DRILLBITS – December 2016

This Month’s Articles

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U.S., Canada Designate Vast Areas of Arctic Off Limits to Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing

On 20 December, U.S. President Obama, along with Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, announced that the United States is designating the vast majority of U.S. waters in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas as indefinitely off limits to offshore oil and gas leasing. Canada will also designate all Arctic Canadian waters as indefinitely off limits to future offshore Arctic oil and gas licensing, to be reviewed every five years through a climate and marine science-based life-cycle assessment.

Absent action by the incoming Administration, this action blocks all future offshore oil and gas leases in the Chukchi Sea and for all but 2.8 million acres of the Beaufort Sea, and puts 31 major underwater canyons in the Atlantic Ocean from New England down to the mouth of Chesapeake Bay off limits for drilling.

To access, the U.S. announcement of the action, please visit the White House website. The Presidential Memorandum for the actions area here for the Arctic and here for the Atlantic. Maps of the areas related to President’s withdrawal proclamation are available here for the Arctic and here for the Atlantic.

IADC Drilling Matters Website Updated to Include Two New Video Modules

IADC continues to expand the website with the addition of two new video modules.

One new module teaches viewers “Who’s Who in the Drilling Business”, showcasing the roles of operators, drilling contractors, oilfield service firms and equipment manufacturers.

Several industry professionals graciously shared their time and insights in the module. These knowledgeable industry experts were John Willis, Chief – Drilling, Occidental Oil & Gas Corp; Mike Garvin, Senior Vice President, Operations Support, Patterson-UTI Drilling; Chris Beckett, CEO, Pacific Drilling; Aaron Sinnott, Vice President, Well Integrity, Weatherford; Justus Kay, VP Marketing & Technology, Drilling & Measurements – Geoservices, Schlumberger and David Reid, Chief Marketing Officer, National Oil Varco.

In a second new module, “Life on a Rig,” drilling contractor employees discuss their experiences living and working on a drilling rig, and how they achieve a work-life balance.

Del Manning, a Driller, and James Howard, an Offshore Installation Manager, for Rowan Companies share the offshore perspective. Mark Hanks, a Drilling Superintendent for Precision Drilling, provides the onshore perspective. These individuals worked with IADC during their time off to share their experiences for this module.

Click here to access the Drilling Matters website. is a multimedia, web-based tool to help educate regulators and the general public, with particular outreach to younger viewers. Tell your neighbors, friends and anyone you think can benefit from learning more about our great industry.

Drilling Matters: Spread the word.

For more information about Drilling Matters, contact Mike Killalea via email at

IADC Praises Scott Pruitt’s Selection as EPA Administrator

On 7 December, President-elect Donald Trump announced the selection of Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In response, IADC President Jason McFarland issued the following statement:

“The selection of Scott Pruitt to the role of Administrator of the EPA indicates a clear focus of the incoming administration to foster oil and gas development in the United States. The U.S. upstream oil and gas industry employs an average of 540,975 people, generating more than $61 billion in wages, and supports more than $1.2 trillion in U.S. gross domestic product. The contribution of the energy industry to the overall economy of the U.S. is vast, and we are doing so with a clear and consistent focus and commitment to facilitate safe operations.

“Mr. Pruitt hails from Oklahoma, an oil and natural gas producing state, and as such understands our industry and its commitment to U.S. energy security. We expect that he will consider all of the reliable available data before developing and implementing any new regulation impacting our industry. IADC is proud of our industry, and looks forward to working with an Administrator who will ensure that the U.S. remains an energy powerhouse, providing the energy that powers our country’s economy.”

U.S. Issues Executive Order Establishing Protection for Bering Strait Waters

U.S. President Obama recently signed an Executive Order to establish protections for Bering Strait-area waters, which makes nearly 40,000 square miles off limits for future oil and gas development. This area includes the Norton Basin and portions of the St. Matthew-Hall planning areas.

The President’s order also creates a 112,300 square mile area, named the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area, where a task force will be required to help coordinate federal activities “focusing a locally tailored collection of protections related to oil and gas, shipping and fishing,” according to the White House.

IADC Praises Selection of Congressman Ryan Zinke to Lead Department of Interior

President-elect Donald Trump recently announced the selection of Congressman Ryan Zinke as the Secretary of the Department of Interior (DOI). As Secretary, Rep. Zinke will have control over federal lands and will regulate offshore energy development.

In response, International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) President Jason McFarland issued the following statement:

“As a Member of Congress representing Montana, Rep. Zinke has a unique understanding of the importance of public lands, and in his appointed position, he will have control over federal lands and will regulate offshore energy development. In the last several years, overzealous oil and gas regulations have created an uncertain regulatory framework that stifled investment and innovation in an industry that has a significant impact on the U.S. economy. In fact, annual issuance of oil and gas leases on federal lands declined 65% between 2008-2015. The oil and gas industry is responsible for injecting billions of dollars into the economy, along with directly contributing to job growth in both the energy and manufacturing industries. Just as importantly, the Energy Information Association is projecting that 2016 energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will be at their lowest levels in 24 years, a direct result of utilizing the abundance of U.S. natural gas. IADC and its members hope to work with Rep. Zinke on efforts to restore access to federal lands for responsible oil and gas development. The benefits of oil and gas exploration and development are vast, and continuing them will require a commitment by federal, state and local governments to work with industry, not against it.”

“Advancing U.S. energy should be at the forefront of the new administration’s energy policy, and IADC and its members look forward to the opportunity to work with Rep. Zinke on initiatives that will continue to enable the U.S. to be an energy powerhouse.”

IADC Launches Accreditation Program for Rigger and Crane Operator Training

IADC recently launched the Crane-Rigger Training and Assessment accreditation program, which offers a training standard that aligns with similar international standards while offering the support and credibility of accreditation. Included in the new program are curricula for basic rigging and crane operation.

The program was developed by members of IADC’s Workforce Development Committee, comprising representatives from drilling contractors, operators, training providers and other stakeholder companies.

The goal of IADC’s Crane-Rigger Training and Assessment is to provide a robust program through which training providers can be accredited and audited, which will lead to safer operations. The program is a globally-minded, affordable accreditation which aligns with, and surpasses, the API RP 2D standard.

Crane and rigging experts worked collaboratively with IADC to develop curricula and delivery requirements for the new program, which includes the following:

  • Requirements for practical exercises, hardware, and equipment
  • Resources to facilitate the standardization of content delivery
  • Instructor qualification and assessment requirements
  • Standardized skills assessments
  • Criteria for content and delivery of knowledge assessments
  • Content applicable to both onshore and offshore operations
  • A framework for offering consistent, verifiable quality of training
  • Crane operations coursework that can be customized by crane type (i.e., mechanical and non-mechanical crane types)

“Development of this program was a long process involving dozens of stakeholders who each brought to the table a unique perspective in rigging and crane operations, both onshore and offshore,” said Patty Tydings, IADC’s Competence and Workforce Development Specialist. “Members of IADC’s Workforce Development Committee serve as the program’s ultimate decision-makers to ensure that the training modules and performance objectives are appropriate and comprehensive and that the accreditation criteria promote quality and consistency.”

For more information about the IADC Crane-Rigger Training and Assessment accreditation program, please email

OSHA Issues Memorandum Regarding Enforcement of Oil and Gas Extraction Industry Activities

On 2 December, OSHA released a memorandum for their regional administrators that provides guidance on OSHA enforcement activities in the upstream oil & gas extraction industries (NAICS 211111, 213111 and 213112).  Specifically, it provides information on:

  • The scope of oil and gas drilling, servicing, and production operations;
  • Identification of the hazards that most frequently kill and severely injure workers in this sector;
  • Standards that are most frequently cited, including Section 5(a)(l) of the OSH Act (the General Duty Clause) related to those hazards associated with worker fatalities and severe injuries;
  • Discussion on how to cite oil patch 5(a)(1) citations, including the role of consensus standards and industry documents in supporting 5(a)(l) citations;
  • Discussion on the identification of the citable employer;
  • Applicability of OSHA’s  multi-employer worksite policy to these operations; and
  • References and other resources available to OSHA personnel.

Since OSHA does not have a specific standard covering oil and gas extraction, this memorandum was developed with the intent to provide information to compliance safety & health officers (CSHOs) in order to help identify serious hazards and feasible means of abatement, and set forth the role of OSHA enforcement in the upstream oil and gas industries. While this memorandum may be used for un-programmed  inspections, it is primarily developed as a supplement for CSHOs conducting upstream oil and gas inspections under local and regional emphasis programs.

For more information, please contact Rhett Winter at

IADC Drilling Control System Alarm Management Guidelines Now Available

The IADC Alarm Management Work Group, under the auspices of the IADC Advanced Rig Technology Committee, recently produced the IADC Drilling Control System Alarm Management Guidelines, which are available for purchase through the IADC Bookstore.

The Guidelines cover philosophy, documentation, master list of alarms, management of change and rationalization for drilling control system alarming. It is intended to assist system suppliers and drilling contractors improve alarm treatment, as defined by job responsibility.

The guidelines do not cover control system design. Instead, they focus on understanding applicable standards, alarm philosophy, personnel responsibilities regarding DCS alarms, types of alarms, real-time use of alarms, management of change and more.

To access the Guidelines, please visit the IADC Bookstore. For more information on the IADC Advanced Rig Technology Committee, please visit the IADC Website.

BSEE Announces Availability of Draft Report, Evaluation of Pressure Rating Methods Recommended by API RP 17TR8

BSEE recently announced the receipt of the draft Argonne National Laboratory report, “Evaluation of Pressure Rating Methods Recommended by API RP 17TR8”. While pending a peer review of the report, BSEE is making available an advance draft report.

BSEE, in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory, developed and funded a study to validate the pressure rating methods in API Technical Report TR8. This report describes the methods and results of the study conducted. However, this study acknowledges that it “is only a first step in validating the methods set forth in API Technical Report TR8.

Proper validation will require many similar studies concerning other types of subsea equipment, especially more complex equipment with multibody contact.” According to BSEE, the study raises questions concerning the validity of the criteria and assumptions that are currently being used in the design of HPHT subsea equipment.

The peer review of the report will be conducted according to BSEE’s scientific integrity procedures.

IOGP Publishes Report 365, Land Transportation Safety Recommended Practice

The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) recently published Report 365, Land Transportation Safety Recommended Practice (Version 3), which provides an effective way to manage the risks associated with land transportation. Application of the report can be a starting point for oil and gas company operations or can supplement existing company practices.

The report provides guidance on how to implement land transportation safety elements in a management system consistent with IOGP Report 510, Operating Management System Framework for controlling risk and delivering high performance in the oil and gas industry.

It is also consistent with IOGP Report 459, IOGP Life-Saving Rules, developed for use in the oil and gas industry to mitigate risk and reduce fatalities. The Rules focus on changing worker and supervisor behaviour in the workplace by raising awareness of the activities that are most likely to result in fatalities, and propose simple actions that individuals can take to protect themselves and others.

The report contains an Appendix A, a bow tie model risk evaluation for land transportation which may be downloaded as an A3 poster:

The main report may be downloaded from the Extranet and the public website, and directly from

The glossary of land transportation terms has also been updated, and may be downloaded here:

Accreditation Updates




  • Hassan Industrial Services, Damman, Saudi Arabia;
  • Institute of Workforce Education for Saudi Arabia (IWEKSA), Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia


  • Shelf Drilling Offshore Holding Ltd., Dubai, United Arab Emirates


  • Egyptian Drilling Company, Cairo, Egypt


Safety Alerts

For the latest safety alerts, visit

Alert 15-08: Disabled and non-functional safety devices leads to destruction of derrick board

Alert 15-09: Near miss – dropped six pound sledge hammer

Alert 15-10: Fatality on drill floor

Upcoming Events

Rigs Receive ISP Certificates

For certificates received since last LTI (in years):

  • Atlantica: Delta (1);
  • Pacific Drilling: Pacific Khamsin (3); Pacific Santa Ana (1);
  • Weatherford Drilling Int’l: Rig 151 (1); Rig 157 (3); Rig 798 (2); Rig 799 (1); Rig 844 (6); Rig 870 (4); Rig 890 (2); Egypt Support Team (6); KSA Support Team (4); Kuwait Support Team (15).
For certificates received since last recordable incident (in years):
  • Atlantica: Beta (1); Delta (1);
  • Ocean Rig: Poseidon (1);
  • Pacific Drilling: Pacific Santa Ana (1);
  • Weatherford Drilling Int’l: Rig 155 (4); Rig 798 (2); Rig 809 (1); Rig 810 (1); Rig 890 (2); KSA Support Team (4).

New IADC Members

IADC welcomes 14 new members:


DRILLBITS Volume 26, Number 12

Tom Burke, Chairman • Jason McFarland, President • Amy Rose, Editor

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+1/713-292-1945. Fax +1/713-292-1946.

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