DRILLBITS – October 2012

This Month’s Articles

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BSEE, industry discuss BOP rules

Following an August meeting with James Watson, director of the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), IADC, API, NOIA and the Offshore Operators Committee have sent a letter to the director reiterating industry concerns with possible requirements being included in upcoming proposed rules on BOPs.

During the meeting, BSEE had indicated that the agency was evaluating different and/or supplemental requirements for BOPs in addition to the requirements in the draft 4th edition of API Standard 53 (S53) even though S53 was in line with what BSEE was seeking. The industry discussed how it had to work through the current rig fleet, the newbuild rigs and future technology developments in drafting S53 and utilized the process to solicit and address comments from industry. Plans are to release S53 in Q4 2012, and BSEE has stressed the need to publish S53 as soon as possible in order to align with the time frame of the rulemaking process for the new BOP rule.

Industry also explained its concerns around specific requirements related to pipe rams and shearing capability. Of particular concern is the potential requirement for much longer space-out between shear rams, which would significantly impact the existing floating rig fleet. With the large number of new rigs under construction, significant new requirements could necessitate extensive modifications with cost and schedule impact, industry stated.

Industry also maintained that the focus should remain on well control rather than shearing. Shearing the pipe is a last resort, and all effort should be made to maintain communication with the bottom of the well to control pressure instead. The industry wondered if well control scenarios and practices are being fully considered by BSEE while the agency drafts the new rules and highlighted the potential unintended consequences if the rulemaking process solely focused on the BOP emergency functionality.

The industry further expressed the need to address risk assessment in future rulemaking and provided an explanation about risk assessment requirements included in S53.

In response to BSEE’s stated interest in life cycle analysis of critical equipment, the industry discussed efforts to develop a new document, API 16AR, which would address repair and re-manufacturing of well control equipment.

Additionally, BSEE asked about industry investment in next-generation well control equipment and confirmed the proposed BOP rule addresses shear capability, automation and enhanced sensors. Industry comments are:

  • Shear capability: Industry is strongly concerned about the focus on “shear certain” and believes greater focus should be placed on maintaining primary well control. The drive toward “shear certain” also can add significant complexity to an already sophisticated system, which in turn adds risks.
  • Automation: Automating the entire well control process would be an incredibly difficult task given the uncertain and changing subsurface pressures, fluids, rock strengths, etc.
  • Enhanced sensors: Manufacturers are already developing ram position indicators to monitor the “health” of subsea well control systems. Further research is needed to provide additional capabilities such as flow measurements as mentioned by BSEE and others.

For more information, please contact Alan Spackman at alan.spackman@iadc.org.

Industry to BLM: Well stimulation rule not needed

IADC, IPAA and more than 40 other groups have jointly filed comments urging the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to withdraw its proposed rule on well stimulation, including hydraulic fracturing, that was published in the Federal Register on 11 May 2012. Noting that there have been no incidents of contamination from hydraulic fracturing in over 1.2 million wells in more than 60 years, the groups called the proposed rule unwarranted.

“We are concerned that the rule is a misguided attempt to address concerns with well stimulation that may be based on inaccurate or unsubstantiated claims relating to the environmental and health impacts of the processes,” the 30-page comment document stated.

Industry groups further noted that the BLM’s proposed rule ignores the scope and effectiveness of existing state regulations, as well as issues related to state/federal water rights.
From an economic point of view, the proposed rule also will have a severe negative impact on small businesses, many of whom will not be able to endure the added compliance costs. It’s estimated that the total aggregate cost for new permits and well workovers alone resulting from this new rule would range from US $1.499 billion to $1.615 billion annually in just 13 western states. This is a conservative estimate of the delays and costs associated with the rule, equating to about $253,800 per well and $233,100 per re-fracture stimulation, the groups stated.

For details, please contact Brian Petty at +1/202-293-0670 (brian.petty@iadc.org).

IADC launches comprehensive update to Drilling Manual

IADC has launched a comprehensive update of the IADC Drilling Manual. The end-to-end revision aims not only to update existing chapters but also incorporate information on new technologies and industry best practices. As envisioned, the 12th edition will be published in print as well as electronically, featuring graphics, videos and animations.

The effort is being undertaken by the IADC Communications Department under the leadership of group vice president/publisher Mike Killalea.

“The update of this important industry resource will provide the industry with better materials that will catalyze improved performance at the rig site and the operations office,” Mr Killalea said. “In addition, we intend to maintain the IADC Drilling Manual as an evergreen resource, with regular updates by an informed group of technical experts.”

Fran Kennedy-Ellis, who recently joined IADC as director – publishing initiatives, is organizing a steering committee to shape the work ahead.

Subject-matter experts are needed to contribute on all aspects of drilling operations. Further, young professionals are encouraged to participate.

Thanks to the following companies and university that have already committed their support: ConocoPhillips, Halliburton, Marathon, National Oilwell Varco, Precision Drilling, Weatherford and Texas A&M.

A kick-off meeting will be held on 28 November at IADC’s Houston headquarters. For more information or to participate, contact Fran Kennedy-Ellis at +1/713-600-1887 (fran.kennedyellis@iadc.org).

Subsea BOP Workshop to be held on 30 October

IADC will hold a Subsea BOP Workshop on 30 October in Stavanger, Norway. The event, organized under the auspices of the IADC Future Technology Subcommittee (FTS), will seek to identify BOP-related problem areas for operators, drilling contractors and OEMs and foster discussion among BOP technology developers and users.

FTS vice chairman Dustin Torkay, Seadrill Americas, will provide welcoming remarks. Presentations will follow from Helge Ørgersen, Statoil; Per Wullf, Seadrill Management; David Dietz, GE Oil & Gas; and Mel Whitby, Cameron Drilling Systems. Technology sessions are planned for the afternoon on explosive shearing, electric BOP controls and BOP monitoring, followed by a panel discussion.

IADC hires director of publishing initiatives

Fran Kennedy-Ellis has joined IADC as director – publishing initiatives, reporting to IADC group vice president/publisher Mike Killalea. Ms Kennedy-Ellis will oversee the update of the IADC Drilling Manual, among other projects. Her duties will include author relations, content development, digital asset management, as well as permissions and copyright issues for print and electronic editions. In this role, she will organize a steering committee and work groups to revise existing chapters and write new ones, develop workshops to support IADC publishing initiatives and attend strategic IADC events to support the revision effort.

“Fran brings to IADC significant experience in revamping publications and enormous energy that will significantly benefit our members and our association,” Mr Killalea remarked. “We look forward to leveraging Fran’s abilities not only to reinvent the IADC Drilling Manual but to revise other IADC publications and develop new materials.”

Ms Kennedy-Ellis previously served as technical publications manager for the Petroleum Extension Service (PETEX) at the University of Texas at Austin. She earlier worked at SPE, overseeing its book program, technical journals, peer review and publications committees. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s in Administration from Texas Tech University.

Fran Kennedy-Ellis can be reached at fran.kennedyellis@iadc.org.

Scott Maddox joins IADC

Scott Maddox has joined IADC as director of the drilling & well services division, providing operational and technical support to the IADC Underbalanced Operations & Managed Pressure Drilling, Advanced Rig Technology and Well Servicing committees. He will also assist in assembling the technical content of IADC conferences and workshops.

Mr Maddox was most recently QHSE manager for the US unit of i-Tec Well Solutions. Previously he was corporate HSE manager for Xtreme Coil Drilling. Prior to that, he held HSE-related positions for Noble Drilling and Grey Wolf Drilling.

Before joining the energy industry, Mr Maddox was a firefighting instructor for the US Navy. He is a graduate of Columbia Southern University and is currently enrolled in the MBA program at Grantham University.

Scott Maddox can be reached at scott.maddox@iadc.org.

IADC seeks member input on application for OSHA ladder variance

IADC recently sent letters to its membership regarding the application for a permanent variance for ladders on rig derricks from OSHA. In 1973, OSHA issued an interim variance from 29 CFR 1910.27 for ladders on drilling rig derricks. IADC had obtained the interim variance because although most parts of derrick ladders may meet the requirements of 1910.27, some ladders or parts of derrick ladders do not.

From responses to IADC’s survey regarding derrick ladders, the association concluded that alternative ladder safety measures that members are using provides derrick ladder safety equal to that required in 1910.27.

After OSHA recently realized that they had not followed up and made the variance permanent, they asked IADC to make an application for permanent variance, but they also requested that each company wishing to be included in the variance sign the application form. If you are unsure whether your derrick ladders meet the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.27(b) (1) (i), (ii), (iii) or (c) (4), please complete and return the application to IADC before 31 October. IADC will accumulate all applications and submit them along with a cover letter to the OSHA variance office.

For more information about the ladder variance, please contact Joe Hurt at +1/713-292-1954 (joe.hurt@iadc.org).

Revised publications available from IADC

  • The IADC Drilling Rig Safety Inspection Checklist has been updated with additional inspection items and a reference to relevant OSHA and API standards for each item.
  • The newly updated Well Stimulation Treatments book addresses well stimulation treatments frequently used to rejuvenate old or poorly producing wells. Fracturing and acidizing treatments are common. Many wells that would otherwise be classified as dry holes have been made into profitable producers by fracture, acid or explosive stimulation treatments. In this book, the author discusses effective stimulation techniques, new methods and variables to consider in designing and implementing treatments.

For details or to order these publications, please contact Loretta Krolczyk at ext 215 (loretta.krolczyk@iadc.org).

Oil & Gas Denmark launched in August

Jens Hoffmark, IADC regional VP – European operations, attended the 23 August launch of Oil and Gas Denmark, an industry association that represents Danish drilling contractors, oil companies and service companies. The new group, headed by managing director Martin Næsby, has four focus areas: development of the oil and gas sector, infrastructure, HSE and development of competency.

In attendance at the launch event was Martin Lidegaard, Danish minister of energy. His inauguration speech emphasized the importance of the Danish oil and gas industry, which contributes about 9% of the total Danish export. Denmark has been self-sufficient in oil and gas since 1991 and has been a net exporter of energy. In the next five years, US $8 billion is expected to be invested in exploration and development. For more information, please contact Jens Hoffmark at jens.hoffmark@iadc.org.

Accreditation Updates

DIT Programs

  • Gulf Coast Training Technologies, Broussard, La. (conditional);
  • Icon Lifting & Rigging Inspections Ltd, Port Harcourt, Nigeria (conditional);
  • Training Consultors, Bogota, Colombia (conditional).

Safety Alerts

For the latest safety alerts, visit www.iadc.org/safety-alerts

Alert 12-22: Falling steel plate results in struck-by incident.
Alert 12-23: Exploding ball valve results in near-miss.
Alert 12-24: Misuse of high-pressure cleaner results in injury.



  • IADC Drilling Africa 2012 Conference & Exhibition, 24-25 Oct, Lisbon, Portugal.
  • IADC Training Committee meeting, 24 Oct, Houston.
  • IADC HSE Committee meeting, 25 Oct, Houston.
  • IADC Rig Moving Committee meeting, 25 Oct, Grapevine, Texas.
  • IADC Subsea BOP Workshop, 30 Oct, Stavanger.

Rigs Receive ISP Certificates

For certificates received since last LTI (in years):

  • COSL Drilling Pan Pacific Ltd: COSL BOSS (2), COSL Superior (2);
  • Ensco: Ensco 53 (1), Ensco 83 (9), Ensco 91 (2), Ensco 105 (4), Ensco 109 (1), Ensco 5006 (1), Ensco 7500 (2);
  • Justiss Oil Company: Rig 57 (1);
  • KS Drilling: Discoverer 4 (2);
  • Mermaid Drilling Ltd: MTR 2 (3);
  • Nabors Drilling International Ltd: Rigs 103 (1), 603 (2), 621 (1), 785 (2), 833 (5), 866 (1), 985 (1), F17 (1);
  • Nabors Offshore Corp: Nabors P-54 (9), Nabors SD-1 (9);
  • Songa Offshore: Songa Eclipse (1), Songa Mercur (3), Songa Venus (1);
  • Weatherford Drilling International (BVI) Ltd: Rigs 3 (4), 143 (1), 155 (13), 403 (1), 437 (1), 703 (3)719 (2), 786 (1), 799 (4), 815 (2), 844 (2), Egypt Transport Team (3), North Iraq Support Team (1).
For certificates received since last recordable incident (in years):
  • Ensco: Ensco 52 (1), Ensco 5006 (1);
  • Nabors Drilling International: Rigs 77 (1), 309 (3), 603 (2), 814 (1), 826 (7), 866 (1), 985 (1);
  • Unit Drilling: Rigs 23 (3), 25 (1), 36 (1), 100 (1), 106 (4), 116 (2), 117(1), 121 (1), 136 (1);
  • Unit Texas Drilling LLC: Rigs 203 (3), 339 (1);
  • Weatherford Drilling International (BVI) Ltd: Rigs 143 (1), 155 (1), 180 (1), 403 (1), 437 (1), 719 (2), 813 (1), 823 (2), 844 (1), Egypt Transport Team (3), North Iraq Support Team (1).

New IADC Members

IADC welcomes 28 new members:

  • Adira Energy Ltd, Ramat Gan, Israel;
  • AMR Onsite Safety and Health, Jackson, Miss.;
  • A-N-L Services Inc, Georgetown, Texas;
  • Arabian Ocean Drilling Supplies and Trading FZCO, Dubai, UAE;
  • Blue Line Drilling Co LLC, San Angelo, Texas;
  • Capacitacion Industrial y Servicios de Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico;
  • Complex Drilling Works Trust-SOCAR, Baku City, Azerbaijan;
  • Core-IRM Pte Ltd, Singapore;
  • DC International Inc, Lafayette, La.;
  • Dual Safety Training, Niteroi, Brazil;
  • Framework Offshore LLC, Houston, Texas;
  • Inflatable Packers International Pty Ltd, Perth, Australia;
  • Marinse SC, Poza Rica, Mexico;
  • MCE Consultores Asociados SAC, Lima, Peru;
  • Min Ingenieria y Servicios, Poza Rica, Mexico;
  • Perisai Petroleum Teknologi Bhd, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia;
  • Petroworks SAS, Bogota, Colombia;
  • Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Inc, Huntsville, Ala.;
  • Ram Designs LLC, Broussard, La.;
  • RPS Australia Asia Pacific, Subiaco, Australia;
  • Sirius Well Manufacturing Services Australia Pty Ltd, Carboolture, Australia;
  • STH Competence Management Ltd, Pitlochry, United Kingdom;
  • Summit Drilling Company Inc, Emporia, Kan.;
  • Temeku Technologies, Herndon, Va.;
  • Unison Drilling Inc, Devine, Texas;
  • Upsyde Oil Well Maintenance LLC, Dubai, UAE;
  • Vishal Enterprise, Mehsana, India;
  • Wagenborg Foxdrill, Oldenzaal, The Netherlands.

DRILLBITS Volume 22, Number 10

Dan Rabun, Chairman • Stephen Colville, President and CEO • Linda Hsieh, 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 amy.rose@iadc.org.

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