DRILLBITS – August 2018

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Propose Revisions to the Endangered Species Act

In the 25 July U.S. Federal Register, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service announced proposed revisions to regulations that implement portions of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Under the current ESA, species may be listed as either threatened or endangered, with regulations drafted to protect the habitat of an imperiled species.

The proposed revisions are intended to bring clarity and consistency to the implementation of the act’s requirements.

“IADC members take seriously their responsibility for operations that respect the environment, which includes species listed as threatened or endangered by the ESA. Drilling contractors support species protection and have operation plans in place to comply with all ESA regulations,” said Jason McFarland, IADC President. “We support the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA’s efforts to streamline the implementation of the ESA, which we believe will make the process of protecting the nation’s most imperiled species more efficient.”

More information about the proposed revisions can be found at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website.

U.S. Department of Interior Issues Proposed Draft of Unified Regional Boundaries

In accordance with Executive Order 13781, the U.S. Department of Interior recently submitted reorganization proposals, which includes establishing 12 unified regional boundaries across all DOI bureaus. Currently, DOI has 10 bureaus and 49 regions, each operating with unique regional boundaries. This has inhibited the sharing of resources and discourages a shared frame of geographic reference, resulting in operational and administrative inefficiencies.

The new draft identifies 12 common regions, which will enable better management of watersheds, wildlife corridors and trail systems. Indian reservations, national parks and other significant DOI land management units that cross watersheds and county lines were kept in the same region to promote efficiency. The 12 unified regions will improve coordination of government services, move decision-making closer to the people who utilize the resources and improve coordination between federal, state and local agencies.

More information, including maps of the proposed regional boundaries can be found at the Department of Interior website.

DRILLERSPAC – Political Action Committee (PAC) of IADC

The DRILLERSPAC is now up and running.  It 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.

To date, the DRILLERSPAC has raised $24,000 from 12 individuals.  $1,000 has been distributed to each of the following:  1) Senator Manchin (D-WV); 2) Senator Cruz (R-TX); 3) Congressman Hurd (R-TX); 4) Congressman Costa (D-CA); 5) Congressman Cuellar (D-TX); 6) Congressman Gonzalez (D-TX).

Washington D.C. Updates


The House is now out on August recess for the next five weeks. Look for your local Congressman in their districts at town halls and other venues. In July the chamber completed the conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act, Interior Appropriations (which funds BLM and BSEE among other agencies at Interior and the EPA), and a Resolution that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the US.


Instead of a five week recess, the Senate will continue to work for at least three of those fives weeks to focus on judicial nominations and appropriations bills.  In July, the Senate approved Robert Wilkie as Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

White House:

The President nominated Brett Kavanaugh as an associate member of the Supreme Court, replacing Justice Kennedy. In addition, the President has been very focused on all things trade related, including several proposed tariffs on China and the European Union, among others. Also, NAFTA negotiations have picked back up in earnest with the election of Mexico’s new President.


IADC Donates Drilling Matters Kiosk to Ocean Star Rig Museum

IADC recently donated a kiosk loaded with interactive educational information about the upstream oil and gas industry to the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum and Education Center in Galveston, Texas.

The kiosk content includes an interactive drilling rig, a 3D game and narrated videos, along with basic information about drilling equipment and operations, the importance of hydrocarbons in fueling the global economy, facts about industry safety and environmental stewardship and more. The material contained in the kiosk mirrors that contained online at IADC’s Drilling Matters website.

“The Ocean Star Museum is very important in educating the public about the benefits of our industry, and IADC is proud to support their mission,” remarked IADC President Jason McFarland. “IADC’s Drilling Matters project neatly dovetails with the work of the Ocean Star Museum and the Offshore Energy Center. We are confident that many museum visitors will enjoy and benefit from the content on the new kiosk.”

The Ocean Star Museum, docked at Pier 19 in Galveston, is supported by the Offshore Energy Center (OEC). In addition to operating the rig museum, the OEC furthers awareness of the upstream industry through educational programs for students; college intern events; quarterly Executive Speaker Series luncheons; and various fundraisers.

“This will be a welcome addition to the museum content, particularly for those visitors that want more information about hydraulic fracking” said OEC Executive Director Sandra Mourton. “The videos contain wonderful animation illustrating the hydraulic fracturing process and we are delighted to have it as an on-site resource.”

IADC’s Drilling Matters website is designed to be a high-level interactive and multimedia resource focused on the value of hydrocarbons to humanity and the fundamentals of drilling operations. To access all of the material, please visit the website at

IADC Australasia Chapter Issues 2017 Safety Awards

On 16 May, the IADC Australasia Chapter presented its members with Safety Awards for 2017.

The Award Program is open to all onshore and offshore members with a winner designated for each area. 9 of 11 IADC Australasia chapter member companies participated, resulting in an uptake rate of 81%, which was higher than previous years. The safety statistics for the participating companies were supplied quarterly and submitted in accordance with the 2017 ISP IADC Official Rules and Guidelines. Again this year the IADC ISP Program was able to support the Chapter’s Award Program by supplying the data and winner notification. This has enabled the award program to continue at a significantly reduced cost whilst maintaining the confidentiality requirements.

Some of the combined onshore and offshore key statistics were:

3,950,137 man- hours of operation

5 Medical Treatment cases

5 Lost Time Incidents

4 Restricted Work/Transfer Cases

TRIFR = 3.5400

0 Fatalities.

The 2017 winners:

Onshore – High Arctic Energy Services (PNG) Ltd

Offshore – Diamond Offshore Drilling

BSEE Extends Deadline for Comments on Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control Revision Proposed Rule

On 5 July, BSEE issued a notice to extend its deadline for comments on the Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control Revision Proposed Rule to 6 August. Though a joint trade association is being finalized between API, NOIA, PESA, IPAA, OOC, US Oil & Gas and IADC, all stakeholders are encouraged to individually submit comments as considered necessary and appropriate.

For more information, please contact Jim Rocco at

For more and information and to submit comments, click here.

U.S. Energy Information Administration Releases International Energy Outlook 2018

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently released their International Energy Outlook 2018, which focuses on how different drivers of macroeconomic growth may affect international energy markets. The report focuses on three heavily populated and high economic growth regions of the world: China, India and Africa. To perform the analysis, the EIA updated the IEO2017 Reference case with new macroeconomic information and varied macroeconomic assumptions to create side cases for each region.

The full report can be accessed via the EIA website.

Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Issues Impact Assessment on Colorado Ballot Initiative #97

In January 2018, Colorado Ballot Initiative #97 was received by the Colorado Secretary of State. The initiative would designate a 2500-foot buffer zone around “occupied structure” and “vulnerable areas”, and it is currently in the signature-collecting phase for inclusion on the November ballot.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission put together an impact assessment on the initiative, the most salient points of which include:

  • An estimated 54% of Colorado’s total land surface would be unavailable for new oil and gas development by adopting the buffer zone setbacks and federal land exemption proposed by Initiative #97. Of the non-federal land in Colorado, 85% would be inaccessible using these same criteria.
  • 78% of Weld County surface land (85% of non-federal land) would be off-limits to new oil and gas development. In Colorado’s top five oil and gas producing counties combined, 61% of the surface (94% non-federal land) would be unavailable.
  • “Vulnerable areas” buffers, which initiative #97 defines to include a range of surface hydrologic features, would have significantly larger impact than “occupied structure” buffers on making surface lands inaccessible to new oil and gas activity.

For more information on Initiative #97, please visit the COGCC website.

Concerned Groups Issue Petition to OSHA Regarding Occupational Exposure to Excessive Heat

In early June, a petition was submitted to OSHA in support of initiating a rulemaking process for the first federal standard that would protect outdoor and indoor U.S. workers from occupational exposure to excessive heat.

The petition was submitted by Public Citizen, a consumer and health advocacy group with more than 500,000 members, and includes the following supporters: former OSHA directors Eula Bingham and David Michaels, former CalOSHA director Ellen Widess, U.S. Davis heat expert Dr. Marc Schenker and 131 organizations and 89 other individuals.

The full petition can be accessed here.

For more information, please contact Rhett Winter at

Norway’s Accident Investigation Board Reports on Air Accident Near Turøy, Øygarden Municipality

Norway’s Accident Investigation Board’s investigation into the crash of the Airbus EC225 LP Super Puma helicopter that occurred on 29 April 2016 has been concluded. The findings of the investigation revealed that the accident resulted from a fatigue fracture in one of the eight second stage planet gears in the epicyclic module of the main rotor gearbox. See here for an informative video documentary illustrating the investigation results along with the report.

U.S. Department of Interior Announces Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale

On 12 July, the U.S. Department of Interior announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will make available for lease action approximately 78 million acres of offshore areas adjacent to Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Scheduled for 15 August, this forthcoming auction incudes all available unleased areas in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

More details can be found at the Department of Interior website.

UK Oil and Gas Authority Announces Production Efficiency Gains

The UK Oil and Gas Authority recently issued a report, UKCS Production Efficiency in 2017, which found that production efficiency on the UK Continental Shelf has improved for a fifth consecutive year, rising to 74%. The 1% improvement from 2015 helped contribute an additional 12 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) in 2017.

Key points in the report include:

  • Losses to production in 2017 were down to 200 million boe, from 210 million boe the previous year
  • Three out of five regions in the UKCS have seen improvements to production efficiency in 2017, compared to the previous year. In particular, the Southern North Sea (SNS) saw a 7% increase since last year recovering from a drop in 2016
  • Well losses across the UKCS fell by 11% in 2017 after a significant rise in 2016
  • Plant losses fell by 5% in 2017, helping to drive improved overall efficiency

To access the full report, please visit the UK Oil & Gas website.

International Regulators Forum Calls on Industry to Further Enhance Offshore Safety During Annual General Meeting

The International Regulators Forum (IRF) Annual General Meeting was convened in Aberdeen, Scotland on 7-8 June. Attended by representatives from all 10 member countries, the common theme for the conference is that opportunities persist in leveraging step change initiatives to continue to improve safety performance. Such opportunities are recognized in other industries’ practices, enhanced data collection and sharing efforts, and continuing to reflect on past incidents to sustain and refine current safety cultures. Industry and standards development organizations in attendance at the meeting included ISO, IOGP and IADC.

More information can be found here.

IADC Headquarters Has Relocated

IADC has moved! The IADC Houston office opened the doors to its new headquarters on 2 July, 2018.

The new IADC headquarters is located at 3657 Briarpark Drive, a mere half a mile from the old building. It offers a brand new, custom-designed office space, and modern meeting facilities that  offer significant value to IADC’s members.


IADC Accreditation Department Successfully Passes ISO 9001:2015 Recertification Audit

In February, IADC’s Accreditation Department successfully passed the ISO 9001:2015 recertification audit with zero findings and an added commendation for improvement since the previous year’s audit.

The ISO 9001 family addresses various aspects of quality management and contains some of ISO’s best-known standards, which provide guidance and tools for companies and organizations that want to ensure that their products and services consistently meet customer’s requirements. ISO 9001:2015 sets out the criteria for a quality management system and is the only standard in the family that can be certified to. This standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement.

“It is important that IADC’s accreditation division, as an accrediting body that holds training providers to course and quality standards, holds itself accountable for the quality of the services delivered to the industry,” said Brook Polk, Director – Program Development and Technology. “Obtaining the ISO recertification ties directly to ACD’s core mission of commitment to providing customer satisfaction with the highest quality products and services. It reinforces our drive for continued improvement and program integrity.”

For more information, please contact Brooke Polk at

IADC Prepares to Roll Out WellSharp Well Servicing Accreditation in 2018

This spring, IADC will roll out the new WellSharp Well Servicing Accreditation which will replace the old WellCAP well servicing courses. The new accreditation will offer four standalone course options, which include coiled tubing; snubbing; wireline and workover. It also introduces two new courses, which include Subsea Supplement and Oil and Gas Operator Representative Workover & Intervention Well Control.

The first WellSharp track, for drilling operations, was launched in 2015. It was the result of an industry-led effort to improve well control training and assessment. Compared with WellCAP, the curriculum puts greater emphasis on risk awareness and assessment.

For more information about converting to the new WellSharp Well Servicing Accreditation, please contact IADC’s Accreditation Department.


Minutes From 6/13 IADC DEC Tech Forum, “New Age in Drilling” Now Available

The IADC Drilling Engineers Committee’s 13 June Technology Forum, “The New Age in Drilling”, focused on how the generational changing of the guard impacts development of new technology, refinement of business models, and the perspective of drilling professionals

The event was hosted by National Oilwell Varco at its facility at 10353 Richmond Ave in Houston,

The agenda featured five up-and-coming drilling technologists to present their perspectives on technology, decision making and more. In lieu of individual Q&A, the speakers participated in a panel following all presentations.

In addition, spokespersons for DEC joint industry will provided updates on their work, and a proposal was made for a new JIP.

DEC Advisory Board Member Robin Macmillan of National Oilwell Varco opened the meeting, welcomed the attendees and reviewed the agenda.

JIP Updates

  • JIP DEC 1 “Drilling Systems Automation (DSA) Roadmap”: Robin Macmillan, National Oilwell Varco (Phase II, Stage I Full Report)
  • JIP DEC 2 “Decision Support for Dynamic Barrier Management” – Amar Ahluwalia, DNVGL (Project description; supporting slides)
  • JIP DEC 3 “Independent Verification and Validation of Sensors and Systems in Drilling: Phase I”, Maria Araujo, Southwest Research Institute (Project description)

JIP proposal: Carolyn LaFleur, HARC Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems, “Data Science for Life Cycle Assessment of Dual Fuel Diesel Engine Technology”

The HARC Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems Program (EFD) seeks industry support to develop a predictive model using advanced instrumentation and data science. The model will support planning and optimization by addressing uncertainties of fuel consumption, engine performance, emissions, and environmental factors.

Panel: “New Age of Drilling” – Robin Macmillan, moderator

  • Clena Abuan, Senior Technology Associate, BP: “Where Creativity Sits” (no slides used)
  • Theresa Baumgartner, Drilling Research Engineer, Shell: “A New Open-source Culture for Operators to Accelerate Value Gains from Drilling Data Analytics” (presentation not available)
  • Stephanie Mertz Farrar, Process and Reliability Manager, Phoenix Technology Services: “How Does the Current Generation Differ in Its Approach to Technology and Decision-making?”
  • Mete Mutlu, Engineer, Subsea Task Force, Transocean, “From Sensor to End User: Offshore Well Control Equipment Condition Monitoring” (presentation not available)

Following the presentations and discussion, Mr Macmillan adjourned the meeting. Lunch was sponsored by NOV.

The IADC DEC website is For questions about DEC in general, contact Mike Killalea, 713-292-1956,


SPE to Host Enhancing HSE Performance for Drilling Operations Workshop

SPE will host a 3-day workshop, Enhancing HSE Performance for Drilling Operations, on August 14-15 at the Anadarko Tower in the Woodlands, outside of Houston, Texas.

IADC representatives will be on hand to present on Drilling Matters, IADC’s multimedia educational website.

For more information and to register, please visit the SPE website.

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

Add a Link to Your Website

Show the browsers to your website that Drilling Matters to you. IADC’s is an educational tool designed to dispel myths and misconceptions about the petroleum industry, and demonstrate the value of our industry to humanity.

We encourage IADC members to post a link to on their websites. IADC will be happy to provide a reciprocal link on

If possible, please use the enhanced link below, which provides SEO content. A webmaster can easily insert this code on a website.

<!– ————————— BEGIN IMAGE LINK ————————— –>
<div><a title=”Drilling Matters, an interactive video-based educational site to improve public understanding of the oil and natural gas drilling industry” href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”dofollow”><img style=”max-width: 100%; height: auto;” src=”×500.jpg” width=”300″ height=”250″ /></a></div>
<!– ————————— END IMAGE LINK ————————— –>

Please contact Anthony Garwick ( with any technical questions.

For more information about Drilling Matters, contact Mike Killalea,, +1 713-292-1956.

IADC Lexicon Featured Term for July 2018

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.

Check out the new Random Term Generator.

This month’s Featured Term is:

 “Environment Plan” (Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations 2009 (Statutory Rules 1999 No. 228 as amended), Australia, prepared on 1 January 2012) :

Environment plan, in relation to an operator of an activity, means an environment plan submitted by the operator that is:

  1. accepted and revised from time to time under these Regulations; but does not include:
  2. if the environment plan is accepted in part — that part of the plan that is not accepted; or
  3. an environment plan for which the acceptance has been withdrawn.

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

Accreditation Updates


  • Missouri University of Science & Technology; USA (Conditional)
  • Tamkene Saudi Training Center; Saudi Arabia (Conditional);
  • Alam Al-Sahara Training Company, Saudi Arabia (Conditional);
  • Keane Group, USA (Conditional);
  • Steel Energy Services, USA (Conditional)


  • Alpha Drilling Tech Inc., Philippines

Safety Alerts

For the latest safety alerts, visit

Alert 18-02: Fatality – Struck by/Caught Between Pipe Handling Catwalk Machine

Upcoming Events

Rigs Receive ISP Certificates

For certificates received since last LTI (in years):

  • PV Drilling: PV Drilling VI (3); PV Drilling I (11); PV Drilling VI (5)
For certificates received since last recordable incident (in years):
  • Sidewinder Drilling LLC: Sidewinder 128 (4)

New IADC Members

IADC welcomes 10 new members:


DRILLBITS Volume 28, Number 7

Steve Brady, 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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To change/cancel a Drill Bits subscription, send an e-mail message to
IADC Director – Membership Sharon Thorpe at