DRILLBITS – December 2019

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IADC Praises Senate Confirmation of Dan Brouillette as Secretary of Energy

In early December, the U.S. Senate confirmed Dan Brouillette as Secretary of the Department of Energy (DOE). In response, IADC President Jason McFarland issued the following statement:

“The research and technology expertise at the Department of Energy is unmatched. With the plentiful natural resources that the U.S. possesses, it is our hope that under Mr. Brouillette’s leadership, the DOE will continue to focus on how we can use our abundant energy resources to benefit the U.S. and the world.  Secretary Brouillette has a successful history of supporting U.S. energy, and is well suited for his new role at DOE. IADC and our members look forward to an open dialogue with DOE leadership and are able and willing to serve as an educative resource to those who wish to understand more about drilling rigs and how they operate and the complexities of our business. As such, we look forward to working with DOE and Secretary Brouillette on issues that impact the oil and gas industry in the United States.”

IADC Presents Transocean Drillship Photo to Congressman Steven Palazzo

On 4 December, IADC was delighted to present Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-MS) with a framed photo of Transocean’s Discoverer 534 deepwater drillship, the same drillship that the Congressman worked on one summer several years ago. IADC is grateful to have a friend on Capitol Hill who has actually done the work and understands what our industry brings to the table. Special thanks to Transocean for sending the photo to D.C. for IADC to present to the Congressman. From Left: Matt Giacona, IADC; Congressman Palazzo; Liz Craddock, IADC.

Results of DRILLERSPAC Campaign

IADC’s DRILLERSPAC ran a fundraising campaign from May 20-June 20 with a goal to raise $50,000.  To date, $37,000 has been received from 71 individuals and 13 companies!  Thank you for those contributions.  In addition, Latshaw Drilling had 43 employees who committed to supporting the PAC.  Thank you Trent and Latshaw Drilling!

In the 2018 midterm elections, the IADC DRILLERSPAC supported 14 candidates in Senate and Congressional races, with 13 of those winning their races, a 93% success rate. The next election cycle includes key races in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, Mississippi and Alaska, among others, and IADC will again be supporting candidates who have demonstrated a commitment to supporting energy and the drilling industry.

The DRILLERSPAC was sanctioned by IADC’s Board of Directors to further IADC’s goal of advocacy engagement with federally elected Members of Congress. DRILLERSPAC is not affiliated with any political party. It is organized and conducted on a voluntary, non-partisan basis. DRILLERSPAC is overseen by the PAC Board of Trustees, which is comprised of 10 members – three from offshore companies, three from onshore companies, two from drilling services companies and two IADC employees.

Washington D.C. Updates


The House has just two weeks left this year to wrap up impeachment hearings, pass the USMCA, NDAA, CR/Appropriations and tie up any other legislative loose ends that Members are eyeing. The likelihood of all of this getting done is low, and experts believe that a USMCA vote is not held in the near future (although IADC is holding out hope for completion this year). On the energy front, House Democrats again held a slew of hearings in Natural Resources Committee in November that examined legislation aimed at curtailing surface mining activities and regulating fishing activities related to NOAA jurisdiction. Finally, despite passing an Export-Import Bank Reauthorization that would curtail funding for oil and gas projects, the Senate has not shown an inclination to vote on it.


The Senate spent the last month in what has been a familiar holding pattern; quietly confirming nominees and slowly addressing a mountain of unconsidered appropriations bills that were passed by the House.   The Senate this week confirmed the new Secretary of Energy, Dan Brouillette.  The Senate also confirmed an additional 10 Trump-appointed judges for various levels of federal courts. On the energy front, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee held several full committee hearings that examined issues and legislation related to energy development on federal lands. Going forward, Senators will begin a long holiday break likely followed by official impeachment trials proceedings. These proceedings will run six days per week and will gobble up the energy of most lawmakers, likely hampering the numerous Senators who are Presidential candidates’ ability to campaign effectively in January and February.

White House:

Now in full impeachment defense mode, much of President Trump’s attention has shifted to focus on House Democrats’ investigations and the 2020 election. On the energy front, the Administration approved 4 LNG export facilities in Texas this month and continued work on its rollback of EPA standards.. Positive signs for the Administration’s energy efforts came this month in the form of energy revenues; federal revenues from onshore and offshore oil energy production rose nearly 32% from 2018


Julie Robertson Named 2020 IADC Chair

The IADC Board of Directors has elected Julie J. Robertson as 2020 Chair of the association.

Ms Robertson has served as Chairman, President and CEO of Noble Corp since January 2018.

Previously, she served as Executive Vice President of the company from February 2006 and as Senior Vice President – Administration from July 2001 to February 2006. Ms Robertson also served continuously as Corporate Secretary of Noble from December 1993 until assuming the Chairman’s role in 2018. She also served as Vice President – Administration of Noble Drilling from 1996 to July 2001.

In 1994, Ms Robertson became Vice President – Administration of Noble Drilling Services. From 1989 to 1994, Ms Robertson served consecutively as Manager of Benefits and Director of Human Resources for Noble Drilling Services. Prior to 1989, Ms Robertson served consecutively in the positions of Risk and Benefits Manager and Marketing Services Coordinator for a predecessor subsidiary of Noble, beginning in 1979. She earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin and attended the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard School of Business.

Steve Brady Recognized as 2019 IADC Contractor of the Year

Steve Brady, Valaris, was named the 2019 IADC Contractor of the Year during the IADC Annual General Meeting in Austin on 8 November. Mr Brady served as IADC Chairman in 2018, dedicating his term to outreach, competency and advocacy.

The Contractor of the Year award is sponsored by National Oilwell Varco. It was established in 1998 to recognize an individual drilling contractor’s outstanding lifetime achievement in technical innovation, safety, and economic efficiency within the drilling industry. The prestigious industry award is the only one reserved exclusively for drilling contractors. All recipients of the Contractor of the Year award are nominated and selected by other drilling contractors who are IADC members.

Steve Brady receives the 2019 IADC Contractor of the Year Award. From Left: Clay Williams, NOV; Steve Brady, Valaris; Jason McFarland, IADC.

Mr. Brady joined Valaris – then Ensco – in 2002 and was appointed to the role of Senior Vice President – Eastern Hemisphere in December 2014. He previously served as Senior Vice President – Western Hemisphere, Vice President – Europe and Mediterranean, General Manager – Middle East and Asia Pacific, and in other leadership positions in the Eastern Hemisphere. Prior to joining Ensco, Mr Brady spent 18 years in various technical and managerial roles for ConocoPhillips in locations around the world.

Mr Brady holds a Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering from Mississippi State University.



Two new members have been named to the Well Control Institute Board of Directors.  Dale Bradford, VP – Western Hemisphere Offshore for Murphy Oil Corporation, has joined as an operator representative, while Steve Haden, Senior VP of Project Management for Halliburton, has joined as a service company representative.

WCI operates under the auspices of IADC to ensure that operators, contractors, equipment manufacturers, and service providers have a forum to provide oversight and leadership on key well control initiatives.  The WCI Board brings together drilling industry leaders from all sectors of the industry to develop comprehensive solutions needed to significantly improve well control performance worldwide

Kathy Willingham, Robin Macmillan Recognized with IADC Exemplary Service Awards

During the 2019 IADC Annual General Meeting in Austin, Kathy Willingham, Vice President Human Resources & HSE, Cactus Drilling Company and Robin Macmillan, Sr. Vice President, National Oilwell Varco, were recognized for their contributions to IADC with Exemplary Service Awards.

The awards recognize individuals’ notable for outstanding contributions to the drilling industry and to IADC. Recipients have, during their career, demonstrated their commitment to improving the drilling industry and advancing its safety, training or technology.

Kathy Willingham (left) receives an IADC Exemplary Service Award from IADC President Jason McFarland on 7 November 2019.

Kathy Willingham is Vice President of Human Resources and HSE at Cactus Drilling Company.  She has devoted substantially her entire career to the oil and gas industry.  In 1981, she began with AnSon Gas Corporation, an E&P company which included Anadarko drilling.  With a spin off in 1996 of Anadarko she began her first of startup companies, Bayard Drilling.   Following a sellout, she moved back to an E&P company, Continental Resources.   However, missing the never-ending turmoil of the drilling business and loving a challenge, Ms. Willingham helped start Nomac Drilling from ground zero to three years.  She was recruited in 2003 to help create Cactus Drilling.  Beginning with a staff of 30, she helped guide the company through a period of consistent growth, and it is currently the largest independent drilling contractor in the US. She has served as Chairman of the IADC Oklahoma-Texas Panhandle Chapter, and currently serves on the IADC Onshore Advisory Panel.

Robin Macmillan (left) receives an IADC Exemplary Service Award from IADC President Jason McFarland.

Robin Macmillan attained a degree in Geology from the University of Leeds in England and started his oilfield career many years ago on a rig in the Rio Grande Valley. Since then, he has worked in many countries including eight years in Latin America. Having joined drill bit company ReedHycalog in 1991, he worked in several sales and management positions including the management of Schlumberger Drilling and Measurements in Canada. He was appointed as President of ReedHycalog in 2008. His current position is Senior Vice President for Business Development at National Oilwell Varco.

Mr Macmillan has published technical papers on drilling automation, drill bit design and managed pressure drilling and holds a patent on drill bit design. He is chairman emeritus of the International Association of Drilling Contractors Advanced Rig Technology committee, has moderated several technical webinars for the Society of Petroleum Engineers and is a member of the International Society of Automation.

IADC Issues Recommendations on Jones Act Provisions to US Customs and Border Protection

IADC, along with other offshore trade organizations, recently provided recommendations to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in response to the agency’s latest Request for Comments addressing the applicability of the Jones Act to oil and gas activities on the U.S. OCS. The opportunity to provide IADC’s insights to the CBP on the issue come after a year-long series of meetings with CBP officials where IADC and other trade groups were able to clearly articulate the variety of offshore activities that are not captured within the statutory authorities of the Jones Act. These meetings led to the latest CBP consultation which has resulted in substantial progress toward resolving longstanding questions about applying the Jones Act cabotage laws to offshore construction work and vessel equipment. IADC looks forward to the CBP’s favorable consideration of recommendations submitted in the effort to alleviate confusion and instill pragmatic and reasonable practices for applying Jones Act cabotage laws to the U.S. OCS.

For more information on the issue, including access to the Final Joint Trade Letter submitted to the CBP, please contact Jim Rocco at

NOPSEMA Issues Guidance Notes

Australian regulator NOPSEMA recently issued a Guidance Note and a draft Guidance Note for those with operations in the region. They include:

Operational Risk Assessment Guidance Note. On 16 October, this guidance note was published to assist operators in developing, implementing and maintaining robust prcoedures to address the degradation of safety elements/processes leading ot increased major accident risk. This guidance note comes to fruition after two rounds of industry feedback and an operational risk assessment workshop that was previously convened. Though voluntary, these measures are intended to be incorporated into a facility’s safety case regime to address concerns such as management of change and associated risk assessments. The note can be found in its entirety on NOPSEMA’s website.

Draft Guidance Note: Powers of Health and Safety Representatives. On 29 October, NOPSEMA issues this notice for comment on its draft of the Powers of Health and Safety Representatives guidance note. It seeks to explain the powers of HSRs under the Offshoer Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 and how HSRs may exercise those powers. It also seeks to assist facility operators and employers meet their legal obligations for HSRs. NOPSEMA encourages all interested stakeholders to have their say prior to the publication of the guidance note. Operators and employers are strongly encouraged to work with their own HSRs to review the guidance note and develop relevant comments as necessary and appropriate. An overview of the draft guidance can be found at NOPSEMA’s website.

Senate ENR Committee Hosts Hearing on IMO Global Sulphur Standard for Marine Fuels

On 1 January 2020, the new International Maritime Organization’s new global sulphur standard for marine fuels will take effect.

On 10 December, the U.S. Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee hosted a hearing to examine the upcoming implementation of the regulation, 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex IV (Global 0.50% Sulphur Limit). IADC submitted comments after the hearing to be included in the record, noting that IADC offshore oil and gas members are well positioned to implement measures to meet the 1 January 2020 IMO Low Sulphur fuel requirements. IADC’s comments went on to note that the vast majority of MODUs have already made the transition from higher Sulphur (2.6%) Residual Fuel Oil to very low Sulphur (0.07%) marine gas oil distillates. Further, while it is understood that IMO 2020 low Sulphur requirements will continue to test many in the maritime industry towards lessening the emissions footprint, the global offshore oil and gas industry will persist in far exceeding baseline expectations come 1 January 2020.

For more information about the new IMO Sulphur standard, please contact Jim Rocco at

Entrepreneurs Pitch New Technologies at IADC’s ART Spark Tank

On 11 December, the IADC Advanced Rig Technology (ART) Committee held a Spark Tank forum. The Spark Tank provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to pitch their new technologies and products to a panel of operators and drilling contractors – also called sharks – who then provide their feedback.

During the meeting, four entrepreneurs showcased their technologies to four panelists: Riaz Israel, Team Lead – Wells Technology, BP; Matt Dalton, Technology Business Manager, Transocean; Greg Osten, Manager of Projects, Parker Drilling and Robert van Kuilenburg, Noble Drilling and ART Chairman who also served as Moderator of the forum.

Presenters included:

Real-Time Degredation Monitoring – Tab Manning, Pratt Hydraulics

Contaminated oil is one of the leading causes of component and system failures in hydraulics. The goal is to be able to predict failures before the occur. A reliable and proven solution is implementing the TAN Delta Oil Quality Sensor into the system for real monitoring for instantaneous feedback of the oil quality on a holistic level

Predicting Time to Failure – Sunil S. Vedula, CEO & Founder, Nanoprecise Sci Corp

Nanoprecise has created a patent-pending solution that combines physics, material science, and data analytics to diagnose issues with physical assets such as machinery and predicts the “Remaining Time to Failure.” The sensor extracts RPM, vibration, sound, temperature & humidity information, and the software analyzes the data to achieve anomaly detection, fault characterization & remaining useful life prediction. The software is built on AI algorithms that had only been limited to research papers until now.

Bolt Monitoring – Detecting Bolt Rotation, Shock and Vibration in the Derrick – Jim Profit, Salunda.

Real-time feedback on bolt position is currently missing. A new technology is available that can detect any bolts that are rotating in position as a precursor to failure/dropped object. By filling this sensor gap, a significant reduction in HSE risk is achieved, as well as significant cost savings. A real-time monitor provides multiple data points around the derrick and provides clear condition-based monitoring on the status of the derrick via a green/yellow/red status indicator. The network already integrates with OEM control systems. In addition, real-time surface vibration data can be compared with the operator’s downhole events, such as jarring, stuck pipe, stick-slip, BHA whirl, lateral & axial vibration, etc, and the effects better understood. Data is logged and date/time stamped for analysis and can be made available to operator networks for continuous local and remote monitoring.

A Safer and More Efficient Drillpipe Spinner – Paul Tompkins, Oilfield Products International (OPI)

OPI has developed a patent-pending drill pipe spinner that is safer, more efficient and versatile, making it a unique piece of equipment at any rig location. With these principles in mind, it is important to be intentional about every piece of equipment that goes into this process. OPI has created a viable solution to ensure these principles are upheld with their drill pipe spinner. Its versatility is evident in its technologically adept design, working seamlessly with rig augmentation software. Its efficiency is evident in its simplicity and maintenance friendly design, decreasing trip time by 40%. Furthermore, it can spin up and spinout drill pipe and tubulars both vertically and horizontally and can go from being a stand-alone spinner to a spinner directly installed in an Iron Roughneck.

For more information about the ART Committee and to be updated on future Spark Tank’s and other events, please visit the IADC website.

IADC Student Chapters Established in India, Louisiana State University

IADC recently announced the establishment of new student chapters at the Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT) in India and at Louisiana State University (LSU) in the United States.

The first international IADC Student chapter was established at MIT last month. During a presentation to MIT, IADC President Jason McFarland said, “Expanding the student chapter program outside of the U.S. has been a goal since its inception in 2017. To accomplish this goal by establishing a student chapter in India is particularly special, as IADC’s South Central Asia Chapter has long provided exceptional leadership in this region.”

Mr. McFarland went on to thank Mike DuBose, IADC Vice President, International Development for his leadership of the student chapter initiative and Arun Karle, President of Askara Enterprises who has supported IADC and its members in India for 25 years.

IADC Accreditation

IADC to Receive Excellence in Practice Award from Association for Talent Development

IADC’s Accreditation and Credentialing Division was notified in December that they will receive an Excellence in Practice Award from the Association for Talent Development (ATD) for their award submission titled “Well Control Training and Gap Identification in the O&G Industry.”

The award will be presented at the ATD May 2020 International Conference & Exposition in Denver, CO.

The Excellence in Practice Award “recognizes exemplary practices in workplace learning and talent development.”

IADC’s submission comprises the WellSharp program, its 11 distinct courses, the WellSharp exam database and system, program metrics and database analytics, and ongoing efforts to address identified knowledge gaps.

ATD’s award notification explains that this award is for training programs that have been developed and delivered using “proven practices that meet a demonstrated need, have appropriate design values, are aligned with other talent strategies, and deliver sustained, clear, and measurable results for their organizations.”

Updated Facilitator Certification for WellSharp® and WellSharp® Plus Instructors

IADC’s Facilitator Certification course has been updated to include the “human factors” (i.e., crew resource management) content for instructors seeking approval to teach the new WellSharp® Plus course, which integrates the human factors content into the technical well control scenarios.

The full 5-day course comprises 3 days of training on how to facilitate adult learning and 2 days of training on strategies for delivering and assessing content specific to the WellSharp Plus course. Attendees can take all or part of the course to satisfy the following requirements:

  • The full course satisfies the basic “train-the-trainer” requirements for WellSharp and WellSharp Plus instructors.
  • The 3-day portion of the course satisfies the train-the-trainer requirement for WellSharp instructors only. However, IADC encourages all WellSharp instructors to take the full course in order to have the option to teach WellSharp Plus in the future.
  • The 2-day portion of the course can be taken only by instructors who have previously obtained their IADC Facilitator Certification and are seeking approval to teach the new WellSharp Plus course.

Although the course was originally designed for well control instructors, any instructor in the upstream oil and gas industry is eligible to register for the course. Technical well control knowledge is not a prerequisite for the course.

The 3-day Facilitator course—which includes adult learning principles, the experiential learning cycle, how to guide debriefing discussions, and how to assess team-based learning—can benefit all instructors seeking strategies to help their learners to grasp, retain, and apply what they are learning. The 2-day Human Factors part of the course—comprising content related to situation awareness, communication, decision-making, teamwork, leadership, and performance-shaping factors—is intended for any instructor aiming to integrate, deliver, and assess human factors content, particularly in the context of technical well control training.

To register for the course, email for a registration form. The course will be offered in Houston on the following dates in 2020:

  • February 10–14
  • May 11–15
  • July 13–17

At least one course—in the spring or fall of 2020—will be offered in Latin America. Another course will be delivered in Dubai. Those dates will be announced in January. Additional course dates and locations will be offered, as needed. Email to request additional dates.

Facilitated learning methods have been proven to maximize learning by capitalizing on the human brain’s natural process of learning through experiences, which involves the learner interacting with the subject and then “debriefing”—reflecting on and drawing conclusions about the subject through a guided discussion. During this process, the instructor is the “guide” rather than the “lecturer.” Studies show that traditional lecture is, in general, the least effective way to learn. Therefore, this course provides attendees with a multitude of strategies that promote learner engagement.

For the Human Factors course, IADC solicited the help of human factors experts from multiple industries to create an expedited approach to instructor development. Although some of the content is in the context of well control (WellSharp Plus), any instructor integrating human factors and technical content in the upstream O&G can benefit from this 2-day course. The 3-day IADC Facilitator course is a prerequisite.

The new WellSharp Plus course is characterized as follows:

  • An alternative to WellSharp® for experienced personnel upon renewing their credentials.
  • A team-based well control course that emphasizes complex well control scenarios and the human factors that contribute to solutions.
  • A method for learning through problem-solving in the context of real-world case studies.

WellSharp Plus is different from WellSharp in the following ways:

  • Rig crews may take the course together.
  • Participants must qualify to gain entrance.
  • Content is delivered through facilitated experiential learning.
  • Participants learn from each other while working through real case studies.

Training providers are currently building WellSharp Plus programs as the industry embraces research-based best practices in regard to initial learning and knowledge retention, as well as the role of human factors in operational safety.


IADC Bookstore Enhanced and Upgraded

The IADC bookstore recently completed a thorough update and streamlining process to further advance the overall user experience. The print and electronic bookstores are now combined into one store and allow customers to quickly link to the desired choice and format of desired books, contracts, daily drilling reports, and streaming media. Top-selling items, including the 2T6 Drilling Report, the IADC Drilling Manual and the Drillers Knowledge Book, are featured.

IADC has worked with its partners, including Techstreet and Moxie Media, in making the user experience much easier while offering new products and delivery methods. The bookstore will continue adding relevant content for our users and customers over the coming weeks.


Android App for Mission Petrohouse Rolled Out

IADC’s Drilling Matters initiative to educate the public and dispel myths and misconceptions about our industry hit the ground running in 2019, with the roll out of an Android app for its popular online game Mission Petrohouse.

Mission Petrohouse players steer a retro rocket ship through a home and “zap” everyday products created from petroleum to fill the rocket’s fuel tank. The game tracks the number of items zapped, and provides helpful information about each item.

The new app can be downloaded from Google Play at

Drilling Matters is available on line at

For more information about Drilling Matters, contact Amy Rose (

IADC Lexicon Featured Term for November 2019

The IADC Lexicon ( is a compendium of upstream-related terms, which, unlike conventional glossaries, are official definitions drawn from legislation, regulation and regulatory guidance, standards (global, national and regional), and IADC guidelines. Terms often have multiple definitions from different sources.

This month’s Featured Term is:

“Load and Resistance Factor Design” ( Source: Offshore Standard DNV-OS-C101, Design of Offshore Steel Structures, General (LRFD Method, Det Norske Veritas, April 2011.):

Method for design where uncertainties in loads are represented with a load factor and uncertainties in resistance are represented with a material factor.

(click the link to read the full definition on the IADC Lexicon.)

Accreditation Updates




  • Petro-International Training Company, Jakarta, Indonesia

Crane Rigger

  • Elspeth Integrated Services Limited, Nigeria (Full)

Upcoming Events

Rigs Receive ISP Certificates

For certificates received since last LTI (in years):

  • Atlantica: Beta (4); Beta (3);
  • Japan Drilling CO. Ltd.: Hakuryu 5 (9); Hakuryu 10 (5); Hakuryu 11 (5); Hakuryu 12 (4); Sagadril 1 (3);
  • Noble Drilling Services Inc.: Noble Globetrotter II (3);
For certificates received since last recordable incident (in years):
  • Japan Drilling CO. Ltd.: Hakuryu 10 (7); Hakuryu 14 (1); Sagadril 1 (1);

New IADC Members

IADC welcomes 14 new members:


DRILLBITS Volume 29, Number 12

Kevin Neveu, Chairman • Jason McFarland, President • Amy Rose, Editor

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