By Alex Endress, Editorial Coordinator
Drilling industry experts will address how companies can maintain productivity and continue improvements in operational efficiency at the 2016 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference, 1-3 March in Fort Worth, Texas. “It comes down to understanding how to navigate this market successfully,” Conference Chairman Bill Ambrose said. Mr Ambrose is Senior Vice President of Technical Services at Transocean. “The more people understand what is happening in this market – what the drivers of it are – the better they are going to be able to position their company to come out of it in good shape.”
On top of the more than 20 technical sessions, Mr Ambrose specifically highlighted the event’s two keynote sessions. They include addresses by XTO Energy President Randy Cleveland and Frederico Curado, President and CEO of Brazilian airliner Embraer. Mr Cleveland will examine the importance of innovation and investing in R&D for new technology, even during a downturn. “The more proficient we are in the way we drill wells obviously leads to lower cost profiles and opens back up the ability to do (more) drilling and production operations,” Mr Ambrose said.
Mr Curado, who is also a member of Transocean’s Board of Directors, was brought in to give a perspective from the airline industry on how companies can transition well in times of change. “The airline industry has gone through a lot of changes in the last decade, and it is a very capital-intensive business, similar to the oil and gas business,” Mr Ambrose said. He mentioned that the drilling industry could learn from automation and safety improvements the airline industry has implemented. “(Airlines) are highly reliable from a maintenance and delivery standpoint, with operations that are very cost competitive at the same time.”
Mr Ambrose said managed pressure drilling would also be a focus at the conference. “It is a technique that people are considering to lower costs of drilling offshore,” he said. “That technology opens up the ability to drill wells that in the past were very difficult, if not impossible, to drill.”
This year’s plenary session will include representatives from Shell, ConocoPhillips and Deloitte and Touche. It will address how the drilling industry can do things differently to work collaboratively through the downturn. “They will talk about what we need to change in the industry,” Mr Ambrose said. The discussion will include lowering cost levels, making business models more efficient and investing in new equipment.
Mr Ambrose said companies that send employees to attend the conference will learn how to better navigate the downturn in a wide variety of business segments. “Knowledge is key in this market. The more you know about what’s happening, the better you’ll be able to respond to it.” DC
Click here to read abstracts for the 2016 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference program.