Monthly eNewsletter from the IADC

DrillBits – June 2020

DRILLBITS – June 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.  

IADC Supports Nomination of Mark Menezes for Deputy Secretary at Department of Energy

IADC recently joined with more than 60 industry groups to support the nomination of Mark Menezes to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy. In a letter issued on 19 May to Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and the Committee’s Ranking Member, Joe Manchin (D-WV), the groups requested support for confirmation of Mr. Menezes, noting his deep qualifications and many years of senior leadership positions in both the private and public sectors. The letter also pointed out his commitment to ensuring that growing energy demands continue to be met by innovation, technology, efficiency and free enterprise with continued access to abundant, durable and affordable energy, all of which is critically important to economic growth and security.

U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Considers Program for Plugging Abandoned Wells

On 1 June, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, part of the House Natural Resources Committee, hosted a virtual forum entitled, “Reclaiming Orphaned Oil and Gas Wells – Creating Jobs and Protecting the Environment by Cleaning Up and Plugging Wells.” Discussion centered on the committee members desire to assist natural oil and gas workers who have been laid-off with a program that will focus on plugging orphaned oil and gas wells.

In a letter to subcommittee chairman Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), IADC noted that while such a program would help in providing employment for around 1,300 people, that number represents less then 1% of those that are currently out of work. The work is also temporary in nature and does not provide a long-term solution in assisting the tens of thousands of oil and gas workers who are currently unemployed. The letter also points out that the equipment and rigs used by drilling contractor companies is not the same equipment needed to plug an abandoned well, and therefore the program would not help drilling contractors in a time of significant need.

The full content of IADC’s letter can be found at: https://iadc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/IADC-letter-re-House-EMR-forum-on-orphaned-wells-and-job-creation.pdf

Washington D.C. Update


The Senate returned to Washington this Monday following a week break and is handling a slew of Trump Administration nominations for the time being. Analysts are now predicting that Majority Leader McConnell will look to work with House Democrats to pass another aid package by late July. With some Republican Senators stating they will block the chamber from August recess absent a fourth package, and with many unemployment benefits ending soon, it appears August recess is a hard deadline for both parties. Despite calling for a pause on spending packages in April, Sen. McConnell last week said there’s likely to be another bill. The Senate and the Trump Administration have emphasized that their priorities in the next package include limiting coronavirus liability for businesses and a potential “return-to-work bonus,” as well as showing restraint when it comes to more aid for state and local governments.


Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have made an initial attempt at additional coronavirus aid by passing its $3 trillion HEROES Act in mid-May, which includes almost $1 trillion in additional aid for state and local governments, a second round of direct payments to American households and an extension for a $600 enhanced unemployment benefit. Despite a wide range of benefits, it is unlikely spending priorities in the bill will match up with Republican Senators’ and Trump Administration, so it will remain to be seen exactly which measures retain bipartisan support as lawmakers look to recraft the package. Creeping in the background through all of this, has been the 2020 appropriations process. It is notorious for delays and stalling even in the best of years, and the timeline is already being pushed back as lawmakers grapple with a litany of policy issues. Last week, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and other democrats signaled that the bills may have to wait until August for floor passage.

White House

President Trump goes into June with his campaign in full swing and a full plate of policy issues to tackle as we move into the summer months. With widespread social disruption following the death of George Floyd, the President will look to handle domestic unrest while continuing to reopen the American economy. With Coronavirus projections a fraction of the many millions originally projected and states beginning to reopen far sooner than many anticipated, White House economists are predicting a strong Q3 for jobs and markets. On the energy front, the Treasury Department issued a long-awaited rule this week outlining how companies can claim federal energy tax credits for carbon storage.

IADC Chapters & Committees

June 24 DEC “Rig for the Future” Tech Forum moved to online only, program now available

The IADC Drilling Engineers Committee has decided to make its Q2 Tech Forum, with the theme “Rig for the Future,” a virtual event via Zoom. The session will be held from 8:30am to 12pm on June 24.

Presentations confirmed for the event are:

  • “The Future of Rig Power Systems” by Patterson-UTI Drilling Company
  • “Robotics: A Critical Partner for the Digital Revolution in the Drive to Full Automation” by NOV
  • “Orchestration and Automation Support Digital Drilling Approach” by Schlumberger
  • “Driving Continuous Improvement with Robotics” by Nabors
  • “Drilling Automation – Evolving Rig Control” by Halliburton

The half-day event will conclude with an Operator’s Panel, where we will hear what E&P representatives would like to see from drilling contractors and service companies/OEMs over the coming decade. Confirmed panelists are:

  • Willie Thompson, Drilling and Completions Engineering Manager, Hess Corp
  • Michael Behounek, Senior Drilling Advisor, Apache
  • Nathan Moralez, Rig Automation Engineer, BP
  • John Willis, Director Drilling, Completions and Well Servicing New Mexico, Occidental Petroleum

To attend this event, registration on IADC’s website is required. Zoom meeting information for the event will be e-mailed to registered attendees the day before the event.

Join IADC Rig Sensor Stewardship Guidelines Review Meeting on June 16

The IADC Data, Controls and Sensors (DCS) Subcommittee will hold an online meeting from 9-11am on June 16 to review the current draft of the IADC Rig Sensor Stewardship Guidelines. All interested IADC members are welcome to join and participate.

The DCS Subcommittee, a part of the IADC Advanced Rig Technology (ART) Committee, identified in 2019 the need for a set of guidelines with regards to the stewardship of sensors used for drilling control systems and rig state definition algorithms.

The guidelines provide a structure to address and define proper sensor functioning and the accuracy of a data point measurement. The guidelines do not provide required accuracies and/or service intervals.

To request a copy of the current guidelines for review prior to the meeting or to request the online meeting details for June 16, please contact Linda Hsieh at linda.hsieh@iadc.org.

Industry Events

Join IADC for a Virtual Panel Discussion, HSE Performance During the Corona Crisis: What Did We Learn

On 23 June, IADC will host a virtual panel discussion (VPD), HSE Performance During the Corona Crisis: What Did we Learn? The VPD will feature speakers from four companies who will talk about what they have experienced and how they interpret their safety performance during the COVID-19 crisis. Following a 10-minute introduction by each of the speakers, there will be a half-hour discussion, where participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and share their views.

Mike DuBose, IADC Vice President, International Development, will open the VPD and Lars Nydahl Jorgenson, IADC Regional Director – Europe, will serve as session moderator. Guest speakers include:

  • Neil Forrest, Vice President, Operational Integrity, Seadrill
  • Norbert van Beelen, Vice President, Wells Safety, Shell
  • Erik Roesen Larsen, Vice President, Head of HSSE, Maersk Drilling
  • Lamberto Nonno, Global HSE Leader, Baker Hughes

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.

2021 SPE/IADC International Drilling Conference and Exhibition: Last Chance for Call for Papers

Abstract submission for the 2021 SPE/IADC International Drilling Conference and Exhibition has been extended until 15 June. Those interested in submitting a paper proposal for consideration have an opportunity to influence the global industry and to help shape its future. Accepted papers are published in OnePetro, providing insights for industry peers and guidance for young professionals. Paper proposal submission topics include: drilling process and technology; tubulars; deepwater and subsea; completions and field development; management and systems; leading and new technologies/methodologies; case studies and environmental social governance.

To submit an abstract, please visit the drilling conference website.

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.

For more information about the JIP, and to join, please contact Steve Kropla at steve.kropla@iadc.org.

IMO, International Labor Organization (ILO), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Issue Joint Statement Addressing Key Personnel During COVID-19

The Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Director-General of the International Labour Organization and the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) recently issued a joint statement to enlist the support of Governments for the facilitation of crew changes in ports, airports and other designated operating environments in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The full statement can be found on IADC’s website.

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority Releases 2019 Annual Report

On 4 May, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway announced the release of the 2019 Annual Report. Highlights of the report include reduced major incident potential in 2019, better industry understanding of the PSA’s enforcement role–including use of relevant compliance initiatives–and importance of worker participation and of inter-party collaboration. The full report (in Norwegian) can be found on the PSA website.

BSEE Director Highlights Work on Environmental Stewardship, Safety on OCS

U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environment Enforcement (BSEE) Director Scott Angelle recently issued information on his assessment of safety and environmental stewardship following the 10th anniversary of the Macondo event. To read the highlights of the work that BSEE has undertaken to make operations on the Outer Continental Shelf safer, please visit BSEE’s website.

OSHA Issues Revised Enforcement Policies Related to COVID-19 Employee Protections

In May, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued two revised enforcement policies to ensure employers are taking action to protect their employees with respect to COVID-19.

First, OSHA is increasing in-person inspections at all types of workplaces. The new enforcement guidance reflects changing circumstances in which many non-critical businesses have begun to reopen in areas of lower community spread. The risk of transmission is lower in specific categories of workplaces, and personal protective equipment potentially needed for inspections is more widely available.

Secondly, OSHA is revising its previous enforcement policy for recording cases of coronavirus. Under OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements, coronavirus is a recordable illness and employers are responsible for recording cases of the coronavirus if:

Under the new policy, OSHA will enforce the recordkeeping requirements of 29 CFR 1904 for employee coronavirus illnesses for all employers. Given the nature of the disease and community spread, however, in many instances it remains difficult to determine whether a coronavirus illness is work-related, especially when an employee has experienced potential exposure both in and out of the workplace.  OSHA’s guidance emphasizes that employers must make reasonable efforts, based on the evidence available to the employer, to ascertain whether a particular case of coronavirus is work-related.

May/June Edition of Drilling Contractor Magazine Now Available

The May/June edition of Drilling Contractor Magazine is now available online via digital reader. Articles in the latest edition include special coverage on how COVID-19 is impacting the drilling industry; leveraging drillers as coaches to help increase new technology uptake; lessons learned from qualification of 20,000-psi subsea BOP stack and industry groups work to develop RP  to standardize guidance for integrating human performance into organizations, among other important topics.

Click to read Drilling Contractor’s May/June digital edition

The July/August edition of the magazine will focus on digital transformation, including digital twins, data management and analytics, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, along with coverage related to drilling fluids.

For advertising inquiries, please contact Bill Krull at Bill.Krull@iadc.org. For editorial inquiries, please contact Linda Hsieh at Linda.Hsieh@iadc.org.

IADC Chairman’s Anniversary Award Program Accepting Submissions

The Chairman’s Anniversary Award was developed to recognize field-based individuals who have made a direct impact on improved performance for their company, either through a project or personal effort.  The Award is given every five years as part of IADC’s anniversary celebrations.

Award winners will demonstrate how their innovative project directly improved performance in the field in one of the following ways:

  • Eliminating injuries
  • Enhancing process safety
  • Reducing NPT
  • Improving equipment reliability
  • Increasing efficiency

***IADC has extended the submission deadline. Those who wish to nominate a colleague for the Chairman’s Anniversary Award can do so now through 31 August. A selected group of IADC staff and industry veterans will judge all submissions the week of 14 September and a winner will be recognized during IADC’s Annual General Meeting in November.

For more information and to submit a nomination, please visit the IADC Website.

IADC Lexicon Featured Term for June 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:

“Utilization” (Source: ISO 19905-1:202, Petroleum and natural gas industries – Site-specific assessment of mobile offshore units – Part 1: Jack-ups:

Closure of the underwater safety valve and possibly other valves depending on Maximum value of the ratio of the generalized representation of the assessment action effect to the generalized representation of the assessment resistance in compatible units.
NOTE 1 The utilization is the maximum absolute value of the ratio for each limit state and assessment situation being considered.
NOTE 2 Only utilizations smaller than or equal to 1,0 satisfy the assessment criteria for a particular limit state.
NOTE 3 The assessment action effect is the response to the factored actions. The assessment resistance is the representative resistance divided by the partial resistance factor.
NOTE 4 For members and foundations subjected to combined forces, the internal force pattern and the resistance combine into an interaction equation. If the interaction equation governing the assessment check is, or can be, reduced to an inequality of the form U≤1,0, then the utilization is equal to U.
NOTE 5 Adapted from ISO 19902:2007, definition 3.56

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

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 12 new members:


DRILLBITS Volume 30, Number 6

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.

Send comments/questions to Amy Rose at amy.rose@iadc.org.

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IADC Director – Membership Sharon Thorpe at sharon.thorpe@iadc.org.