DRILLBITS – January 2019

In This Edition

Recurring Items

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Coast Guard Reauthorization Act of 2018

On 4 December, the U.S. President signed the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act of 2018 into law. Included in the legislation is a new framework for incidental vessel discharges. Known as the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), this mandate added new Clean Water Act content related to standards for incidental discharges, including ballast water, from vessels in normal operation. The EPA and Coast Guard are currently assessing the implications of the new law. Resulting directive and guidance are expected to be forthcoming. Also of interest in the law is a mandate that the Coast Guard enact measures to ensure consistency among Coast Guard marine inspectors when applying, interpreting or otherwise enforcing regulations and standards upon the maritime industry.

The 2018 law can be found here.

NOAA Issues Approval to Undertake Geophysical Survey Activity in the Atlantic Ocean

On 30 November 2018, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) finalized multiple incidental harassment authorizations for five separate applicants, which provide the preliminary authorization necessary for the Department of Interior to make final approval decisions for geophysical survey activities to be conducted in the Atlantic Ocean. This approval marks the first time since the 1980’s that the Federal Government has allowed such seismic testing with airguns in the Atlantic Ocean. The action was met with the introduction of a bill, by Congressman Don Beyer (D-Va), known as the “Atlantic Seismic Airgun Protection Act” to otherwise preclude this forthcoming activity.

For more information, please visit the NOAA website.

DRILLERSPAC – Political Action Committee (PAC) of IADC

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. For more information, please contact Elizabeth Craddock at

Washington D.C. Updates


The new Congress (116th) began earlier this month and Rep. Nancy Pelosi was once again voted in as Speaker of the House.  Immediately, the House voted and passed the remaining Appropriations bills needed to reopen the shuttered government agencies.  The House is also passing the bills individually to provide maximum flexibility to getting all of the government reopened.  The House has been busy reorganizing and getting Committee rosters squared away.  In addition, a group of House Democrats introduced a suite of eight bills aimed at blocking President Trump’s proposal to expand offshore oil and natural gas drilling around the country.  If all were enacted, the bills would ban or put a 10-year moratorium on offshore drilling in the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans, as well as the eastern Gulf of Mexico.  These bills, or nearly identical ones, have been introduced in previous Congresses.


The Senate has not taken up any of the recent Appropriations measurers approved by the House because President Trump has indicated he would veto those bills.  As such, the government shutdown standoff lingers.  In the meantime, on the Senate Floor is legislation meant to show support for Israel, the U.S.’s bedrock ally in the Middle East, and Jordan, another steadfast ally.  S. 1, Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019, includes new sanctions against human rights violators in the Assad regime — an overarching concern expressed after the U.S. announced the troop pullout that could presumably leave strategic decisions to Russia and Iran in the war-ravaged country. The bill would authorize security assistance to Israel, essentially seeking to codify into the U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2016. Through that memorandum, Israel would receive foreign military grant assistance from the U.S. between fiscal years 2019 and 2028. That would amount to $3.3 billion annually or $33 billion over 10 years. The same memorandum also ensures that Israel also receives U.S. financial support for missile defense projects in the form of $500 million per year, or $5 billion over the decade.

White House:

Most of the Federal Government currently remains closed due to a standoff between Congress and the President on funding for the border wall along the U.S. southern border.   The Department of Interior is continuing to process onshore oil and gas permits at the moment, but offshore permitting has stopped, and onshore will likely come to a halt as the shutdown continues.  The President has nominated the current Deputy Administrator of the EPA, Andrew Wheeler, for the top spot vacated by former Administrator Pruitt.  The Senate could confirm him this month, despite the shutdown.


Kevin Neveu Elected as 2019 IADC Chairman

The IADC Board of Directors has elected Kevin Neveu, President and CEO of Precision Drilling, as its 2019 Chairman. Julie Robertson, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Noble Corp, was elected as Vice Chair.

For the IADC Division posts, Roddie Mackenzie, Senior VP of Marketing, Innovation and Industry Relations for Transocean, will serve as VP of the Offshore Division. Scott McKee, VP Marketing for Cactus Drilling Co, was elected as VP of the North America Onshore Division. Lee Womble, VP Sales-Drilling Systems with Cameron, a Schlumberger company, was reelected as VP of the Drilling Services Division.

In addition, Scott McReaken, CEO and Director of Sevan Drilling, will continue to serve as IADC Secretary/Treasurer.

Mr Neveu has 37 years of experience in the oilfield services sector, holding various technical, marketing, management positions over his career. Previously, he was President of the Rig Solutions Group of National Oilwell Varco and held senior management positions with it and its predecessor companies in London, Moscow, Houston, Edmonton and Calgary.

Mr Neveu is currently an Advisor for the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy and the Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee for the International Association of Drilling Contractors. He is a former Board member of Finning International, Bonanza Creek Energy and Rig Net. He is also a former member of the Advisory Board for The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta and Waterski Wakeboard Canada.

Mr Neveu holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and is a graduate of University of Alberta. He is also a registered Professional Engineer in the province of Alberta and has completed the Harvard Advanced Management Program in Boston, Mass.

Ms Robertson was named Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Noble in 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 since 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, she 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’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and attended the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard School of Business.

United Nations Hosts Climate Change Convention

From 2 to 15 December, 2018, 197 nations and 14,000 delegates met in Katowice, Poland for the CoP24 session, otherwise known as the Katowice Climate Change Conference. Of primary concern was the completion of guidelines that will operationalize the 2016 Paris Climate Change Agreement. Known as the Katowice Climate Package, the guidelines completed during this session provide information about how each nation will document its domestic climate actions via Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) scheme. Other guidance within the guidelines includes:

  • New finance targets to support developing countries – mobilizing $100 billion per year beginning in 2020.
  • How to conduct the Global Stocktake of the effectiveness of climate action in 2023.
  • How to assess progress on the development and transfer of technology

More information and further details on the outcome of CoP24 can be found here.

Oil & Gas UK Releases 2018 Environmental Report

On 6 December, 2018, Oil and Gas UK released its 2018 Environment Report, which provides a summary of the UK’s offshore industry environmental performance for 2017. Key findings include:

  • 2017 saw a reduction of 3% in the volume of produced water discharged to the sea during oil and gas production when compared to 2016.
  • Reinjection of produced water increased by 10% on the year, and is at its highest recorded level.
  • Industry’s greenhouse gas emissions contribute around 3% of the total UK emissions, the same proportion as 2016.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions per installation were lower in 2017 than in 2016.

The entire report can be found on the Oil and Gas UK website

Well Control Institute Elects New Board Members

During the Well Control Institute (WCI) board meeting in early November, two new members of the Board were named. Mike Nuss, Executive VP – US & Latin America Operations for Ensign Energy will serve as a drilling contractor representative on the WCI Board. Jim Taylor, Vice President Consulting & Project Management for Halliburton, will serve as a service company representative on the WCI Board.

The Well Control Institute encourages safe control well practices and well bore integrity through collaborative consideration toward advancing competency, processes, technology and best practices.

More information about the WCI can be found here.

IADC Presents at OSHA Conference Oil & Gas Safety and Health Conference

On 4-5 December, IADC staff were invited presenters at the OSHA Oil & Gas Safety and Health Conference in Houston. Mark Denkowski, IADC Vice President Accreditation Operations presented, “Advances in Well Control Training: A Leap Forward in Content, Retention, and Data-Driven Analysis”. He talked about IADC’s goal to create a system that will provide the tools necessary to ensure that personnel with well control responsibilities retain and enhance the knowledge necessary to maintain well control, in order to offer tools and content to mitigate knowledge decay and new content that will support continuous learning.

IADC’s Brooke Polk, Director, Program Development & Technology, presentation, “Addressing CRM Through Safety-Related Training and Industry Collaboration” focused on how industry is collaboratively developing WellSharp Plus, which is a position-specific team and scenario-based well control course that integrates nontechnical and technical knowledge and skills needed in complex well control situations. She also discussed the best ways to equip well control instructors to deliver this type of training.

For more information about the presentations, please contact Mark Denkowski at or Brooke Polk at

Singapore’s Maritime & Port Authority Bans Use of Open Loop Scrubbers in Port Waters

In anticipation of IMO’s low sulphur fuel requirements that will come into force on 1 January, 2020, the Maritime & Port Authority in Singapore recently announced that it will prohibit the use of open loop sulphur scrubber technology from being used within the waters of Singapore.

As one of the means to comply with the low sulphur emission requirements, scrubber technology is being considered by a significant number of maritime operators, particularly for existing vessels where such technology would allow for the continued use of current machinery. However, scrubber operation produces a sulphur precipitate that administrations are increasingly questioning when open loop systems provide for disposal into the water column. Singapore is one of the first maritime administrations to go on record for prohibiting the practice.

For more information, please contact Jim Rocco at

Linda Hsieh Promoted to Editor & Publisher; Bill Krull Joins IADC

Linda Hsieh has assumed the role of Editor & Publisher for IADC’s Drilling Contractor magazine, succeeding Mike Killalea, who will retire from IADC in March after nearly three decades with IADC. Ms Hsieh, who joined IADC in 2005, previously served as the publication’s Managing Editor. In her new role as Editor & Publisher and leading IADC’s Communications department, Ms Hsieh will oversee the editorial content of the magazine, as well manage and grow the department’s business and financial operations, including the IADC Bookstore. In addition, Ms Hsieh will serve as staff liaison for two IADC technical committees: the IADC Advanced Rig Technology (ART), including the Drilling Control Systems Subcommittee, the BOP Controls Subcommittee and the group’s three Spark Tank events per year; and the IADC Drilling Engineers Committee (DEC), which holds four Technology Forums a year on topics ranging from automation to drilling data to how the industry can push the limits on exploration drilling. Further, Ms Hsieh will facilitate the IADC Drilling Services Advisory Panel.

“It has been a privilege working with Linda Hsieh for the past 13 years,” Mr Killalea said. “Linda has consistently demonstrated high levels of competence, dedication, and integrity. She is one of the most meticulous individuals that I have ever encountered. Linda has clearly shown she has the skills and capacities to manage both editorial and business facets of IADC’s media and publications. As Editor and Publisher, I am confident that Linda will take the IADC Communications Department to the next level.”

In addition, Bill Krull has joined IADC as Global Sales Manager. In this role, he will manage global advertising sales for Drilling Contractor magazine, as well as digital and online revenue streams. Additionally, he will oversee the IADC Bookstore and be tasked with growing the sales of IADC’s educational publications. Mr Krull has been working for IADC on a consulting basis for nearly a decade.

“Bill brings a lot of energy to the Communications department of IADC. His wealth of experience and expertise in sales will take both Drilling Contractor and Bookstore growth to the next level. We are excited to have Bill onboard with us,” Ms Hsieh said.

Linda Hsieh can be reached at and Bill Krull can be reached at


WellSharp Surpasses 100K-Trained Milestone

WellSharp®, IADC’s well control training and assessment standard, recently surpassed its 100,000-certified milestone. Launched in March 2015, the WellSharp program now comprises 10 drilling operation and well servicing courses, more than 500 instructors, 160 accredited training providers, about 1,100 test proctors, and is offered in 5 languages in 37 countries.

“As a member of the IADC WellSharp Advisory board, it is exciting news to know IADC reached over 100K-certified in the program,” says Fritz Golding, Director of Learning and Development at Noble Drilling. “This is a great accomplishment for the industry as we strive for safer operations and knowledgeable personnel.”

IADC’s President, Jason McFarland, emphasizes that “IADC WellSharp has provided our industry with robust, well-rounded well control training since it was instituted more than three years ago.”

New courses added to the original Drilling Operations Awareness, Introductory, Driller, and Supervisor courses include the following Well Servicing courses: Coiled Tubing, Snubbing, Wireline, Workover, O&G Operator Representative, and a Subsea Supplement. A Well Servicing Introductory and a WellSharp Plus course will be added to the list before the end of 2018, and a Drilling Operations Engineer course will be added in 2019.

The WellSharp Plus course represents a new shift in well control training as it integrates specific aspects of crew resource management (CRM) throughout technical training. In addition, IADC and the industry has now embarked on the next step in this well control standard—a new venture to measure baseline knowledge retention, facilitate continuous learning, and reduce knowledge decay between renewal cycles.

The increasingly comprehensive list of courses is intended to encourage companies to send their personnel to the course that is specifically designed for their position on the rig.

With the goal of improving the program’s credibility and effectiveness, IADC committees and workgroups are using a research- and data-driven approach to improving content delivery while continuing to refine course content and testing protocols.

Matt Parizi, Well Control Training Advisor at Chevron, explains that “reaching this milestone is a significant accomplishment towards Well Control competency and fluency in the Drilling and Completion community across the oil and gas industry. This is the true meaning of an industry-driven effort for well control training.”

Golding added that “WellSharp was developed with the help of industry representatives who saw a need to improve curriculum and delivery standards. Today, the IADC WellSharp program is stronger than ever and I look forward to the next milestone as we see industry fundamentals improving.”

“The overwhelming success of this program is directly attributable to the hundreds of hours of work contributed by IADC members and subject matter experts to revamp our approach to well control training,” explains McFarland. “The industry is certainly safer as a result, and I congratulate all of those who have successfully completed the program.”

The Drilling Industry thrives on hard work, toughness, and self-sufficiency, and the transition to WellSharp certainly called upon those qualities. This effort emerged from two goals: to reduce well control incidents and to “self-regulate”. Over several years, hundreds of volunteers contributed their time and expertise–their sweat-equity, their passion for the industry—to make WellSharp a success



ART DCS Subcommittee Announces Meeting Dates, to Develop Guidelines for Sensors, Machine Safety

Rig-sensor stewardship and machine safety are on the horizon for the IADC Drilling Control Systems Subcommittee.

DCS Chairman Nathan Moralez, BP, said that sensor stewardship is targeted at Data Producers, rather than Data Owners.DCS Co-chair Robert van Kuilenburg has already developed preliminary work. As Mr Moralez envisions it, the DCS would work toward improved maintenance of sensors.

Another project is development of a guideline outlining minimum safety features for drilling rigs. As envisioned, this guideline would make recommendations on safety features that should be employed in a drilling control system to enhance safe operation of a rig. A document setting forth some key elements that the proposed guideline should address can be accessed here.

During 2019, the DCS SC will meet on the second Thursday of each month. The complete schedule of DCS meeting dates is available here .

The DCS Subcommittee operates under the auspices of the IADC Advanced Rig Technology Committee.

For information on the IADC ART DCS Subcommittee, contact Mike Killalea (, +1 713 292 1956) or Linda Hsieh (, +1 713 292 1966).

IADC Cybersecurity Committee Updates

The IADC Cybersecurity Committee ended 2018 on a high note with a well-attended third annual cybersecurity workshop sponsored by BP in December. The workshop served as a forum for drillers, operators, and the service sector to discuss potential cyber-attack on both land and offshore drilling assets, and to discuss how to protect, detect and respond to the cyber-attacks.

The workshop was organized as a red team and blue team interactive exercise where participants were divided into groups to collaborate on: (1) tabletop execution of cyber-attacks (act as the attacker) and (2) develop response actions (act as the responder). Some of the groups focused on land rigs, while other groups focused on offshore rigs.

Cyberattacks have the potential to devastate entire companies, thus, cybersecurity has quickly become a major corporate concern. IADC has actively pursued the development of cybersecurity solutions and guidelines as they relate to drilling assets for nearly five years. The Association has focused on developing best practices based on existing standards to assist drilling companies as they build cybersecurity into industrial control systems (ICS) and operational technology (OT) systems across the industry value chain.

The Cybersecurity Committee will host its next meeting on February 14th. For more information about the committee, please visit the IADC website.

The Cybersecurity Committee hosted a workshop on 13 December at BP's offices in Houston. The planning committee included (from Left to Right): Ben Ramduny, Seadrill Juan Negrete, Rowan Nathan Singleton, H&P Melissa Mejias, IADC Michael Edwards, BP Brittani Enget, BP Matthew Romero, ABS Consulting

The Cybersecurity Committee hosted a workshop on 13 December at BP’s offices in Houston. The planning committee included (from Left to Right): Ben Ramduny, Seadrill; Juan Negrete, Rowan; Nathan Singleton, H&P; Melissa Mejias, IADC; Michael Edwards, BP; Brittani Enget, BP; and Matthew Romero, ABS Consulting

IADC Drilling Engineers Committee Announces 2019 Events

Mark your calendars for four half-day Technology Forums this year to be organized by the IADC Drilling Engineers Committee (DEC):
Q1: 12 March, “MPD – Are We There Yet?”
Q2: 26 June, “Drilling Automation – Where Are We and Where Do We Need to Be?”
Q3: 25 September, “Drilling Data – What Is Available? How Good Is It? What Can We Do With It?”
Q4:  13 November, “Contractor Integration – Status and Future of the Integration of Services Provided by the Drilling Contractor”

Agendas for each event will be posted closer to their dates. All events will be in Houston, with locations TBA.

Questions about the DEC can be sent to Linda Hsieh (


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 ( or Mike Killalea (

DrillPad Strives to Help Build Well Control Proficiency

IADC’s Useful Resources web page offers a link to materials designed to help build and assure individual and crew well control competency and proficiency anywhere in the world. The DrillPad Deployment Well Control Drill Trainer Training Template and the companion DrillGuide Example are freely available from the

“IADC is pleased to offer these DrillPad resources through our website, and believes that this will be a positive step for the industry,” remarked IADC President Jason McFarland. “IADC has long pioneered and worked to develop industry best practice for training in well control, and DrillPad neatly dovetails with our mission of ensuring safe rigs worldwide.”

The PowerPoint file DrillPad Trainer Training is offered to assist trainers in developing an effective program of well control drills. It includes keys to effective drills, critical skill sets, grading criteria, common pitfalls, and more.

The PDF Well Control Drill Guide provides lists of drills, questions, and attributes within DrillPad. The guide is meant to be used in conjunction with rig-specific well control procedures to conduct and assess performance during well control drills. The objective is to ensure that all members of the rig team with well control responsibilities are aware of their specific responsibilities, possess an understanding of well control commensurate with those responsibilities, and can confidently execute their duties when required.

Each well control drill details the drill type, potential participants, exercises, caution guidance, assessment guidance, questions, skills assessed, and more.

DROPS RP and Gap Analysis Tool Available from IADC

The Useful Resources page on provides a link to a Recommended Practice to prevent and mitigate dropped objects in oil and gas operations. Dropped objects are a critical safety issue in numerous industries. This Recommended Practice, developed by the DROPS network, intends to set basic requirements for dropped object prevention that can be incorporated into existing companies’ Safety Management Systems (SMS). DROPS is an industry-wide oil-and-gas initiative whose mission is to prevent dropped objects by providing supporting engagement and learning materials, as well as setting industry-recognized best practices. The link also provides access to the DROPS RP Gap Analysis Tool, an Excel spreadsheet.

“Improving industry HSE and training is a major IADC mission,” said IADC President Jason McFarland. “As such, helping industry cut the incidents of dropped objects is important to our members and their employees. We hope that helping our members easily access this DROPS RP

According to DROPS, the RP sets out minimum recommended practices that support the prevention of dropped objects and the development of policies and procedures for company SMSs. DROPS notes that the RP is not intended to be considered the finalized requirements of a company Dropped Object Prevention Scheme (Scheme).

The link to the DROPS RP and Gap Analysis Tool is at

IADC ISP Plaques Showcase Company Safety Record

Safety should not be competitive in the drilling industry, but bragging rights always are!

You have worked hard to build an impressive safety record. Your employees pay close attention to ensure that they work safely.

Let your customers know about it. IADC ISP plaques are a stand-out way to ensure the world knows how successful your accident prevention program is.

IADC has two types of ISP plaques available. The Executive Grade: Bronze-tone safety excellence medallion on a red velvet background with gold engraved text on a raised bronze-tone plate. Supreme Grade: Laser engraved text with company name, rig name or number and IADC logo in raised gold lettering. Both plaques include company name, rig name or number with the numbers of years without a Lost time or recordable incident.

IADC acknowledges the rigs in the monthly DrillBits newsletter.

Get extra plaques for the office, rig, and your top employees. Fire those guys up with a well-deserved pat on the back.

IADC ISP plaques are only available to companies participating in the IADC ISP program, the industry’s definitive safety statistics program since 1961.

For more information on ordering plaque please contact Loretta Krolczyk at

To participate in ISP, please email

IADC Lexicon Featured Term for January 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:

“Normal Pressure” (API RP 59, Recommended Practice for Well Control Operations, Second Edition, May 2006) :

Formation pressure equal to the pressure exerted by a vertical column of water with salinity normal for the geographic area.

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

Accreditation Updates




  • Multiservicios en Seguridad Industrial Proteccion Ambiental y Calidad, Mexico;
  • Precision Drilling Company LP, Houston, Texas

Upcoming Events

Rigs Receive ISP Certificates

For certificates received since last LTI (in years):

  • Perisai Drilling SDN BHD: Perisai Pacific 101 (3);
  • COSL Drilling Pan Pacific Ltd.: COSL POWER (5)
For certificates received since last recordable incident (in years):
  • Weatherford Drlg Int’l: Rig 867 (2); Rig 180 (2); Rig 157 (2); Rig 812 (1); Rig 155 (6); Saudi Support Team (1)

New IADC Members

IADC welcomes 15 new members:


DRILLBITS Volume 29, Number 1

Kevin Neveu, Chairman • Jason McFarland, President • 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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IADC Director – Membership Sharon Thorpe at