At a time when drilling in extreme conditions and cost squeezing is on the rise it is important for the drilling industry to maintain a good reputation, according to International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) Chairman and Nomac Drilling President Jay Minmier.
“Operators demand that costs be lowered. But at the same time, our equipment and systems are being tested to the limit, and sometimes beyond,” he said as a part of his featured address at the 2014 IADC Asset Integrity and Reliability Conference in Houston.
Minmier said causes of incidents like the Macondo well blowout and Piper Alpha platform explosion can be traced to simple failures and questionable oversight that were never caught. He talked about how drilling contractors are cycling equipment more often, causing more wear and tear, because they’re under pressure to increase productive time.
The problem facing the drilling industry is complex, he said, but new national regulations are putting a stop to fixing widespread repetitive failures and asset-related incidents differently on rigs in different jurisdictions.
The first solution he offered was comprehensive quality assurance. “Inspections, auditing and assurance, human interfaces and overall quality processes are just a few tools designed to ensure an effective integrity management system.”
Minmier also suggested data collection from failures, testing, overhauls and inspection to allow for condition-based monitoring. “Such techniques are gaining in acceptance and the availability of suitable and reliable sensors deployed in safety-critical locations is increasing,” he said.
Sharing data throughout the drilling industry is crucial, he said, and databases are now available to store and process it. He said the industry needs to get past its reluctance to share information.
“For data collection of equipment performance, arbitrary time-based maintenance procedures can be detrimental to the life cycle of a key component like BOPs (blow out preventers). But without sufficient data to support this, it can be difficult to show that other approaches might be more effective.”
Founded in 1940, IADC is dedicated to the interests of oil-and-gas and geothermal drilling contractors worldwide. Its mission is to improve industry health, safety and environmental practices; advance drilling and completion technology; and champion responsible standards, practices, legislation and regulations that provide for safe, efficient and environmentally sound drilling operations worldwide. For more information, visit www.iadc.org.