Monthly eNewsletter from the IADC

North Sea Chapter Celebrates 50th Anniversary!

In a global network as large as IADC’s, it’s vital to have resources and events available on both local and regional levels. IADC’s Regional Chapters provide those opportunities for local connections and professional growth to Members in various regions throughout the world. This month’s feature article will spotlight IADC’s North Sea Chapter.

Celebrating 50 Years

Of IADC’s 17 Regional Chapters, the North Sea Chapter (NSC) is one of the longest-standing. In fact, the NSC became IADC’s first international Regional Chapter when it was officially inaugurated in London on 15 May 1973 at a dinner with over 300 attendees.

We would like to congratulate and celebrate our North Sea Chapter on their 50th anniversary this year! This Chapter has deep roots in the region and has been serving local Members for decades.

When asked about his involvement in the chapter, NSC Chair Darren Sutherland, Vice President — Europe Africa at Borr Drilling, said:

“Why am I involved and why do I enjoy being a part of IADC North Sea? To me it’s all about the people. The Chapter’s first Chairman, Charlie Orr of Santa Fe, reporting on the origins of the Chapter wrote ‘I might add we had a super group of people and I have never seen a group of competitors work so well together’ and that sentiment has not changed in 50 years. We are competitors but we are also IADC colleagues, and we have a fantastic team of member representatives that are focused on doing the right thing for our industry and our employees. The camaraderie is excellent, we work and socialise together and where we can, we will help each other out of challenging situations.”

Supporting Drilling in the North Sea

The current situation in the North Sea is less than ideal for drilling contractors. The region has seen a migration of rigs and equipment to other areas of the world, which reduces drilling and decommissioning capabilities in the North Sea. The NSC has been active in advocating for the drilling community and speaking up about how more investment in North Sea drilling is vital to creating energy security for the region and ensuring a successful energy transition in years to come. 

The NSC is actively lobbying the UK and Scottish governments, asking them to consider a different approach to handling the energy transition and energy security in the region.

Here are some of the actions they’ve taken so far: 

  • The NSC has urged the UK and Scottish governments to take a “balanced, long-term approach” to the energy transition in an Energy Voice article titled North Sea drillers warn of rig exodus amid ‘minimal opportunity.’
  • They visited Westminster to discuss the future of the industry with the UK Government’s British Offshore Oil and Gas Industry All Party Parliamentary Group. 
  • The Chapter also recently sent a letter to all 779 Members of Parliament in London and Edinburgh urging that politicians and the oil and gas industry need to work together to ensure a balanced, long-term approach to the energy transition. Coverage can be found in an Energy Voice article titled Drillers warn politicians that North Sea rigs could be ‘lost for good.’ In the letter to Parliament, the Chapter asks for: 
    • A mature, pragmatic, joined up and long-term approach to the country’s energy provision
    • A recognition of the impending energy crisis that the public will face if investment in the North Sea is not de-risked 
    • An orderly energy transition over a measured period with tangible goals 

NSC Events & Activities

Aside from the important actions being taken on the advocacy front, the NSC is also engaged in other activities for the wellbeing of the drilling industry and its workforce in the region. 

Addressing Mental Health 

The NSC is initiating a top-down driven cultural change that’s needed to move the industry in the direction required to effect lasting and meaningful change in how it deals holistically with mental health. They have led an industry focus group to better understand what is being done in terms of mental health provision, both onshore and offshore in the North Sea. This led to the development of a 15-page informational document on the subject, titled Changing Minds, Saving Lives: An urgent new approach to mental health in the North Sea, which will be published in early March. A panel session and workshop is also scheduled for the 25th of April to develop an industry charter on the subject with the aim of driving lasting and impactful change in the area of mental health provision in oil and gas. A letter from NSC Chair Darren Sutherland will be sent to top executives and thought leaders in the region inviting them to participate. 

Celebrating Safety 

Another way the Chapter is supporting the drilling community is through celebrating and prioritizing safety with its Annual Safety Awards ceremony. This well-attended event provides an excellent opportunity to recognize companies in the region for their safety performance. This year’s NSC Annual Safety Awards will take place on Friday, 24th March 2023 at P&J Live in Aberdeen. 


The Chapter provides many opportunities for local Members to connect and network. Since 2009, the Chapter has been holding biannual “Meet & Greet” sessions, which provide an opportunity for Associate Members to meet and network with the Primary Members, the drilling contractors that operate in the UK basin. Another popular event amongst the Members is the NSC’s golf event. This year the Chapter will be hosting its 40th golf event in Aberdeen. 

Providing Resources & Workgroups 

In 2019, the NSC developed a document titled Human Factors: Guidance on MODU/MOU Safety Case Content. This document is widely recognized and used by the industry. Over the years the Chapter has produced numerous documents and guidance to assist Members, which can be found on IADC’s website.

The NSC also has several IADC work groups that meet every other month to discuss any topics or issues that Members need support with, such as HR; Safety, Health, and Environment; Training and Competence; etc.

Giving Back 

As a non-profit organization, the NSC donates thousands of pounds to charities each year. Some examples of the many charities the Chapter helps and supports include: Clan Cancer Support, Children’s Hospice Association Scotland, Friends of Anchor, Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Oil Chaplaincy, Archway, and Charlie’s House. 

NSC meeting with the British Oil & Gas APPG (All party parliamentary groups) at Westminster


NSC Meet & Greet – Oct 2022 


NSC Meet & Greet – Oct 2022


NSC Golf Event