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Panel Sessions

Tuesday, 26 January | 1330–1500


Automating The Drilling Process

Moderator: Rami Bakir, Vice President Operations Middle East & North Africa, NOV

Session Chairs: Mazen Doha, ExxonMobil; Jason Power, Noble

Drilling complexity has shown a demand for drilling technologies, whereas, drilling automation is becoming a necessity to improve the operational safety factors while drilling faster, through a continuous automated communication process that integrates downhole BHA and components, rig & surface equipment.

Automated drilling delivers performance improvements to the well construction process, and, helps fill the competency gaps. The technology incorporates an open architecture for both downhole and surface components, and is designed to ensure economic viability, that pushes the boundaries of drilling automation which is a “customer configurable” platform,   that allows more access into more drilling technologies to integrate in the future, with continuous drilling optimization.


  • Walt Aldred, Research Director and Scientfic Advisor, Schlumberger Cambridge Research
  • Jon Curtis, President, Petrolink
  • David Farmer, Senior Vice President, Europe Middl East & Asia, Parker Drilling
  • Tony Pink, Vice President of Automated Drilling Applications, NOV
  • Rami Saleh, General Supervisor, Drilling & Workover, Saudi Aramco

Wednesday, 27 January | 1100–1230


Importing and Integrating Best Practices and Knowledge Transfer

Moderator: David Khemakhem,
Vice President of Well Operations, ZADCO

Session Chair: Dave Geer, IADC

As the industry expands into new frontiers, the best way to capitalise on learning from previous experiences is to develop a systematic way of importing lessons learnt from operations, best practices, and technologies from other part of the world. Such practices are well defined and well established in international oil companies and large multinational service companies. They allow these companies to quickly adapt to new environments and apply new technologies and techniques with more confidence. Transfer of these practices from one region to another requires a clear understanding of the difference and similarities between the different regions and careful planning of how to best integrate these practices. In addition to information sharing and technology transfer, the transfer of staff may sometimes be necessary to ensure the best possible outcome, while developing local talent. The panel is asked to discuss some specific examples of how the import and integration of best practices and knowledge transfer has helped IOC’s join hands with NOC in a number of projects and how this helped service companies differentiate their capabilities in well established markets.


  • Ehsan Akhavan, Regional Accounts Director, DuPont Sustainability Solutions
  • Robert Mandjes, Drilling & Measurements Technical and Marketing Manager, Schlumberger
  • Omar Mohamed, UAE Country Director, Marketing, Baker Hughes
  • Robert Nisbet, Senior Manager Integrated Drilling, ZADCO
  • James Petpisit, Strategic Business Manager - Cementing, Halliburton