How we worked changed this year, but we stayed the course on our core goals

As we near the end of the year, it’s important to reflect on where we started. In the January/February issue of this magazine, I mentioned how the innovation of our industry does not happen without commitment, collaboration and participation from everyone. Inside companies, among friends in the industry and across the energy sector, this year has been tough for everyone.

Julie Robertson, 2020 IADC Chair

Yet, despite the obstacles we have faced, each and every one of us has stepped up with patience, grit and a positive attitude. Let’s look back at how the resilience of our industry was demonstrated this year at IADC.

With the tumult of 2020, IADC knew that coming together would be more important than ever. Throughout the year, we partnered with other trade groups to advocate on behalf of companies and employees in the sector, both onshore and offshore.

Some of these were local organizations, such as state-level associations in the US, and others were more global in nature, like the International Maritime Organization. These are organizations that know IADC, what we do and whom we represent. Long-standing relationships with these like-minded organizations allowed us to depend on each other and effectively collaborate for the benefit of our constituents.

Keeping the industry’s work going, virtually

Members also showed up to do the work this year, although through virtual means. Committees, working groups, advisory panels and planning committees continued to contribute their time and demonstrate a dedication to keep IADC moving ahead.

Given the culture of this industry, we would have preferred in-person meetings, as we normally do. Still, we stayed on task and delivered results, even remotely.

Digital Reader Exclusive Video Interview
Click here to view a video interview with Julie Robertson in the Digital Reader.

Virtual panel discussions were led by professionals with expertise in HSE, drilling engineering and automation, and governmental legislative and regulatory affairs, providing information to individuals and organizations seeking guidance in unprecedented times. Like the rest of the industry, committees shifted meetings to virtual platforms, either maintaining agendas as planned or remaining nimble and making changes as needed, due to more urgent matters taking precedence. Interactive virtual town hall meetings also kept the industry up to date on the latest developments impacting the drilling industry.

The core of IADC’s work didn’t actually change throughout the year. Yes, perhaps the path was a little different than planned, but we were able to take the necessary steps to keep us on the set course. The roll-out of WellSharp Live this year is an example of our industry’s ability to find solutions to new obstacles.

When the need arose for a distance-learning solution for well control training, we turned to a portal that had been under development for the Knowledge Retention and Education for our Workforce (KREW) platform. With industry collaboration, it was repackaged and redeployed as a virtual delivery system for WellSharp. This afforded our accredited instructors the opportunity to continue providing training courses remotely.

This focus on innovation for the continuous learning KREW portal proved to be fruitful for other purposes. IADC also offered providers virtual teaching options for RigPass, DIT and Gateway to expand their service offerings, benefitting the entire industry.

Thanks to our rig crews

While there is no doubt this year has been challenging on so many levels, let’s never lose sight of the men and women who work onboard our drilling rigs all over the world. They are the best example I have ever known of being agile and flexible problem-solvers on a daily basis. And that didn’t begin in 2020! We have asked more than normal of our rig crews this year, and I am grateful for each one of them and the significant role they play in our companies. My faith in the steadfastness and dedication of the people in our industry has never been greater.

As I end my year as IADC Chair, I am heartened by the service, volunteerism and adaptability I have seen among industry professionals for the betterment of all. The trust extended across this industry during 2020 will not be something I forget. I know the lessons we have learned this year about the importance of collaboration will long be remembered.

As we continue to recover from the double Black Swan events of 2020, I know our core beliefs of community, safety and innovation have not diminished. IADC is that trusted organization in the industry with a deeply embedded set of principles. We should be proud of the accomplishments of our association and our members during the past 80 years and can look forward to even greater results in the future. DC

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