Monthly eNewsletter from the IADC

DrillBits – July 2020

DRILLBITS – July 2020

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A Note on COVID-19

IADC continues to work to ensure Members have access to critical industry information related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The IADC website includes a page that consolidates global recommendations and guidance from regulators and other industry groups on COVID-19. As the global situation remains fluid, the page is continuously updated to provide the latest and most up-to-date information. The website also includes information pertaining to IADC’s accreditation programs and certificates, along with rescheduled IADC conferences and committee meetings. Information is also being shared daily on IADC’s social networks, including LinkedIn and Facebook and on DrillingContractor.org. The latest issue of the magazine can be found online at Drilling Contractor.org.


IADC Partners with Industry Associations to Urge International Authorities to Adopt IMO Recommendations during Pandemic on Key Personnel, Safe Ship Crew Changes and Travel

IADC recently partnered with the International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC), International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP), International Support Vessel Owners Association (ISOA) and the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) on a document urging national authorities to recognize IMO’s Circular Letter calling for the designation of personnel in the offshore energy sector as “Key Personnel” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The recommendations contained in Circular Letter No.4204/Add.13 issued by IMO, in consultation with the above associations, detail the necessary actions that IMO recommends for facilitating movement of “key workers” to and from their places of work on all vessels and installations engaged in offshore energy sector activities. It also addresses the needs of all offshore workers engaged in the broad spectrum of activities that comprise the offshore energy sector and recommends that such personnel be designated as key workers, noting that the need for efficient crew changes is vital to ensuring the safety of offshore workers and the environment.

The letter also asks that governments review IMO Circular Letter 4204/Add.14, which sets out a recommended framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. The protocols, developed by IADC, IAGC, IOGP, IMCA and IOSA, are supported by the IMO Secretary-General who has urged Member States to implement these critical measures. One of the key recommendations contained within these protocols requests that governments give serious consideration to exempting seafarers and offshore energy sector personnel from any isolation or quarantine measures that might be applicable to other passengers arriving by aircraft from other countries.

The full IMO Circular Letter is included as an addendum to the joint associations’ letter addressing national authorities and can be accessed via the IADC Website.  

Washington D.C. Update


The Senate has continued to move on the Administration’s nominees, setting a record with over 200 of the Administration’s nominated judges confirmed in less than 3 years. The chamber also overwhelmingly passed the Great American Outdoors Act, which would provide permanent and full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. It is widely expected to pass the House and be signed by the President. While discussions in mid-June primarily centered on COVID-19 relief, recent developments in the national security sphere have pulled Senators into last-minute intelligence hearings concerning foreign adversaries. In terms of additional COVID relief legislation, Majority Leader McConnell and Treasury have said they would like to wait until July before making decisions on additional relief. Also lurking in the near future is this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, widely expected to contain amendments attempting to curtail future drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.


House Democrats have been busy with a litany of legislation. Starting in early June, they approved a $494m infrastructure bill, the INVEST in America Act (H.R.2). Democrats have also been concerned with job losses in the clean energy sector due to COVID-19, sending a letter to their leadership demanding they prioritize the clean energy sector in future coronavirus-relief packages. This follows several hearings from Democrats on the Energy & Commerce/Natural Resources committees highlighting the jobs issue, plugging and abandonment policy, and green energy policy. Moving into July, the House will look to pass the Great American Outdoor Act, which has been passed in the Senate and is supported by the President.

White House

With the President having to navigate an increasingly tense domestic environment, the Administration has managed to shift some focus back to regulatory changes and policy pushes ahead of 2020. In mid-June, the Office of Management and Budget asked executive agencies to prepare lists of regulations they’d like to see gone, giving agencies until June 23 to identify any regulations that would hamper economic recovery from COVID-19. At EPA, officials have sent a plan for national ground-level ozone standards to the White House for review. The courts have also been busy as it relates to the Administration’s energy and environmental policy. Apart from clearing several pipeline projects long held up by green lawsuits, the court is also set to take a look at the Administration’s ANWR plan following a lower court ruling restoring the previous Administration’s plan.

IADC Chapters & Committees

DEC holds ‘Rig for the Future” event, now planning next event on ‘Transformation in Leadership’

The IADC Drilling Engineers Committee (DEC) held a virtual Tech Forum, “Rig for the Future,” on 24 June with approximately 170 participants. The event brought together a group of industry experts, representing drilling contractors, operators and service companies, to share their thoughts on what a new rig for the future would look like, as well as its potential value and the barriers the industry must address to achieve such a vision. Topics addressed include rig power systems, rig floor robotics, leveraging automation and digitalization technologies, and the evolution of rig controls.

Speakers at the event, which was moderated by DEC Board member Robert Estes with Halliburton, were:

  • Marcel Snijder, Patterson-UTI Drilling Company
  • Andrew McKenzie and Daniel Meinders, National Oilwell Varco
  • Luis G. Hernandez, Schlumberger
  • Scott Boone, Nabors
  • Ketan Bhaidasna, Halliburton
  • Willie Thompson, Hess Corp
  • Michael Behounek, Apache
  • Nathan Moralez, BP
  • John Willis, Occidental Petroleum

The DEC is now organizing its next Tech Forum, scheduled for 15 September in Houston. The theme for this event is “Transformation in Leadership.”

As the market and workforce evolve, the way that companies lead their wells operations is transforming. In this forum, we will explore current trends, the next-generation workforce and drivers that are changing the industry’s operational leadership structure and approach, as well as discuss best practices for adaptive and transformative leadership. Transformational leadership serves to enhance the motivation, morale and job performance of the workforce through a variety of mechanisms, which allows the leader to align teams with tasks that enhances overall performance. We will also discuss how the industry can more effectively come together to standardize best practices while scaling up innovative ideas that can enhance safety and performance of wells delivery. Topics for discussion will include:

  • How are the roles and responsibilities of various wells leadership positions changing?
  • How does increased automation affect the risk picture and overall leadership decision making?
  • How is decision making changing with new automated systems, integration of drilling data with the beginning of machine learning for trend recognition and enhanced decision making?
  • How can we do a better job of communicating internally between disciplines (drilling, completion, production, reservoir, geology, etc.)?

Abstracts for this event will be accepted until 7 August.

Industry Events

Join IADC for a Virtual Panel Discussion: U.S. Land, Lessons Learned from the Current Pandemic

On 15 July, IADC will host a virtual panel discussion (VPD), U.S. Land: Lessons Learned from the Current Pandemic. The hour-long VPD will feature speakers from four companies who will talk about best practices for rig workers as they return to work while still dealing with COVID-19.

Linda Hsieh, Editor/Publisher, Drilling Contractor Magazine, will open the VPD and Scott Gordon, Account Manager, Helmerich & Payne IDC, will serve as session moderator. Guest speakers include:

  • Mike Garvin, SVP Operations, Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc.
  • Kenny Baker, Drilling Superintendent, Cactus Drilling Company
  • Cody Ashley, HSE Director, Latshaw Drilling Company
  • Micah Backlund, HSE Manager, Helmerich & Payne IDC

The webinar will begin at 4 p.m. CET (9 a.m. Houston/ 3 p.m. UK/ 6 p.m. Dubai) and requires a Zoom account to participate. For more information and to register, please visit www.drillingcontractor.org.

2021 Offshore Technology Conference Accepting Abstract Submissions

The 2021 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) will be hosted in Houston on 3-6 May, 2021. Abstract submission for the conference is now open. OTC is looking for contributions to the world-class technical program on topics like the enhanced role of digital solutions, energy transition, cost reduction and safety aspects and new areas of opportunity, among others. Authors will present their technical knowledge and experience to energy professionals, raise their company’s profile at the premier global event for offshore energy, have their manuscript published on OnePetro.org and extend their influence as part of an exceptional technical program.

To submit an abstract, please visit the OTC website.

IADC Houston Chapter to Host 32nd Annual Golf Tournament

The IADC Houston Chapter will host its 32nd Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament on 11 September 2020 at Cypresswood Golf Club.

The tournament is the Chapter’s primary fundraiser and focuses on the next generation by raising money for scholarship awards. The Chapter has awarded more than $1,250,000 in scholarships to deserving students from various universities including the University of Houston, Texas A&M and the University of Texas, among others.

The Chapter is optimistic that the golf tournament will be able to proceed as planned. The tournament will be conducted as a four-person scramble with a shotgun start on two courses. Priority status will be given to Platinum, Gold and Silver Sponsors on a “first come” basis.

To register, please click here.

Sponsorship Opportunities and General Inquires can be directed to the following:

Sponsorship Opportunities and General inquiries
Marc Noel
Phone: (337) 706-2122
Email: mnoel@icdrilling.com

Matt Baker
Phone: (281) 797-8499
Email: mbaker@wellboreintegrity.com

Gloria Call
Phone: (936) 203-0297
Email: gloriacall@suddenlink.net

Golf Course Hospitality (Cooking and Drink Sponsors)
Mary Miller
Phone: (832) 607-7356
Email: Millermj7111@gmail.com

Industry News & Resources

RAPID-S53 BOP Reliability JIP Opens to Include Component Manufacturer Participants

The RAPID-S53 BOP Reliability JIP has established a new type of participant category, that of Equipment Component Manufacturer. The category is designed for the companies that make individual components such as SPM valves and regulators supplied to OEMs/System Integrators to build the complete BOP system.

Parker Hannifin Corporation is the first component manufacturer to join the JIP in the new category. Initial annual dues for component manufacturers as been set at $7500.There are currently 12 drilling contractors, 12 operators, and three OEM/System Integrators participating in the JIP, which has been collecting BOP performance data since 2015.

Chemical Safety Board Releases Safety Alert on Extreme Weather Events

On 23 June, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released a new safety video message and safety alert focused on extreme weather events. The message draws attention to addressing preparedness for the 2020 hurricane season. The alert provides insights and tips for establishing and enhancing procedures for mitigating extreme weather conditions. While the alert directly addresses chemical plants, there are certain common elements of concern that can be shared with offshore operations.

The full notice can be accessed at the CSB website.

U.S. Maritime Administration Issues Advisory on GoM Vessel Attacks

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) recently published Maritime Advisory 2020-008: Vessel Attacks in the Southern Gulf of Mexico. The advisory draws attention to recent piracy incidents that have occurred in the southern GoM. The U.S. government is aware of at least 20 fishing vessels and 35 oil platforms and offshore supply vessels that have been targeted by pirates and armed robbers since January 2018 in the Bay of Campeche area.

The full advisory notice can be found at the MARAD website.

Norway Issues Update on Coronavirus and Safety Risk

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) recently provided an update on COVID-19 factors for consideration as the pandemic continues to run its course. The main impression formed by the PSA is that the level of safety in the industry is being maintained. The position is regarded as stable and becoming more and more normalized.

To read the full update notice, please visit the PSA website.

OSHA Issues Compliance Directive on Respirable Crystalline Silica

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a compliance directive designed to ensure uniformity in inspection and enforcement procedures when addressing respirable crystalline silica exposure in general industry, maritime and construction. The new directive provides OSHA compliance safety and health officers with guidance on how to enforce the silica standards’ requirements, including:

  • Methods of compliance
  • Table 1 tasks and specified exposure control methods
  • Exposure assessments
  • Housekeeping
  • Respiratory protection
  • Regulated areas
  • Recordkeeping
  • Employee information and training
  • Medical surveillance
  • Communication of hazards

More information and specifics can be found on OSHA’s website.

EPA Releases 2020 Spring Agenda

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with the rest of the U.S. Federal Government, recently released the Spring 2020 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (Spring Agenda), which provides updates to the public about regulatory activity planned for the next 12 months. The Spring Agenda supports the President’s commitment to regulatory reform, while simultaneously advancing the Agency’s core mission of protecting human health and the environment.

The EPA’s Spring Agenda shows continued progress in reducing unnecessary regulatory burden as envisioned by Executive Order 13771. Since 2017, the EPA has completed a total of 62 deregulatory actions, projected to save an estimated $40 billion in costs. The Spring Agenda includes 40 deregulatory actions currently under development.

For more information and to access, please click here.

Pennsylvania Announces Grand Jury Findings on State’s Unconventional Oil and Gas Industry

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro recently announced the findings and recommendations of Pennsylvania’s 43rd Statewide Investigating Grand Jury report on the unconventional oil and gas industry. The Grand Jury’s two-year investigation uncovered systemic failures by government agencies in overseeing the hydraulic fracturing industry. In addition to exposing failures on the part of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Health, the Grand Jury made eight recommendations to create a more comprehensive legal framework that would better protect Pennsylvanians from industry operations. These include:

  • Expanding no-drill zones in Pennsylvania from the required 500 feet to 2,500 feet;
  • Requiring hydraulic fracturing companies to publicly disclose all chemicals used in drilling and hydraulic fracturing before they are used on-site
  • Requiring the regulation of gathering lines, used to transport unconventional gas hundreds of miles
  • Adding up all sources of air pollution in a given area to accurately assess air quality
  • Requiring safer transport of the contaminated waste created with hydraulic fracturing sites
  • Conducting a comprehensive health response to the effects of living near unconventional drilling sites
  • Limiting the ability of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection employees to be employed in the private sector immediately after leaving the Department.
  • Allowing the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General original criminal jurisdiction over unconventional oil and gas companies.

A copy of the report can be found here, along with Fact sheets and press kits available here.

Updated Coronavirus-Related Guidance Issued by OSHA

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released their updated coronavirus-related guidance to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus for oil and gas workers. The guidance urges employers with workers engaged in the oil and gas industry to remain alert to changing conditions and implement infection prevention measures accordingly. The guidance includes information regarding:

  • Deferring work requiring close contact with others, if that work can be postponed.
  • Configuring communal work environments so that workers are spaced at least 6 feet apart
  • Staggering workers’ arrival, break and departure times.
  • Ensuring adequate ventilation in work areas to help minimize exposure
  • Implementing other appropriate engineering, administrative and work practice controls, and use of appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Encourage workers to wear face coverings as a source control to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

To access the full guidance, please visit the OSHA website.

IADC DDR Plus™  – New Version of the IADC Daily Drilling Report Now Available

IADC will soon no longer sell the current version of the paper tour sheets. Below are some of the changes that have been made to the Daily Drilling Report.

Updates to the print tour sheet – What has been changed?

  • Addition of new codes/some changes to existing codes
  • Activity descriptions updated
  • New fields added to tour sheet & adjustments made to existing fields

*A survey of IADC members indicated that industry wished a standardized manner of importing data into the IADC DDR to meet increasing demands for automated reporting. After a year-long process, the IADC Data, Controls and Sensors Subcommittee of the IADC Advanced Rig Technology Committee expanded the legacy main codes and created a series of cascading sub-codes to improve granularity in reporting.

IADC DDR Plus™ will be available as an electronic schema, and also in the traditional paper format. Both will be phased in during Quarter 3/Quarter 4 of 2020. Please be advised once IADC DDR Plus™ is released, we will start to sell ONLY the newly revised DDR Plus versions of the 2T6 and 3T5 tour sheets. If you would like to request a copy of the new sheet with the new codes in order to prepare your rig crews for this transition, please contact Alyssa Medrano. We recommend that all companies contact us at your earliest convenience for a copy of the new forms so you can properly prepare your rig managers and rig crews for the transition.

For questions about IADC DDR Plus™ and to request a copy of the new sheet, please contact Alyssa Medrano at +1-713-600-1854 oralyssa.medrano@iadc.org.

IADC Incident Statistics Program (ISP) Plaques

IADC will now offer a Supreme plaque option for participants in the Incident Statistics Program.

Due to supply chain challenges, the Executive Plaque is no longer available. IADC will now offer a new, attractive, and completely redesigned plaque for next year’s order. The Supreme plaque is currently in stock and available. This plaque has a lower cost than the Executive plaque as well. Many thanks for your participation and plaque orders. View the Supreme Plaque and order at-  https://iadc.org/health-safety-environment/incident-statistics-program/

IADC Lexicon Featured Term for July 2020

The IADC Lexicon (IADCLexicon.org) 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:

“Water Seal” (Source: API STD 521, Pressure-relieving and Depressuring Systems, Sixth Edition, January 2014.)

Device that directs the flow of relief gases through a liquid (normally water) on the path to the flare burner, used to protect the flare header from air infiltration or flashback, to divert flow, or to create backpressure for the flare header.

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

IADC Chairman’s Anniversary Award

Know a Field-Based Employee Who’s Made an Impact and Deserves Recognition? Nominate them Now

IADC is now accepting nominations for individuals who have made notable contributions to improved drilling performance, including safety and equipment reliability. The winner will be recognized in November as part of the association’s 80th anniversary celebration this year.

“The Chairman’s Anniversary Award is one of IADC’s most prestigious because it recognizes a field-based individual for his or her personal efforts to improve performance,” IADC President Jason McFarland said. “The award is only given out every five years and is central to values that have been at the core of the association since its beginning in 1940 – continuous improvement in safety and performance.”

Submissions will be evaluated based on a demonstration of direct impact on improved performance, such as by eliminating injuries, enhancing process safety, reducing NPT, improving equipment reliability or increasing efficiency.

In 2015, Kenny Baker of Cactus Drilling received the inaugural Chairman’s Anniversary Award for his design and implementation of severe weather shelters on rig sites. In presenting the award, 2015 IADC Chairman Ed Jacob commented: “Many lives have been saved, in no small part due to Kenny’s passion and past efforts.”

Submissions for the 2020 award will be accepted through 31 August. The recipient will be presented with the award by 2020 IADC Chair Julie Robertson at the Annual General Meeting in November.

For those who wish to nominate themselves or a colleague, entries are being accepted here.

IADC Recognized for Excellence in Talent Development

IADC was recently recognized by the Association for Talent Development (ATD) with an award that recognizes organization and individuals for their excellence and contributions across the talent development field.

IADC received the Excellence in Practice Award, which honors those who achieved results using practices and solutions from the scope of talent development. Forty-nine awards in 11 categories were presented to 43 companies from eight countries. IADC’s award was in the Performance Consulting/Performance Improvement Category, and the Association was recognized for Well Control Training and Gap Identification in the Oil and Gas industry.

ATD is the world’s largest association dedicated to those who develop talent in organizations. ATD President and Chief Executive Officer Tony Bingham said, “ATD award winners reflect a deep commitment to the value of developing people in the workplace. Winning organizations demonstrate how aligning talent development to business needs can increase the performance and success of organizations worldwide. These winners’ accomplishments advance knowledge in the talent development profession and contribute to increasing workforce capability and organizational competitiveness.”

Due to COVID-19, ATD hosted a virtual awards presentation. To view the full awards presentation video, please click here.

Accreditation Updates


  • O&G Safety Training (UK) Ltd., Swansea, Wales


  • Olen Corp, Brazil
  • IAS International Oil & Gas Consultants, DMCC, UAE



New IADC Members

IADC welcomes 14 new members:


DRILLBITS Volume 30, Number 7

Julie Robertson, 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.

To subscribe to Drill Bits, go to www.iadc.org/drillbits.

To change/cancel a Drill Bits subscription, send an e-mail message to
IADC Director – Membership Sharon Thorpe at sharon.thorpe@iadc.org.