2009 IADC chairman Claus Hemmingsen calls for improved environmental integrity

Equipment and the technology behind it is being evaluated during design of new drilling units. Blowout prevention and spill prevention are in place, and maintenance programs are increasingly advanced to ensure the integrity of equipment. The energy efficiency of pumps, machinery, etc, is being improved over time to reduce CO2 emissions.

Environmental management systems are in place, with many rig owners certified according to ISO 14001. The industry also builds systems for total emission management (green rigs) to make sure that we focus our efforts in the most environmental beneficial areas.

Finally, the environmental culture, or environmental awareness, is a focus area here and now and will only increase in the coming years. The financial crisis may be taking a lot of focus away, but the environment should be back in the spotlight soon, Mr Hemmingsen said.

“We have over time developed an extraordinary safety culture, and I think we can be proud of that compared with just about any other industry. This culture holds room for improvement when it comes to environmental performance. However, I am sure that with the pressure coming from governments, regulatory bodies, the public, our employees and everybody else, we will see an environmental culture that can match the already existing safety culture in the near future.”

IADC this year has established the Environmental Policy Advisory Panel – EPAP – to advise the Executive Committee regarding environmental initiatives appropriate for IADC.

In the initial meetings of the panel, an organizational plan was formulated to establish a committee of experts from within the member companies to advise the Executive Committee on initiatives appropriate for the association.

In 2009, a major effort to educate and inform the industry and the general public will be made. Some of the activities include:

Drilling Contractor magazine: As a premium publication reaching more than 30,000 professionals in the oil and gas industry and a large audience of regulators and governmental subscribers, Drilling Contractor offers an excellent forum for disseminating information regarding environmental initiatives and programs. Including environmentally focused articles in each issue of the magazine is an established goal. Over the next several issues, the magazine will feature articles on industry programs that are success models for collaborative industry actions in promoting environmental responsibility and activity.

IADC Environmental Conference and Exhibition: In 2009, IADC will conduct an Environmental Conference to focus attention on technology, programs and issues relevant to advancing the industry’s positive profile in stewardship and responsibility. The conference will be held on 12-13 May in Stavanger, Norway.

IADC staff and committees are continuously working on environmentally related regulatory issues impacting the drilling industry. A comprehensive statement of this work can be found in the September/October 2008 issue of Drilling Contractor. Briefly, the major issues addressed are:

  • • Biofouling issues are posing increasing risks in both financial and operational areas for rig operators. IADC is engaged with regulators worldwide to assure the impact of proposed biofouling regulations are appropriate for drilling contractors.

    • The HSE Committee has surveyed the membership on practices for measurement of environmental performance. The panel is working on internationalizing IADC’s guidelines for collecting environmental data by adding specifications relevant to European Union requirements.

    • EPA SPCC Rule (Spill Prevention, Control Countermeasure), IADC joined with IPAA in questioning the rule’s scope and cost.

    • Ocean Resource Management, IADC joined with API, IPAA and NOIA to oppose legislation on ocean resources that would impose unwarranted limitations on offshore access and development.

    • Marine diesel engine rules released by the EPA impose new engine emission requirements on the US OCS.

    • EPA issued a draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Vessel General Permit (VGP). IADC is making recommendations to the rulemaking seeking to improve the proposed permit.

“In 2009, a host of environmentally founded activities will take place under our umbrella. … I look forward to working together with members and committees alike on these issues, on raising our public profile and I hope to see you at the conference in Stavanger in May 2009,” Mr Hemmingsen said. “I look forward to taking part in a responsible industry approach to achieve drilling with environmental integrity.”

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