.org / +1.713.292.1945

COVID-19 Safety Updates & Information

Please click here to view travel advice for New Orleans, Louisiana.

Please click here to view the Safety Protocols for the Ritz Carlton.



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