IADC advances advocacy, accreditation to support industry’s collective goals

By Jason McFarland, IADC President

The past year was historic in several ways, bringing vast changes not only to the way we work and do business but also in the way live. However, as it did in the 80 years prior, IADC stood as a stalwart of our industry, taking care of our own through the storm. This has meant serving members and understanding their varying interests, priorities and challenges. This has meant meeting members where they are and helping them get to where they want to go.

Jason McFarland, IADC President

Thankfully, it seems we are starting to head back to more normal times. Around the globe, the largest vaccine distribution campaign in history is under way. In time, the world will return to normal and get moving again, doubtlessly leading to significant increases in energy demand that will have to be fulfilled by this industry.

Collaboration is the whole reason for the association. Sharing mutual objectives allows us to rely on each other’s strengths to achieve collective goals. IADC brings various stakeholders together for thought leadership, cross-disciplinary collaboration and distribution of best practices. These member-driven and IADC-facilitated efforts will continue in 2021 and beyond. 

The past year saw IADC forge stronger ties with fellow trade associations and regulatory organizations, as we all felt the rippling shock of what was likely the largest and quickest decline in energy demand in recent history. As we move forward this year, these relationships will strengthen support for shared industry goals, as well as ensure a louder, consistent voice advocating for our industry. This is important as IADC monitors, navigates and communicates with those in charge of political and bureaucratic leadership. It’s evident that a heightened level of government and regulatory activity will continue well into 2021, and IADC will be there to encourage industry and government agencies to be good stewards for everyone.

In the US, with the Biden Administration shifting American energy policies, we find ourselves increasingly challenged to communicate the contribution our industry makes to the economy, both domestic and global. The task at hand includes helping key decision-makers at all levels of government to understand our contributions. To consolidate these efforts, IADC joined five like-minded organizations in the Federal Lands Coalition to advocate the importance of leasing permits. Collaborations like these help us plan for the future.

Another way in which IADC is planning for the future is a newly formed workgroup on environmental, social and corporate governance, or ESG. The group recently conducted a survey of IADC member companies to understand the landscape and set benchmarks to measure our industry’s ongoing improvement. This means holding ourselves accountable to the goals we all need to meet. Another aspect of that accountability is being able to effectively communicate how our industry’s stewardship benefits everyone, as well as requiring stewardship from those in positions of leadership.

This stewardship extends to making sure this industry’s employees can work safely, a core value of IADC. Distance-learning solutions like WellSharp Live have allowed well control training to continue throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. WellSharp Live leverages an industry-driven, professional knowledge base and is digitized for easy distribution and effective instruction. 

At the beginning of 2021, IADC also launched Knowledge Retention & Education for our Workforce (KREW), a continuous-learning platform for well control concepts. Knowledge decay is a natural phenomenon that occurs between required trainings. KREW offers spaced micro-learning to mitigate erosion of critical well control information. 

IADC’s flagship RigPass safety orientation program is another initiative that addresses the safety of our workforce. Launched almost 30 years ago as a product of the IADC HSE Committee, workgroups within this same committee have developed RigPass 2.0 with revised learning objectives, changes to instructional content and electronic enhancements. Cumulatively, these improvements will help standardize the instruction that trainees receive.

This industrywide collaboration provides coordinated safety training and presents opportunities to reduce inefficiencies associated with overlap between the many different safety programs available.

One such opportunity is the Basin United program. United by a mission to eliminate significant injuries and fatalities in the Permian Basin, a group of 16 operators created a standardized “Building the Basin” program. As Basin United’s accrediting body, IADC provides the security, integrity and transparency required by a collaborative initiative. An educated and empowered workforce is a protected workforce, and protecting what’s valuable is how we sustain and grow this industry. (See Page 30 for more on Basin United.)

I am thankful for the hard work of our members and proud of how IADC has continued to serve as a valuable resource. The history that we are living through has proven that working together is the best way to meet the challenges yet to come. I believe that, with 2020 behind us, we are well positioned for collective progress in 2021. DC

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