DRILLBITS – June 2019

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IADC Comments on Lebanese Petroleum Authority’s Environmental Strategy Assessment

The Lebanese Petroleum Authority (LPA) recently issued a draft Environmental Strategy Assessment, which will likely contribute to a regulatory framework for the country’s burgeoning offshore oil and gas operations. The LPA requested input from a variety of industry stakeholders, and IADC responded with comments to clarify observations contained in the Assessment. IADC President Jason McFarland also noted:

“As the LPA continues to develop the necessary framework to build the country’s offshore industry, a balanced and pragmatic approach to implementing best practice methodologies will be critical. Optimizing productivity while sustaining a robust safety regime that ensures the well-being of the environment and those working offshore should be the priorities for the LPA. IADC and its members look forward to continuing to serve as an educative resource to the LPA as drilling operations in the country begin.”

BSEE Well Control Final Rule Published

On 15 May, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) published in the Federal Register the Blowout Preventer and Well Control Final Rule, which will enter into force on 15 July 2019. The Final Rule includes:

  • BSEE is not revising the 0.5 ppg default drilling margin requirement or the requirements for justifying any alternative downhole mud weight. However, based on comments received, BSEE is revising 250.414(c)(2) to allow operators the option to submit the required justification for BSEE approval at an earlier date rather than waiting to submit with APD as the previous rule required.
  • BSEE is retaining the existing requirement to maintain the capability to position the pipe within the shearing blade, however BSEE will not require that this be achieved using a separate mechanism and will allow this capability to be accomplished with the shear ram itself.
  • BSEE is keeping the language in existing 250.734(a)(1)(ii) that requires “both shear rams to be capable of shearing” the specific equipment in the hole.
  • BSEE is clarifying that the accumulator bottles for the autoshear/deadman systems need to be located subsea.
  • BSEE is revising 250.737 to allow the use of a 21-day BOP testing frequency instead of the previous 14-day interval if an operator meets certain critieria and if BSEE approves an operator’s 21-day BOP testing frequency request.

The Final Rule document can be found on BSEE’s website.

IADC Attends Swearing In of New General Counsel at U.S. Department of Energy

IADC’s Vice President, Government and Industry Affairs, Liz Craddock attended the swearing in ceremony for William (Bill) Cooper, General Counsel, Department of Energy (DOE). DOE Secretary Rick Perry was on hand to read the oath to Mr. Cooper and welcome him to his official duties. The ceremony was well attended by government officials and industry partners.

IADC Attends Center for Offshore Safety Regulatory Update During OTC Houston

During OTC in Houson in May, IADC attended the Center for Offshore Safety’s regulatory update with the U.S. Burea of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard. From Left: Jim Rocco, IADC; Derrick O’Keeffe, Head of Divison – Safety and Integrity, NOPSEMA; BSEE Director Scott Angelle.

Washington D.C. Updates


Following a slow April and a brief recess the last week of May, the House is poised to work the entire month of June. The House Appropriations Committee is processing spending bills for FY2020 appropriations, and lawmakers will begin working to amend each bill before heading to the House floor and ultimately sending to the Senate for consideration. While Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee are expected to continue to push a wide swathe of bills that would impose anti-drilling protections for various onshore and offshore areas, it is unlikely that any of these measures will receive floor time in the Republican-controlled Senate. In addition, in early May, the House passed H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, which would require the President to develop and update annually a plan for the United States to meet its nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement on climate change. Specifically, the plan must describe steps to (1) cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26%-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, and (2) confirm that other parties to the agreement with major economies are fulfilling their announced contributions. The bill prohibits federal funds from being used to withdraw from the agreement.


The Senate will continue to churn through President Trump’s sizable list of nominations. Leaders from both parties have been enthusiastic on reaching bipartisan deals/consensus concerning a wide range of policy areas including disaster relief, infrastructure funding, and consumer data privacy protections, but tensions with the Administration and disagreements in the House are stalling any notable progress.

White House:

Over the next month, the Trump Administration is expected to continue its energy and environmental regulatory rollback strategy, building off the withdrawal from the Paris Accord and the President’s refusal in late May to sign a communiqué aimed at shielding Arctic regions from human impact. Going forward, lawyers for the executive branch will continue to address legal filings from 3rd party groups challenging the Administration’s actions involving offshore drilling safety rollbacks and the approval of BLM lands for oil and gas development. As seen over the last month with an increase in tariffs on Chinese goods and the ending of sanction waivers for Iranian oil imports, the Administration will continue to promote its hardline stance on foreign trade and energy policy as we move into the summer months. On the immigration front, the Administration continues to deal with a plethora of funding and policy issues, with visa backlogs growing by the day and resources on the border stretched thin amid a surge in migration.


IADC North Sea Chapter Makes Charitable Donation

The IADC North Sea Chapter recently donated 6,500 to the RNLI lifeboat station in Aberdeen. The RNLI volunteers provide 24-hour search and rescue services around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts, operating more than 238 lifeboat stations and 240 lifeguard units. It is independent and depends entirely on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service.

IADC North Sea Chapter vice chairman Gary Holman made the presentation to Aberdeen Lifeboat Operations Manager Bill Deans MBE on board the city’s all-weather lifeboat Bon Accord.

During the check presentation, Mr. Deans said, “The IADC have been very generous over the years in supporting the RNLI’s work of saving lives at sea in Aberdeen. This donation from the North Sea drilling industry will make a significant contribution to vital equipment and training for Aberdeen’s volunteer lifeboat crews.”

Mr. Holman also noted the Chapter’s admiration for the volunteers who make the RNLI service possible.

The Chapter raised the funds for the donation during its annual Safety Awards event in April. During that event, the Chapter also presented a check for 5,000 to the UK Oil & Gas Chaplaincy Trust. The Chapter will host a charitable golf tournament on 21 June to raise money for Charlie House, a local charity supporting children with serious and life limiting illnesses.

For more information about the IADC North Sea Chapter, please visit the IADC website.

Gary Holman (centre left), vice chair of the IADC North Sea Chapter presents the £6,500 donation to Bill Deans MBE, Aberdeen lifeboat operations manager (centre right), with Aberdeen Lifeboat 2nd coxswain/mechanic Cal Reed (left), IADC administrator Edith McLeod and IADC North Sea director Derek Hart (right) looking on.

Vice President Pence Visits Latshaw Drilling Rig 45

On 17 April, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited Latshaw Drilling Rig 45 in Midland, Texas, drilling for Diamondback Energy. In his prepared remarks, Vice President Pence noted, “It’s amazing to think what we can accomplish here in West Texas if we continue to unlock the incredible potential of the Permian Basin.  Eighty-six thousand square miles hold 20 of the nation’s top 100 oil fields.  And by 2023, I’m told they’ll produce 5.4 million barrels per day.  That’s more than any area of the world other than two different countries.  More than any single member of OPEC other than Saudi Arabia.  That is energy dominance.  That’s American leadership.”

The Vice President also recognized the work done by those working on the rig, attributing the success of the Permian Basin to those drilling in the region.

“We were honored to have VP Pence as a guest on our rig. His visit is a testimony to the support our industry is getting from this Administration and how important our industry is to our economy, our military and our national security,” said Trent Latshaw, President, Latshaw Drilling Co.

Alongside Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and Railroad Commission of Texas Chairman Christi Craddick, Vice President Pence also said, “I really did want to come out here just to tell you how much the President and I support the work that you’re doing every day and how inspired we are and the American people are with the incredible progress that’s being made in the Permian Basin. ….And make no mistake about it: As we work to strengthen the foundations of this country, we have a President, you have a Vice President, that understands that our natural resources are central to American greatness.”

Vice President Mike Pence visits Latshaw Drilling Rig 45 in Midland, Texas on 17 April. Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen

BSEE Releases Report on Risk-Based Inspection Program

On 9 May, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) released a report highlighting the results of it’s risk-focused inspection initiative to supplement BSEE’s existing schedule of inspections and active drilling operations. These focused field inspections allow BSEE to verify that operators are properly identifying, managing and mitigating risks.

More details and a copy of the report can be found on BSEE’s website.

NOPSEMA Releases Annual Offshore Performance Report

On 27 May, NOPSEMA, the Australian regulator, released it’s Annual Offshore Performance Report. The document provides a summary of the safety and environmental performance of Australia’s offshore oil and gas industry for 2018. During 2018, NOPSEMA was pleased that industry largely maintained its performance, particularly with regard to protecting workers and the environment. Most importantly, for the sixth consecutive year, there were no fatalities.

To access the full report, please visit the NOPSEMA website.

BSEE Announces Release of BSEE!Safe Program

On 23 May, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) announced the release of its BSEE!Safe program to bring critical safety information directly to front line offshore workers on the Outer Contintental Shelf.  Using text messaging technology, the safety initiative will send links to published Safety Alerts and Bulletins, tools used to inform the offshore oil and gas industry of the circumstances surrounding an incident or near miss. The alerts and bulletins also contain recommendations to help prevent the recurrence of such an incident on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Offshore workers can sign up for the free text notification service at Notices of Safety Alerts, Bulletins, and other safety announcements will be sent via text message with links to the information. BSEE!Safe notifications supplement the long-standing practice of issuing Safety Alerts and Bulletins sharing lessons learned and recommendations from incidents and near misses with industry representatives.

U.S. Coast Guard Issues Hurricane Season Reporting Requirements Bulletin

The U.S. Coast Guard recently issued the Gulf of Mexico OCS Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) 19-03; Hurricane Season Reporting Requirements. This MSIB continues the Coast Guard’s policy of “report by Exception” initiated in 2014, to account for operators’ Gulf of Mexico OCS hurricane evacuation procedures.

The 8th Coast Guard district is requesting that operators of all manned facilities and MODUs report only when personnel, who otherwise intended to evacuate the unit, were stranded onboard and prevented from evacuating ahead of approaching heavy weather.

The full MSIB can be found at the United State Coast Guard’s website.

National Academy of Sciences Publishes Report on Well Completion and Simulation Workshop

On 14 May, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) announced publication of its summary report of the Offshore Well Completion and Simulation – Using Hydraulic Fracturing and Other Technologies workshop. To increase public understanding of these technologies, the NAS established a committee to convene the workshop on 2-3 October, 2017 in Washington, D.C. The workshop examined the unique features related to operating in the U.S. offshore environment, including well completion and simulation technologies, environmental considerations and concerns and health and safety management. The publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

The full report on the Workshop can be found on the NAS website.

UL Lafayette Students Complete IADC WellSharp Course

In early May, petroleum engineering students at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette completed the IADC WellSharp certification course with a 100% passing rate with no retakes.

U.S. Coast Guard to Host Outer Continental Shelf Industry Day in New Orleans

The United States Coast Guard’s Officer in Charge, Marine Inspections for the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), recently announced plans for the next Coast Guard OCS Industry Day. The meeting will convene in New Orleans, Louisiana on 21 June at the Port of New Orleans Auditorium.

Agenda topics will include BSEE & Coast Guard casualty reporting and investigations; leveraging BSEE management systems to improve USCG compliance; and offshore maritime security.

More registration and agenda details can be found at

Offshore Marine Services Association Names New Director of Regulatory Affairs

Offshore Marine Services Association (OMSA) President Aaron Smith recently announced the resignation of Vice President Richard Well after more than 10 years of service. OMSA has identified Chad Fuhrmann as the new Director of Regulatory Affairs. Among other previous offshore industry pursuits, Mr. Fuhrmann has been an active member of the National Offshore Advisory Committee (NOSAC).


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. IADC remains the only well control accrediting body to hold ISO 9001:2015 certification, demonstrating the association’s ability to consistently provide services that meet customer requirements while keeping a focus on quality and integrity.  Programs that fall under the ISO certification include RigPass, SafeLand, SafeGulf, WellSharp, WellCAP Plus, DIT, Competence Assurance, Gateway and Crane-Rigger.

The ISO 9001 QMS standard requires that a company identify and describe processes using business metrics, the purpose of which is to better manage and control business processes. 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.

For more information, please contact Brooke Polk at


IADC Advanced Rig Technology Committee Names New Leadership

The IADC Advanced Rig Technology (ART) Committee recently elected new committee leadership. Robert van Kuilenburg, Noble Drilling was named Chair and Rob Shank, Parker Drilling, was named Vice Chair. Brian Garrett, Rowan Companies was named BOP Controls Subcommittee Chair; Mitch Eichler, Parker Hannifin was named BOP Controls Subcommittee Co-Chair; Nathan Moralez, BP remains Chair of the Drilling Control Systems Subcommittee with Assaad Mohanna, NOV named as Vice Chair.

For more information about the ART Committee, please visit the IADC website.


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 (

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.

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 June 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:

“Process Safety Culture” (Source: Well Control Institute):

Building a systemic culture of understanding process safety to promote the reduction and ultimate elimination of unplanned events.

Process safety culture includes:…..

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

Accreditation Updates




  • Capacitacion Profesional y Servicio-Susercon SA de CV, Mexico


  • Acme, Islamabad, Pakistan;
  • Al-Khaleej Training Center, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia;
  • Elspeth Integrated Services Limited, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

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 13 new members:


DRILLBITS Volume 29, Number 6

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