Monthly eNewsletter from the IADC

From the President: Industry Continues to Tap into Limitless Potential of Technology

In the September/October issue of Drilling Contractor (DC) magazine, IADC President Jason McFarland discusses how technological advancements are benefitting the drilling industry. 

McFarland mentions that technology affects just about every aspect of our lives, including how we drill a well.

He states,

“Digitalization in well planning and rig operations has been steadily increasing in recent years, with meaningful advancements in automation, robotics, AI and machine learning. Employing these technical resources allows us to enhance safety on the rig while increasing efficiency and prioritizing sustainability in innovative ways.” 

McFarland gives numerous examples of recent technological advancements in the industry, including: 

  • The collaboration among Transocean, HMH, and Equinor to drill fully automated hole sections in Norway
  • NOV’s utilization of automation and robotics in moving the driller’s cabin from the rig floor to the ground
  • Patterson-UTI’s cloud-based alert system for monitoring equipment and maximizing performance

McFarland goes on to discuss how the average person most likely doesn’t realize how progressive and technical our industry is. He then introduces data and insights collected from IADC’s Industry Value Initiative (IVI), which is intended to help IADC gain a baseline understanding of perceptions of the industry, including misunderstandings and opportunities among prospective drilling industry employees. 

The research from the IVI revealed that messaging around how the industry uses various technologies could contribute to attracting new talent. Among the groups surveyed, some high priorities while seeking a new job or career include job security, skill development, and growth opportunities. 

McFarland points out,

“As the drilling industry continues to develop new technologies, the roles of the rig crew will change – but we will always need people. Through the introduction of new automation and digitalization systems, there lies an opportunity for the potential of skill development, career growth and job security for those already working in the industry and for those who decide to join us in the future.”

The IVI data also showed that the more familiar people are with the drilling industry or the more they learn about it, the more likely they are to consider a career in drilling. Surveyed individuals expressed that when they’re interested in learning more about the drilling industry as a potential career, family and friends with industry experience are two of the most trusted sources of information.

In closing, McFarland states, 

“Each of us can impact how others, including potential new-hires, perceive the industry. It’s within our power to introduce the world to the drilling industry we all know and love.”