SPE/IADC Conference Challenges Drilling Industry To Adapt to New Challenges

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Each year, the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference and Exhibition provides a place for producers, contractors, and service company professionals to meet, discuss, evaluate, and share ideas to advance drilling operations around the world. The 2015 event will be held on 17–19 March at the ExCeL Exhibition and Conference Centre in London with a focus on how to drill safely and effectively in the face of rising costs and other challenges.

Special Events

On Monday, 16 March, SPE’s Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section (DSATS) and the International Association of Drilling Contractors’ (IADC) Advanced Rig Technology (ART) committee will hold a half-day symposium on advances in drilling technology. The event will be moderated by Paul Francis, program chair for Europe at DSATS and business development/technical adviser for dynamic pressure drilling at M-I Swaco.

Luca Save, an expert on human computer interaction at Deep Blue, an Italian human factors and safety consultancy, will discuss the “Advanced Cockpit for Reduction of Stress and Workload (ACROSS) Project.” The aviation joint industry project is aimed at reducing the number of pilots in the cockpit.

After the presentation, a panel of industry experts, including those from Shell and Cameron, will discuss the future of drilling automation, especially in the areas of well integrity, barriers, and control.

Tuesday’s opening session will spotlight welcome speeches from conference Chair Jan Brakel, 2015 SPE President Helge Hove Haldorsen, and 2015 IADC Chair John Rynd. The 2015 SPE Drilling Engineer Award will be presented to well control expert and University of Houston adjunct lecturer Neal Adams during the event.

The topic of the conference’s plenary session, which will be held on Wednesday, 18 March, is “Successfully Drilling Wells in a Changing World.” Panelists will explore how the drilling industry is affected by and should respond to challenges such as rising costs. Technological advances, process developments, economic considerations, and resource strategies all play a role and will be highlighted.

The following industry experts will be on the panel:

  • Gary Jones, head of global wells organization, BP
  • Arne Lyngholm, chief engineer of drilling technology, Statoil
  • Khaled Al Mogharbel, president of drilling group, Schlumberger
  • Ivan Tan, vice president of wells health, safety, and environment, Shell
  • Jack Winton, senior vice president of operations, KCA Deutag

Later on Wednesday, a half-day program for young professionals starts with a luncheon featuring Catherine MacGregor, president of Europe and Africa regions at Schlumberger, as keynote speaker. The program includes a poster session and lectures on soft professional skills from senior industry members.


Three training sessions will be held before and after the conference. On Sunday and Monday, there will be a 2-day training course on “Management of Major Accident Hazards Through an IADC Compliant Drilling HSE Case.” Two courses titled “Borehole Surveying Awareness” and “Coiled Tubing and its Applications” will be conducted on Friday.

Technical Sessions

Technical sessions begin on Tuesday morning and continue through Thursday afternoon and will cover a wide variety of drilling topics. These include well operation planning and human factors, managed-pressure drilling, bit technology and applications, drilling optimization, drilling fluids, wellbore placement, completions engineering, directional drilling, drilling automation, wellbore strengthening and well control, downhole tools, special operations, deep water, tubulars, and drilling dynamics.

For more information on the conference, please go to

SPE/IADC Conference Challenges Drilling Industry To Adapt to New Challenges

Jack Betz, JPT Staff Writer

01 January 2015

Volume: 67 | Issue: 1