DRILLBITS – October 2015

This Month’s Articles

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IADC praises House vote to lift US Crude Oil Export Ban

On 9 October, the US House of Representatives voted to repeal the crude oil export ban by a vote of 261 to 159. The bipartisan bill, introduced by Representative Joe Barton (R-Texas), would bolster growth for domestically produced oil and facilitate job creation.

“Today’s vote to repeal the outdated ban on exporting crude oil is a win for the U.S. economy, particularly due to the huge implications for the creation of new jobs. From the perspective of the drilling contractor community, this is an enormous benefit to our members,” said Stephen Colville, IADC President and CEO. “According to recent studies, lifting the ban would result in an average of 124,000 new jobs in the supply chain, contributing to 394,000 jobs in the greater economy through 2030. Particularly during a time of market uncertainty in the oil and gas industry, these job numbers are big, and meaningful. Combined with the expected addition of $26 billion to the GDP per year from the crude oil supply chain, these numbers clearly provided a deeply compelling case for the U.S. House to vote to lift the ban, and we support their efforts.”

US Department of Interior cancels 2016 and 2017 arctic lease sales

On 16 October, the US Department of the Interior announced that it was canceling the scheduled 2016 and 2017 Arctic Ocean oil and gas lease sales and denying requests to extend current Alaska offshore leases.

In response, IADC President and CEO Stephen Colville issued the following statement, “Hydrocarbon fuels will continue to meet the majority of the world’s energy demands for decades, and meeting that demand means pursuing hydrocarbons from ever more difficult resources, difficult reservoirs and locations, and doing it safely and responsibly. The Arctic is believed to contain 13% of the world’s yet to be found oil and 30% of its yet to be found gas, and thus represents an important area for exploration and development.”

“IADC’s members are supportive of drilling and oil and gas production in the Arctic and we are disappointed in the decision by the Department of Interior to cancel the future lease sales.”

DSATS/ART symposium to cover human/machine integration

Learn from outside experts about integrating human activities with automation and machine intelligence at a special symposium preceding the 2016 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference in Fort Worth next spring. The SPE DSATS / IADC ART Symposium takes place the afternoon of Monday, 29 February, one day prior to the IADC/SPE conference.

The event features three keynote presentations from non-petroleum-industry experts speaking from their own experience in integrating machines and humans. Confirmed speakers and presentations are:

  • Human-Automation Cooperation: Progress and Prospects, Professor Thomas B Sheridan, Ford Professor Emeritus of Engineering and Applied Psychology in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics/Astronautics at MIT;
  • Disney Ride Development and Commissioning Process: integrating human operators with automated rides, Mike Withers, Vice President (Retired) of Ride Engineering at Walt Disney Imagineering;
  • Integration of Human and Machine Intelligence: toward performance in non-deterministic environments, Alonso Vera PhD, Chief, Human Systems Integration Division, NASA Ames Research Center.

Moderators are John de Wardt, DE WARDT AND CO and Toby Beebe, Northern Offshore Drilling.

Huisman is platinum sponsor for the event. A sponsored reception for symposium attendees follows the symposium. The symposium with kick off with updates of SPE DSATS and IADC ART activities.

Space is limited. The meeting will be followed by a sponsored reception for symposium attendees. Registration opens mid-November 2015. Go to the SPE Events page for more information.

JIP to develop Drilling Systems Automation Roadmap

IADC, through the Drilling Engineers Committee, is supporting a JIP that would move industry closer to the lofty goal of increased drilling automation — the Drilling Systems Automation (DSA) Roadmap. Observed principal investigator John de Wardt of De Wardt and Co, “The need for an industry roadmap is compelling. The well drilling and completion industry is highly fragmented. It will require structure to enable the interoperability required to deliver functioning automated and autonomous systems.”

The goal of the JIP is to develop the roadmap document, launch strategy and tracking systems. Mr de Wardt envisions a roadmap describing the next decade of potential development. Mr de Wardt reports that automated drilling systems have shown ROP increases of 40%, compared to human rotary drilling. Building and steering wells using automated systems produced an 80% improvement while sliding, he added.

“Specific [automation] applications have been successful,” Mr de Wardt said. “However, the development of an overall integrated application between various companies appears too complex to achieve in the near term.”

For more information about the DSAR JIP, go to IADC’s website, or contact Mr. de Wardt at

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine launch new roundtable to examine unconventional hydrocarbon development

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is launching a new roundtable that will examine issues related to the development of US stores of unconventional hydrocarbon resources such as shale oil and gas. The Roundtable will serve as a neutral forum where representatives from government, industry, academia and non-governmental and international organizations can meet on an ongoing basis. The group will:

  • Gather, critically examine, and communicate facts and data regarding the scientific, engineering, human and environmental health and safety, regulatory, economic and societal aspects of unconventional hydrocarbon development, upstream, midstream and downstream;
  • Identify and help to advance activities that would be of broad value to key stakeholders;
  • Assist in informing decision making about development of these resources.

With an initial extent of three years, the Roundtable will be a cross-Academies activity, administered by the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources and the Water Science and Technology Board.

To learn more and sign up to receive updates, please visit the website of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.

BSEE to host BAST Determination Process Presentation

The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) will present their Best Available and Safest Technology (BAST) Determination Process on 12 November in Houston. The process, worked on over many months with industry and stakeholder teams, will feature presentations by BSEE representatives including Doug Morris and Joe Levine.

The event will be held from 8 a.m. until noon, and registration is free, but limited to 300 seats. To register, please visit the BSEE website.

Hector Moreno receives IADC Exemplary Service Award

At the 2015 IADC Well Control Conference of the Americas in Galveston, Texas on 25 August, IADC President and CEO Stephen Colville presented an Exemplary Service Award to Hector Moreno. Mr Moreno worked as a technical trainer at Halliburton and lent his expertise to IADC for 18 years as a technical reviewer for WellCAP. Over the past year, he has played a large role in development of WellSharp, as well. In this video, Mr Moreno shares his perspective on how the industry’s approach to well control and well control training has evolved, and how companies can address further opportunities for improvement.

Click below to view a video with Mr Moreno

IADC’s “Well Cementing Operations” a unique single source on cementing ops

“Well Cementing Operations” covers techniques and developments never before published in a single source – overview of basic well-cementing theory, best practices and real-world applications, calculations and problem-solving exercises. Perfect for both newly hired and experienced rig-based personnel, students, and engineers in the office.

Authored by noted expert Ron Sweatman with contributions and edits from some of the world’s most renowned drilling engineers, “Well Cementing Operations” is the most comprehensive and in-depth treatment of cementing ever published. Historically available only through experience or industry short courses, the information contained in this handbook is a valuable learning tool for readers at all levels and, for the first time, will be conveniently published in both hard copy and electronic formats.

Published under the auspices of the IADC Technical Publications Committee, “Well Cementing Operations” is a must for the rig, office and classroom. The publication is available in hard copy and electronic formats via the IADC Bookstore. Or, call +1 713-292-1945 and ask for Loretta Krolczyk (ext. 215) or Jimmie Cobbin (ext. 209) to order.

Click below to view an exclusive video interview with Mr. Sweatman.

IADC ART Committee looking for a few good men and women

The IADC Advanced Rig Technology Committee is gearing up for new work projects during 2016 and is looking for volunteers. IADC ART is dedicated to improving safety and efficiency through sound operating procedures, design of automated systems and standardizing automation. ART is a great opportunity to connect with like-minded colleagues representing operators, drilling contractors, oilfield service firms and equipment manufacturers.

The committee, chaired by Terry Loftis, Transocean, is developing an ambitious work program for the coming year, both building on current efforts and launching new initiatives. Participants at an ART Workshop, held in mid-October in Amsterdam, brainstormed industry challenges, producing a bold work program.

Suggested areas of endeavor include:

  • Cybersecurity;
  • “Flat time” (NPT) reduction;
  • Reliability, which is tied to NPT;
  • Developing a common language for drilling machine communication;
  • Devising an effective means of running risers in turbulent waters.

The next ART Committee meeting is scheduled for 10 February at IADC HQ. However, ART subcommittees have separate meeting schedules. Visit the ART Committee webpage on for more information.

Those interested in participating can contact Mike Killalea at

Anthology on MPD available from IADC eBookstore

Managed pressure drilling (MPD) is on the cutting edge of oil and gas drilling technology. MPD, using a closed-loop approach to drilling, enables drilling of “undrillable” wells and has been used with success world wide.

“DC Managed Pressure Drilling” is an anthology of recent articles from the highly respected journal Drilling Contractor, official magazine of the International Association of Drilling Contractors. This anthology covers IADC activities, case histories from around the world, shale drilling applications, modeling, MPD’s impact on well control, deepwater operations, assessing MPD candidates, dual gradient drilling, underbalanced drilling and more.

Now available as an eBook from the IADC Bookstore. Or, call +1 713-292-1945 and ask for Loretta Krolczyk (ext. 215) or Jimmie Cobbin (ext. 209) to order.


Accreditation Updates


  • Dagang Drilling Well Control Training Center, China
  • Petromentor International Education, China (Conditional);
  • Sumex Mantenimiento y Servicios S.A. de C.V., Mexico (Conditional)
  • Wisco, Inc., USA.



  • Northwest Technical Solutions, Houston, Texas, USA


Safety Alerts

For the latest safety alerts, visit

Alert 15-05: Smashed fingers on tongs

Alert 15-06: Caught between winch truck and half pit

Alert 15-07: Poor situation awareness/Line of fire incident results in OSHA Recordable

Rigs Receive ISP Certificates

For certificates received since last LTI (in years):

  • Atwood Oceanics: Atwood Achiever (1);
  • COSL Drilling Pan Pacific Ltd: COSL Superior (5)
For certificates received since last recordable incident (in years):
  • Parker Drilling Company: Orlan Platform (1); Yastreb Rig (1)

New IADC Members

IADC welcomes 12 new members:


DRILLBITS Volume 25, Number 10

Ed Jacob, Chairman • Stephen Colville, President and CEO • Amy Rose, Editor

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+1/713-292-1945. Fax +1/713-292-1946.

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