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Collaborating for Well Control Excellence: An IWCF AGM overview

Following attending the International Well Control Forum’s Annual General Meeting, Head of Business Development Max Wyndham discusses the evolving landscape of well control certification and explores the vital role of collaboration while highlighting 3t Drilling Systems’ contribution.

In the dynamic world of well control within the oil and gas industry, collaboration stands out as a crucial element for achieving operational excellence. Max highlights the transformative power of collaboration, noting that the multifaceted discipline of well control requires a holistic approach. This collaborative approach involves industry players, experts, and organisations coming together to share knowledge, pool resources, and enhance well-control competency collectively.

This year, the IWCF AGM shed light on valuable lessons learned through the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) Well Expect Committee. One key take-away from this was the examination by IOGP of contributing causes to well control events, and the data highlighting that the majority of contributing factors are related to human factors as opposed to just equipment issues alone. This highlights the importance of focusing on the people involved in well operations, the decisions they make, how they interact and work together, in addition to just the technical aspects of well control certification.

Relevant to this, during the AGM members discussed the push for a wider take-up of IWCF’s Enhanced well control certification to build on the current mandatory Level 3 and 4 certification that  focus mostly on technical aspects. Addressing issues like communication, procedure deviations, and lack of situational awareness become crucial to reduce the frequency and severity of well control events. 3t Drilling Systems expresses support for this initiative, emphasizing the need to make enhanced well control more accessible through collaborative efforts with IWCF and training organisations. 3t Drilling Systems remains ready and willing to discuss how the immersive simulator requirements for the Enhanced well control course can be adapted to support an increased uptake in what is a transformative training course.

Continuous learning continues to be a hot topic as a powerful tool to combat well control skills fade during the two-year recertification cycle. The industry has proven the benefits of ongoing training beyond traditional Level 3 and 4 certifications and recognises that technology plays a key role. While simulation is not the only way of supporting continuous learning, solutions that provide a wider range of well control scenarios for training can broaden the practical skills and experiences of those involved in well operations. This not only tackles skills fade, but enhances competency levels.

By being able to customise continuous learning content and well control scenarios that are completed, solutions present an excellent opportunity to feedback lessons learned in real events to the people that can truly benefit from them. The IOGP have done a wonderful job in gathering and sharing event data, but technology can be used to ensure lessons learned are really learned by the crews.

While technology solutions like 3t Drilling Systems’ DrillSIM Academy continuous learning platform exist, there are still practical challenges associated with continuous learning adoption. Organisations must incentivise individuals to engage in continuous learning, and this poses challenges related to work schedules and individual motivations. Throughout the event, it was clear that the industry needs to address these challenges collectively to ensure the effectiveness of continuous learning initiatives.

The AGM also highlighted a significant development in well-intervention pressure control certification. The industry anticipates the introduction of practical assessments, requiring the use of simulators. At 3t Drilling Systems, we are eager to collaborate and adapt existing technology to meet these new requirements, highlighting the importance of making such solutions accessible and affordable for the industry.

In conclusion, the IWCF AGM provided valuable insights into the evolving landscape of well control certification. Collaboration stood out as a key theme among subjects including enhanced well control certification, continuous learning, and the impending practical assessments for well intervention pressure control. 3t Drilling Systems remains committed to collaborative efforts, contributing to the industry’s pursuit of operational excellence in well control and emphasising the crucial role of human factors in ensuring safe and efficient well operations.