DRILLBITS – August 2014

This Month’s Articles

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Joe Hurt, Vice President of IADC’s Onshore Division, Retires

After more than 14 years with IADC and a career spanning 42 years, Joe Hurt, Vice President of IADC’s Onshore Division, will retire at the end of August. Mr Hurt began his career in 1974 with Noble Corp, working on land drilling rigs. He held a variety of other positions during his 25 years with Noble, including Corporate Training Director and Environmental Manager, before retiring in 1999 as worldwide Health, Safety and Environmental Manager.

During his tenure with Noble, he developed the company’s first in-depth training program and environmental manual and revised and updated HSE policies and procedures. He also served on numerous industry committees and API task groups to develop standards and recommended practices for drilling operations.

Before formally joining IADC in 2000, Mr Hurt served as chairman of the IADC Environmental Affairs Committee and was an active member of the Accident Prevention, Human Resources and Training committees.

“I was fortunate that my employer emphasized that their employees should be involved with IADC and that I had the opportunity to contribute to IADC’s involvement in making positive changes in our industry,” Mr Hurt said.

At IADC, Mr Hurt was responsible for meeting with various government agencies, providing comments to the docket and testifying at industry-related hearings. He oversaw the Health, Safety and Environment Committee, the Environmental Subcommittee, the Rig Moving Committee and the Underbalanced and Managed Pressure Drilling Committee.

“Over the course of his long career, Joe was known for working to ensure that the rigs he worked on were efficient and safe for his company and his workmates. He continued these efforts within IADC, but on a larger canvas. His work has enabled the drilling industry to make significant strides forward on safety and efficiency on behalf of rigs and drilling crews everywhere,” Stephen Colville, IADC President and CEO, said.

“I’m most proud of the fact that our industry has made great steps forward in their efforts to train people and develop in-depth health, safety and environmental programs,” Mr Hurt noted. “I may be retiring, but I hope to stay active in the industry because I feel that the drilling industry has given me so much over the course of my career, and I still feel I have more to give back. Working at IADC was the perfect opportunity to share my knowledge with the industry, and I feel like I’ve done some good.”


IADC Chairman Jay Minmier Proposes Key Solutions to Demonstrate Integrity and Reliability of Drilling Industry Assets


Ensuring the integrity and reliability of drilling and well-control systems in an era of cost squeezing and drilling in extreme conditions is the most fundamental aspect of today’s well-construction industry, said International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) Chairman Jay Minmier. Mr. Minmier made his remarks in the featured address at the 2014 IADC Asset Integrity and Reliability Conference, held on 20 August in Houston.

Mr Minmier, President of Nomac Drilling, cited incidents such as Macondo and Piper Alpha, noting that the causes of each could be traced to a string of simple failures and oversights that were otherwise unremarkable, except they were not intercepted. He talked about the pressure to increase productive time which forces drilling contractors to cycle equipment more frequently, causing more wear and tear.

“Operators demand that costs be lowered. But at the same time, our equipment and systems are being tested to the limit, and sometimes beyond,” said Mr. Minmier. “Offshore, we operate in frontier areas, deepwater, remote locations, and in ultra-high-pressure/high-temperature. Mid- and shallow-water locations are the domain of an ageing rig fleet where life-extension maintenance is a key issue.”

Mr. Minmier noted the complexity of the problem facing the industry, but, citing recent legislation and regulation both in the US and UK, stressed that the time for tackling widespread repetitive failures and asset-related incidents differently on different rigs and in different jurisdictions is over. He advocated for specific solutions to address the issues, with the collection and sharing of data crucial to this effort.

“An Integrity Management System should address quality at every stage of the asset life cycle, from the design of new facilities to maintenance management to decommissioning. Inspections, auditing and assurance, human interfaces and overall quality processes are just a few tools designed to ensure an effective integrity management system,” said Mr. Minmier. “We also recognize the importance of condition-based monitoring. In order to maintain our assets in fit-for-purpose condition and to ensure our equipment will work when we need it, we must have data from failures, testing, overhauls and inspection. The availability of reliability data leads to the adoption of condition-based monitoring of critical components. Such techniques are gaining in acceptance and the availability of suitable and reliable sensors deployed in safety-critical locations is increasing.”

He highlighted the industry’s historical reluctance to share data, but stressed that doing so is crucial, noting that databases to store and process high-quality and pertinent data anonymously are now available. He went on to say, “For data collection of equipment performance, arbitrary time-based maintenance procedures can be detrimental to the life cycle of a key component like BOPs. But without sufficient data to support this, it can be difficult to show that other approaches might be more effective.”

Mr. Minmier was ultimately optimistic about the future. He pointed to several on-going high profile efforts expected to demonstrate the effectiveness of such an approach. These include a system to track BOP performance in the Gulf of Mexico and the development of the IADC Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA) competencies, which identify maintenance procedures and the proper operation of specific types of equipment, depending on the rig type and environment.

The entirety of Mr. Minmier’s remarks can be accessed via IADC’s website.


IADC Brazil Chapter Holds First Meeting


The IADC Brazil Chapter held its first meeting on 6 August in Rio de Janeiro. The meeting was arranged by members of the Brazil Chapter with assistance from IADC Brazil Advisory Roberto Paschoalin, and sponsored by Petrobras E&P.

IADC Brazil Chapter Chairman Hugh Oliver moderated the gathering, noting that it was the first of many chapter meetings to take place outside of Macae. In the future, the chapter plans to hold general meetings in locations determined by members.

More than 120 people attended the meeting, with representatives from Pacific Drilling, Transocean, Odfjell Drilling, Odebrecht, Ventura Petroleo, Queiroz Galvao, Etesco and Schahin. Personnel from Petrobras, Premier Oil, Petrogal and Repsol attended on behalf of operators with interests in Brazil.

The meeting included presentations focused on managed pressure drilling and IADC’s regulatory affairs activities, both of which are key issues for the region.

Presenter Taf Powell, IADC Executive Vice President, Policy, Government and Regulatory Affairs, discussed IADC’s policy for securing influence on government policies and advocating for better practices by regulatory agencies.

Emmanuel Franco, MPD Manager, Petrobras, discussed the necessity of MPD in modern drilling and the responsibilities of drilling contractors and service companies in relation to MPD.

Jeff Robie, Business Development Manager, Managed Pressure Operations for Aker Solutions, followed with a presentation on riser drilling devices as the next generation pressure control device. Final presenter Brian Grayson, Secure Drilling Services Director of Pressure Control Systems for Weatherford, described how the deepwater oilfield has advanced over the last five years and how future advances in MPD technologies will position the oil field as an example for other industries to follow.


IADC Establishes New Quality Committee

IADC drilling contractor members are invited to attend the first meeting of the new IADC Quality Committee. The meeting will be held from 1-4pm on 2 October at IADC’s Houston office. Members will elect officers, confirm a mission statement and discuss possible projects.

IADC is seeking support of the Quality Committee by industry professionals who oversee their company’s vendor quality, vendor surveillance, QA/QC, process improvement or operational excellence.

Potential goals for the committee include:

  • Providing a forum for the exchange of knowledge, best practices and ideas between committee members and the industry.
  • To establish, implement and manage an IADC Quality Audit Program for suppliers and other IADC members.
  • Develop an IADC-specific quality management system and develop an IADC equipment-specific quality specifications and IADC service/maintenance-specific quality specifications.
  • To review, recommend, develop and publish guidelines to be used by the drilling industry in the manufacture of equipment and/or design of services and service-related products.
  • Providing a forum to identify, establish and share industry best practices.

Registration for the meeting can be completed online at

For more information about this committee, please contact Elfriede Neidert, Director of IADC’s Quality Assurance/Quality Control Division at


US Bald and Golden Eagle Management Regulation Under Review


The Department of Interior (DOI), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) held its last of several nationwide scoping meetings on 7 August in Washington, DC.  USFWS is analyzing various aspects of bald and golden eagle management as part of its responsibility under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  

The NEPA analysis will evaluate the environmental effects of a range of alternatives for eagle management, including possible changes to permit regulations. The purpose of the public scoping process is to determine issues that could influence the scope of the analysis, including alternatives, and guide the process for developing an environmental assessment (EA) or environmental impact statement (EIS) and related compliance efforts.

The most pressing issue for drilling contractors revolves around the definition of “Eagle Nest” and “Inactive Eagle Nest”. Under current regulations, the Service can issue permits for the taking of eagle nests only under limited circumstances, such as to protect human or eagle health and safety.  The Service is seeking public input specific to possible modifications to those restrictions and/ or amend the regulatory definitions of “eagle nest,” and “inactive eagle nest.”

USFW is soliciting public input through 22 September. Comments can be submitted electronically at  Enter FWS-R9-MB-2011-0094-0491.

The federal register notice, Eagle Permits; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement, June 23, 2014, is available online.

For more information, please contact Bill Tanner at


Colorado Hydraulic Fracturing Task Force Initiated

On 11 August, Colorado Democrats proposed a deal to eliminate anti-fracking ballot measures that had posed a threat to drilling activities within the state. Under the deal with Governor John Hickenlooper, Democrat Representative Jared Polis agreed to withdraw his support for the two anti-fracking ballot initiatives in return for the creation of a task force that will recommendations to the state legislature. Governor Hickenlooper, who opposed the anti-fracking initiatives, and Polis also called for the withdrawal of two industry-backed pro-fracking ballot initiatives.

Following agreement of the deal, Governor Hickenlooper announced the creation of a task force charged with drafting recommendations to help minimize land use conflicts that occur when oil and gas facilities are constructed near homes, schools, businesses and recreational areas.

The 18-member task force, chaired by La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt and Randy Cleveland, president of XTO Energy, Inc., will represent the broad interests of those involved in oil and gas development, including members of the drilling industry.  This group will have the power to make recommendations to the legislature with a two-thirds majority, or issue majority and minority opinions. IADC will monitor the task force meetings, alerting members to new developments.

For more information, please contact Bill Tanner at


IADC Drilling Engineers Committee to Host Workshop on 3Q Technology

The IADC Drilling Engineers Committee will hold a 3Q Technology Workshop on 15 September. The workshop will focus on new technologies and how they lower overall costs and add value. Recent technology has enabled companies to increase safety performance and reduce costs.  Presenters at the workshop will discuss advances in drilling automation, real time data/decision capabilities, drill bits, horizontal cementing optimization, water management, purpose built rigs that enable multilaterals and stacked shale plays while reducing the overall footprint and optimized fracture design.  

For more information on the workshop and to register, please visit the Committee’s webpage.


IADC Advanced Rig Technology Committee to Host Cybersecurity Workshop

The IADC Advanced Rig Technology Committee, in conjunction with the Drilling Systems Control Subcommittee, will host a Cybersecurity Workshop on 9 October. The full day workshop will outline the work program of the new workgroup, Cybersecurity – Drilling Control System. The aim of the workgroup is to develop Cybersecurity Guidelines for Drilling Control Systems that are built upon existing industry standards and best practices.

Control systems play a crucial role as part of the industrial mission of a drilling rig, for both land and offshore operations. In the cybersecurity domain there is a serious challenge for drilling rig owners and control system suppliers, especially due to the lack of cybersecurity standards and industry-agreed best practices. Personnel working on cybersecurity for Drilling Control Systems, including drilling contractors, operators, vendors, equipment manufacturers, OEMs, and more, should plan to attend this workshop.

Additional details can be found on the Committee’s webpage.


IADC Submits Comments Regarding OCS 5-year Leasing Program

On 28 July, IADC submitted comments to BOEM in response to the 16 June request for information on the development of the federal government’s 2017-2022 offshore oil and gas leasing program.

The letter, submitted by Bill Tanner, Vice President, IADC Policy, Government and Regulatory Affairs, indicated IADC member companies interest in the inclusion of all 26 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) planning areas in the development of the Draft Proposed Program. The letter also detailed strong support for a 2017-2022 Five-Year Program that preserves all areas currently available for leasing, allows for leasing in new areas such as the Mid- and South Atlantic, and provides for scoping and contingent leasing of the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

For more information, please contact Bill Tanner at


Accreditation Updates


  • CrewPetro Private Limited, (Conditional) India

  • Paragon Offshore, (Conditional) USA


  • Atwood Oceanics, (Full) – Houston, Texas, USA


  • Tianjin Trng Branch Co of CNOOC Energy Tech & Srvs Ltd, , China (Conditional)

  • ETM Training Services Institute, Mexico (Conditional)

Safety Alerts

For the latest safety alerts, visit

Alert 14-22: Self retracting lifeline (SRL) anchor post failure results in near miss

Alert 14-23: Improper pulling of rotary table bushing results in partial finger amputation

Alert 14-24: Three instances of uncontrolled descent of the traveling block assembly

Rigs Receive ISP Certificates

For certificates received since last LTI (in years):

  • Caspian Drilling Company: Dada Gorgud (5);
  • Ensco: Ensco 56 (9); Ensco 70 (2); Ensco 71 (4); Ensco 72 (4); Ensco 86 (8); Ensco 5001 (2);
  • Pacific Drilling: Pacific Mistral (3);
  • PV Driling: PV Drilling I (7); PV Drilling 11 (1);
  • Songa Offshore: Songa Mercur (4);
For certificates received since last recordable incident (in years):
  • Ensco: Ensco 53 (4); Ensco 67 (3); Ensco 71 (4); Ensco 99 (1); Ensco DS-3 (1);
  • Parker Drilling Company: Rig 605 (1);
  • Sidewinder Drilling Inc. : Rig 60 (2); Rig 110 (2); Rig 209 (3); Rig 225 (2);
  • Unit Drilling Company: Rig 19 (2); Rig 20 (1); Rig 24 (1); Rig 104 (1); Rig 115 (1); Rig 124 (1); Rig 301 (3); 302 (1); 304 (1);
  • Unit Texas Drilling LLC: Rig 3 (1); Rig 237 (2); 307 (2)

New IADC Members

IADC welcomes 33 new members:

  • 4 POWER ENERGY, OIL & GAS CO, Sana’a, Yemen
  • ATC, Lyndhurst, New Jersey, USA
  • C & I LEASING PLC, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, Nigeria
  • COMPANIA INDUSTRIAL DEL GOLFO, Ciudad Del Carmen, Campeche, Mexico
  • DAMMAN SHIP YARD, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
  • DRILLING PASS, Villahermosa, Centro, Tabasco, Mexico
  • EVERSENDAI OFFSHORE, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • GLAJOE MULTI SERVICES LIMITED, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
  • IMMERSE LEARNING, London, United Kingdom
  • M &M OIL TOOLS LLC, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, USA
  • MUSTANG HEAVY HAUL, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA
  • PARAGON OFFSHORE, Houston, Texas, USA
  • PRIME LEVEL CONSULTING, LLC,Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, USA
  • RSC BIO SOLUTIONS, Indian Trail, North Carolina, USA
  • SAH SERVICES, LLC, McMurray, Pennsylvania, USA
  • SIAPSA CONSULTORES, Tampico, Tamulipas, Mexico
  • SMITH MASON & COMPANY, LLC, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA
  • STEINOL SOLUTIONS, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • UMW DRILLING ACADEMY SDN BHD, Wilayah Persekutuan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

DRILLBITS Volume 24, Number 8

Jay Minmier, Chairman • Stephen Colville, President and CEO • Amy Rose, Editor

All listed phone extensions are for IADC’s Houston headquarters,
+1/713-292-1945. Fax +1/713-292-1946.

Send comments/questions to Amy Rose at

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