DRILLBITS – September 2016

This Month’s Articles

Sign Up For the DRILLBITS Email Newsletter!


IADC Drilling Matters Multimedia Educational Website Now Live

IADC recently launched the first phase of Drilling Matters, a new website to inform, educate and dispel misconceptions about the oil and gas industry.

Sensing a void in educational resources for people with little knowledge of the oil and gas industry, IADC began developing Drilling Matters in 2015 with help from many industry partners. The result is a multimedia website that provides an in-depth and well-rounded look at the oil and gas industry.

Drilling Matters is divided into three sections:

  • Who Needs Us and Why: Energy poverty in the 21st Century and the role of the energy industry
  • What We Do and How: Meet the drilling rig, rig systems and the people who operate them
  • What We Provide: How oil and gas extend life expectancy and promote economic growth

Each section contains one or more modules, which cover various aspects of each of the umbrella topics. Modules contain videos and interactive content, along with links to further references.

“This initial launch is a major milestone achieved only through great teamwork by the generous cooperation of many IADC members and our staff. The videos, photographs and interviews provided by our members were indispensable,” said Mike Killalea, IADC Group Vice President/Publisher. “During development, it was important to us that each of the modules contain language and explanations that are easy to understand for anyone who visits the website. A member of the public, a legislator or regulator, and members of the industry can each find value in the information contained in Drilling Matters.”

IADC will continue to add modules to the Drilling Matters throughout the fall. Future modules will provide information on the oil and gas industry’s positive impact on the economy and jobs, detail the who’s who in the drilling business, give a real-world view of life on the rig, and provide an in-depth look at deepwater drilling, among other topics.

Drilling Matters can be accessed via IADC also included on the site an appreciation page to recognize those whose contributions made the project possible.


IADC Hosts Offshore Oil and Gas Industry Educational Lunch and Learn Event on Capital Hill

On 20 September, IADC hosted an “IADC Offshore Drilling 101” Lunch and Learn in Washington, D.C. to educate Capital Hill staffers on the basics of offshore drilling operations, along with the positive impacts of drilling operations on the U.S. economy.

IADC offshore members who led the Lunch and Learn presentation also visited with several Senators, Members of Congress and their staff while in D.C. to educate them about the offshore drilling industry, it’s goals and successes and to give them a better sense of who IADC’s members are, and what they do.

“In April, IADC onshore members visited the Capital to educate the individuals creating our nation’s energy laws and regulatory policies on onshore drilling operations and hydraulic fracturing. The event was incredibly well received by those in attendance. Thus, we invited IADC offshore members to put together a similar program,” said Elizabeth Craddock, IADC Vice President, Policy, Government and Regulatory Affairs. “During our lunch and learn, and in individuals visits with Members of Congress, Senators and their staff members, we were able to demonstrate how IADC members safely drill offshore for our nation’s oil and natural gas resources that fuel our economy, while also contributing jobs and positive economic impact. Drilling contractors, whether they operate onshore or offshore, have a vital role in the upstream oil and gas industry. We have a compelling story to tell, and in D.C., we found an audience that was willing to listen and understand.”

IADC members who participated include:

Brady Long, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Transocean Ltd.

James Sanislow, Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer, Noble Drilling Services, Inc.

Steve Schappell, Location Director, Maersk Drilling, USA

Tony Seeliger, Senior Vice President of Operations, Pacific Drilling

Michael Lawson, Vice President, Health, Safety, Environment and Training/Competency, Rowan Companies

Tony Seeliger, Pacific Drilling, presents "Offshore Drilling 101" to Capital Hill staffers during IADC Lunch and Learn event.

Tony Seeliger, Pacific Drilling, presents “Offshore Drilling 101” to Capital Hill staffers during IADC Lunch and Learn event.

IADC members and staff meet with Congressman Pete Olson of Texas. Pictured from left to right: Mike Lawson, Rowan Companies; Alan Spackman, IADC; Tony Seeliger, Pacific Drilling; Melissa Mejias, IADC; Brady Long, Transocean Ltd.; Congressman Olson, Jason McFarland, IADC; Steven Schappell, Maersk Drilling USA; James Sanislow, Noble Drilling Services, Inc.

IADC members and staff meet with Congressman Pete Olson of Texas. Pictured from left to right: Mike Lawson, Rowan Companies; Alan Spackman, IADC; Tony Seeliger, Pacific Drilling; Melissa Mejias, IADC; Brady Long, Transocean Ltd.; Congressman Pete Olson of Texas, Jason McFarland, IADC; Steven Schappell, Maersk Drilling USA; James Sanislow, Noble Drilling Services, Inc.


IADC to Air Virtual Panel Discussion, “Leadership for the Upturn: Are Your People Ready?”

On 19 October, IADC will air a free video webcast, sponsored by The REACH Group, that will feature a discussion exploring key tools to effectively develop tomorrow’s leaders, based on real-world examples in the drilling industry.

Two highly respected drilling CEO’s, along with an expert in leadership development, will discuss how contractors are expected to manage their business effectively with leaders who know how to deliver safe, efficient operations. When the market returns, it will remain extremely competitive, and leaders will need to make the right decisions the first time as there will be little patience for error. The webcast panelists will explore these realities and more.


  • Thomas Burke, CEO, Rowan Companies
  • Christopher Beckett, CEO, Pacific Drilling
  • Dave Massey, President, The REACH Group
  • Mike Kilallea, Group VP/Publisher, IADC (moderator)

To register for the free webcast, please visit IADC’s website. Those who register will receive a login email on the morning of 19 October to access the Virtual Panel Discussion webcast.

IADC Future Tech Subcommittee is Looking for a Few Good Ideas

The IADC Future Technology Subcommittee is looking for a few good ideas. This ART subcommittee is organizing its next “Spark Tank” to provide technology entrepreneurs an opportunity to pitch their products and ideas to a panel of drilling contractors and operators.

If you’d like feedback on an idea, product or service, we are interested in hearing from you.

The Q3 2016 Future Technology “Spark Tank” is scheduled for 09.00-11.30 (CDT) on Thursday, 27 October, at IADC headquarters.

Similar to the television show “Shark Tank”, the panel will ask questions and give feedback on the presenters on just how great (or not!) they think the product is.

The purpose is to provide insights (“sparks”) to technology developers into what matters to those they are innovating for. There is sometimes a vast disconnect between a good idea and a great product, and this series will attempt to close that gap in a good-natured, productive manner. Caveat: This forum is not designed to generate investments in the product or service.

To submit an idea for the subcommittee to consider for the Spark Tank, please complete the online form at

For more information about the IADC Future Technology Subcommittee or other initiatives of the Advanced Rig Technology (ART) Committee, contact Mike Killalea,

Oil and Natural Gas Subsector Coordinating Council Hosts Educational Meeting

On Friday, 23 September, the Oil and Natural Gas Subsector Coordinating Council (ONG-SCC) hosted a 2-hour educational session for the U.S. Department of Energy and other agency staff who are involved in or interested in how the oil and natural gas industry works and how it prepares for and responds to weather-related events.

The session included a brief overview of how the industry works – from production to distribution – and addressed how various elements of the operations across the oil and natural gas supply chain prepare for response. Presenters highlighted potential challenges, the ways in which industry and government can work together to limit impacts to the public, and the differences between oil and natural gas when weather events impact operations.

The educational meeting was particularly timely in light of NOAA’s increased prediction for the potential number of named storms in the 2016 hurricane season, as industry, along with Federal, state and local government agencies, consider what is needed to ensure impacts are understood and can be responded to efficiently and effectively.

Industry representatives from all aspects of the oil and natural gas supply chain were present and available for questions during and after the session presentations. Melissa Mejias, IADC Legislative Analyst, presented on behalf of IADC.

The ONG-SCC will host another DOE educational session, “Understanding the Oil and Natural Gas Industry: Regulatory Framework” at a to be decided date later this year. For more information about the ONG-SCC please visit the website. And for information about upcoming meetings, please contact Melissa Mejias at

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to Host Workshop, “Strengthening the Safety Culture of the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry”

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will host a workshop on 12 October in Houston to discuss the Strengthening the Safety Culture of the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry report.

The main objectives of the workshop are:

  • To engage BSEE and the members of the offshore oil and gas industry in a discussion about the recommendations contained in the report in order to help identify concrete steps for going forward.
  • To provide the offshore industry with guidance on how to get started or how to continue their efforts for strengthening safety culture.

The free workshop is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and lunch will be provided. Those who wish to attend must register in advance.

To read the Strengthening the Safety Culture of the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry report, please visit The National Academies Press website.

North Sea Offshore Authority Forum Issues Safety Alert

On 30 December 2015, one person was killed and four injured on the drilling rig COSL Innovator as a result of a breaking wave in the Norwegian part of the North Sea. The breaking wave also caused damage to the rig’s accommodation area in the deck box.

Before the incident occurred, COSL Innovator was disconnected from the well as a result of bad weather and was raised to its survival condition.

At the time of the incident, COSL Innovator’s superstructure was not dimensioned to resist horizontal wave loads, even though the unit did not have a positive air gap (gap between the underside of the lowest deck and the highest wave crest).

The incident has led the North Sea Offshore Authority Forum to issue a safety alert highlighting the fact that the superstructure should be dimensioned to resist not only vertical but also horizontal wave loads in the case of negative air gap.

Please visit the Petroleum Safety Authority’s website for the full investigation report.

Pennsylvania Expected to Finalize “Environmental Protection Performance Standards at Oil and Gas Well Sites” this Fall

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is expected to finalize its Environmental Protection Performance Standards at Oil and Gas Well Sites rulemaking this fall, after a 5-year development process.

The rulemaking represents the first update to rules governing surface activities associated with the development of unconventional wells. The amendments applicable to conventional oil and gas wells were withdrawn at the direction of the Office of Attorney General in response to the passage of Act 52 of 2016. The new regulations will address surface activities at unconventional well sites, and center on five core areas. The amendments improve protection of water resources; add public resources considerations; protect public health and safety; address landowner concerns; and enhance transparency and improve data management.

For more information, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection website.

Railroad Commission of Texas Publishes August Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) recently issued statistics on drilling permits and completions for the month of August, 2016.

The RRC issued a total of 660 original drilling permits in the month of August, compared to 864 in August of 2015. The August total included 512 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, eight to re-enter plugged well bores and 140 for re-completions of existing well bores. The breakdown of well types for those permits issued in August 2016 included 203 oil, 24 gas, 392 oil or gas, 26 injection, zero service and 15 other permits.

Also in August 2016, the RRC processed 545 oil, 223 gas, 46 injection and 8 other completions, compared to 1,113 oil, 172 gas, 36 injection and 11 other completions in August 2015. Total well completions for the 2016 year-to-date are 8,107, down from 14,665 recorded during the same period in 2015.

According to Baker Hughes Inc., the Texas rig count as of September 9 was 245, representing about 48 percent of all active rigs in the U.S.

For additional drilling permit and completion statistics, visit the Commission’s website.

OSHA Publishes New Guidelines for Whistleblower Settlements

OSHA recently issued new guidelines for approving settlements between employers and employees in whistleblower cases to ensure that they do not contain terms that could be interpreted to restrict future whistleblowing.

The new guidelines respond to a March 2015 petition for rulemaking from the Government Accountability Project, which asked OSHA to clarify that it will not approve settlements that discourage whistleblowing.

In particular, the updated guidelines make clear that OSHA will not approve a settlement that contains a provision that restricts the employee’s right to provide information to the government or requires the employee to notify the employer before or after communicating with the government. OSHA also will not approve an agreement that requires a whistleblower to waive his or her right to receive a monetary award from a government-administered whistleblower program or to pay the employer a portion of such an award.

More information can be found via OSHA’s website.

OSHA Joins Health Canada to Develop 2016-2017 Workplace Chemicals Work Plan

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Health Canada, through the Regulatory Cooperation Council, have jointly developed a 2016-2017 Workplace Chemicals Work Plan. The purpose of the work plan is to ensure that current and future requirements for classifying and communicating the hazards of workplace chemicals will be acceptable in the U.S. and Canada without reducing worker safety.

The work plan involves activities that support:

  • Developing materials to assist stakeholders with implementing the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling (GHS) and understanding the interpretation of technical issues and requirements in Canada and the U.S.;
  • Coordinating opinions on issues that arise from international discussions on the GHS; and
  • Maintaining alignment between the U.S. and Canadian requirements for implementing the GHS when revisions are made.

OSHA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Canada’s Department of Health in 2013. The goal of the MOU is to devise a system, accepted by both countries, that allows the use of one label and one safety data sheet.

OSHA aligned its Hazard Communication Standard with the GHS in March 2012 to provide a common, understandable approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets. OSHA’s Hazard Communication Web page includes links to the standard, frequently asked questions and guidance materials.


Accreditation Updates




  • Aset International Oil & Gas Training Academy, Aberdeen, United Kingdom;
  • International Petroleum College, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan;
  • PCI Bahrain, Manama, Bahrain


  • G&C Advisory & Consulting, Mexico;
  • Halliburton  Energy Services PM, Houston, Texas

Safety Alerts

For the latest safety alerts, visit

Alert 15-08: Disabled and non-functional safety devices leads to destruction of derrick board

Alert 15-09: Near miss – dropped six pound sledge hammer

Alert 15-10: Fatality on drill floor

Rigs Receive ISP Certificates

For certificates received since last LTI (in years):

  • COSL Drilling Pan Pacific LTd.: COSL Force (2); COSL Strike (7)
  • Songa Offshore: Songa Dee (1); Songa Delta (3); Songa Equinox (1);
  • Weatherford Drilling Int’l: Rig 144 (15); Rig 147 (4); Rig 150 (3); Rig 155 (17); Rig 811 (5); Rig 875 (2); Rig 891 (2); Rig 892 (2); Rig 893 (2); Algeria Support Team (1); Kuwait Support Team (1).
For certificates received since last recordable incident (in years):
  • Weatherford Drilling Int’l: Rig 147 (4); Rig 808 (1); Rig 811 (1); Rig 841 (1); Rig 844 (2); Rig 875 (1); Rig 892 (2); Algeria Support Team (1); Egypt Support Team (1); Kuwait Support Team (1).

New IADC Members

IADC welcomes 8 new members:


DRILLBITS Volume 26, Number 9

Tom Burke, 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

To subscribe to Drill Bits, go to

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