DRILLBITS – January 2020

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IADC Hosts U.S. Senator John Cornyn in Houston Office

On Friday 10 January, IADC hosted U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) in its Houston office for a fundraising breakfast coordinated by the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, and supported by IADC DRILLERSPAC, DEPA PAC and other participating contributors. From Left: Mark Denkowski, IADC; Bob Warren, IADC; Mike Bowie, Baker Hughes; Jason McFarland, IADC President; Senator Cornyn; Liz Craddock, IADC; Lee Womble, Cameron, a Schlumberger Company; Matt Giacona, IADC

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.

Washington D.C. Updates


The House passed two articles of impeachment in December. Despite the widely reported hang-ups and maneuvering associated with impeachment, it is now largely out of the House’ hands and the chamber will look to resume pushing its policy priorities. First on this list be tackling PFAS and chemical reform; this month the house will take up a package by Rep. Debbie Dingell to that effect (H.R.535).  Energy and Commerce Committee members Reps. Pallone and Rush also unveiled climate legislation that they hope will serve as an outline for aggressive action on climate change in 2021. The legislation focuses on providing billions in funding for EV rebates and charging infrastructure buildouts. Additionally, the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis will continue work on its own climate policy report, due out in March. Lawmakers have said it will likely be a set of emissions reduction and environmental justice principles paired with specific policy recommendations and existing legislation.


Although impeachment was intended to be the Senate’s first legislative item of 2020, Democratic house leaders have decided to delay sending the articles to the chamber, effectively guaranteeing business as usual will continue for the moment with more votes on Trump Administration nominees going into the new year. The first weeks back will see several of these votes.  On the trade front, the Finance Committee held a markup the USMCA trade deal. White House officials have indicated that they expect the Senate to pass the deal sometime this month. On the energy front, leaders of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee have signaled they will revive efforts to enact a comprehensive legislative package to update energy policy for the first time in more than a decade. While it won’t address carbon pricing or regulation, the package will likely draw from the 52 energy bills that passed the committee last year that address efficiency, storage and clean energy research programs. 2020 will also see renewed debate regarding key clean energy credits that were left out after a broader tax agreement fell apart in the final hours of negotiations, as well as renewed efforts by Senate Democrats on the Environment and Public Works committee to pass comprehensive surface transportation reform.

White House:

The Trump Administration spent the last weeks of 2019 dealing with the ever-present impeachment crisis, trade negotiations with China, and foreign policy maneuvering against Iran. 2020 is an election year, and it remains to be seen how tightly the Administration sticks to its policy objectives while balancing the President’s time on the campaign trail. The first week of January saw big news on the energy and environmental front, with the Trump Administration releasing its long-planned NEPA rewrite. The rewrite would essentially change broad language requiring environmental considerations of projects, making the language more immediate and direct with the goal of preventing indirect and vague environmental impacts from derailing projects and agency proposals. The new language is strongly opposed by environmental groups who claim it will effectively dismantle NEPA’s ability to account for cumulative and “big picture” environmental impacts.


IADC Celebrates 80 Years

In 2020, IADC will be celebrating it’s 80th anniversary. In recognition of the anniversary, IADC President Jason McFarland said:

“IADC was started in 1940 by a group of visionaries, who believed that drilling contractors needed a collective voice to advocate for their interests within our industry. From that small but auspicious start, IADC has grown, weathering massive industry changes and the various upturns and downturns, into the modern and influential association we are today. I’m proud to be leading IADC into the future, particularly as we face head on some of our industry’s most pressing issues, serving as the space where we can work together on solutions. For as far as we have come since 1940, our core values as an association have remained the same, and advancing the interests of drilling contractors remains our focus. This year, we will be honoring and celebrating our past, while looking forward to our future, and I invite you to join us. Stay up to date with us on social media, attend an IADC conference, get involved with your local chapter, contribute on an IADC committee. Our strong 80-year history has only been possible because of our membership’s commitment to supporting the Association, and your expertise and participation is valued.”

Basin Strong Event Planned to Support Midland-Odessa Community

On Thursday, 16 January, industry leaders first responders, local and state government representatives, community leaders and activists will gather together for Basin Strong, an event that will raise money to support those who were affected by the tragic events in Texas’ Midland-Odessa area on 31 August 2019. 7 members of the community tragically lost their lives and dozens of others were injured that day. The event, which the IADC Permian Basin is supporting, will feature a black-tie benefit dinner followed by a community concert featuring country music legend Clay Walker, both of which will raise money for the Odessa Community Foundation’s August 31 Fund.

For more information about the event, to donate, sponsor a table or attend, please visit the Basin Strong website at:

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.

New WCI Board Members Named

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

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.

IADC Announces New Hires and Roles within International Development Division

IADC’s International Development Division recently announced several staff changes. These include:

  • Hisham Zebian has been promoted to the position of Vice President, Eastern Hemisphere. Mr. Zebian joined IADC in 2018 as Regional Representative for the Middle East and Africa. Since that time, he established and strengthened IADC’s connections in the both regions and represented the Association and its members at numerous industry events and engagements. Based in Dubai, he is well-placed to assist IADC’s Southeast Asia and Australasia Chapters and regional representatives, as well as IADC’s Eastern Hemisphere conference team.

He can be contacted at

  • Martin Flojgaard recently joined IADC as regional representative for the Australasia region. He succeeds Derek Morrow who retired in late December. Mr. Flojgaard has more than 37 years of international experience in drilling operations, FPSO’s and vessel operation. He has been instrumental in startup drilling operations in Australia and the Caspian for a number of MODUs. His experience as Managing Director and Area Manager for Maersk Drilling Australia will be a valuable resource for IADC and its member companies in the Australasia region.

Mr. Flojgaard can be reached via his IADC email address at

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  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 Available

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 January 2020

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:

“Standard Conditions” ( Source: Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf, 30 CFR 250 (2013):

Atmospheric pressure of 14.73 pounds per square inch absolute (psia) and 60 °F.

(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 7 new members:


DRILLBITS Volume 30, Number 1

Julie Robertson, 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.

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