IADC introduces the Red Thread

Association works to catalyze improved performance by enhancing operational integrity and championing better regulation

By Amy Rose, IADC director of external relations

web2With president and CEO Stephen Colville at the helm, IADC recently introduced the Red Thread, an accordion-style document and HTML5 app that details how IADC will achieve its core goal of catalyzing improved performance for the drilling industry. Throughout 2013, IADC will be taking the Red Thread to conferences, chapter and committee meetings and informal gatherings with members to spread the word about IADC’s strategic way forward.

“IADC is a dynamic organization in the midst of many changes,” Mr Colville said. “We felt there was a need to visually and succinctly tell our story. Our hope is that the Red Thread will be told not only by IADC staff but passed on by our members to others so that everyone hears the message that active member participation is the critical component that allows IADC to vigorously address the issues in our industry.”

The core of the Red Thread, and IADC’s mission, is catalyzing improved performance by enhancing operational integrity and championing better regulation.

To achieve this, the industry must reduce risk and increase trust, with the two ideas represented by a circular graphic in the Red Thread to visually illustrate that they are tied together. By reducing risks associated with safety, operations, technology and environment, trust in the industry from the public and regulators is increased. By setting a positive agenda, demonstrating compliance with regulations and maintaining collaborative partnerships, the industry can further increase trust.

Ensuring industry’s license to operate is a key message running throughout the Red Thread. To ensure that license is maintained, industry must 1) operate safer, with zero incidents and zero injuries, 2) operate better, through systems and processes, 3) operate faster, using advanced technologies, and 4) operate cheaper, through reduced NPT and lower overall costs.

Collaborative partnerships among operators, drilling contractors, OEMs, regulators and service providers feature prominently in the Red Thread and are at the heart of some of IADC’s most innovative programs. “We’ve recognized that no one part of the industry can do something without the other. Operators can do nothing without the drilling contractors. We can do nothing without the service providers and OEMs. As important, although more controversial, we can do nothing without the regulators. Collaborative partnerships are critical to us,” Mr Colville said.

web1Setting a goal of creating a space for the industry to grow and then helping the industry to grow in that space, IADC is committed to ensuring a broader and more impactful influence over the drilling space. “IADC is looking at areas that were not traditionally thought of as being in the drilling space, but influence everything that we do. Things like plug and abandonment, completion, pre-drill and workover all impact what we do, and we are looking at them to see in what areas we should have a voice and influence,” he explained. “IADC will take ownership of the drilling space, and we should be the preeminent body to represent our space.”

In addition to defining the role of IADC within the larger E&P industry, the Red Thread focuses on the enormous role that members play in the association. A page in the document is devoted to the words, “Of the members, by the members, for the members,” to clearly define the association as one whose priorities are driven by members. It is members who work together to develop initiatives and programs and ultimately benefit from them.

Building on the idea of member engagement driving the way forward, the last pages of the thread focus on the key programs that address the critical issues members face.

One of these is the need for competent people. With the industry set to grow exponentially in the next few years, there is a critical need for new-hires. “We must attract a properly credentialed and competent workforce. IADC’s vision for the future is of an industry where nobody is allowed to work on a rig who isn’t first properly trained,” Mr Colville noted.

To address this need, IADC is currently developing the Workforce Attraction and Development Initiative (WADI) by partnering with community colleges to develop a global outreach program. WADI will also educate high school students and military veterans on industry opportunities and benefits.

Additionally, the revamp of IADC’s Knowledge, Skills and Abilities templates will set competency benchmarks for virtually every rig position.

An overhaul of IADC’s committees is also under way, making sure that each committee is working on issues and topics that can provide value to members. As such, IADC is establishing the Onshore Committee, the Offshore Committee and the Supply Chain Committee, and dissolving the Jackup Rig Committee.

Along with a commitment to people, equipment is an issue members cite as critically important. To address challenges related to equipment and technology, the IADC Drilling Manual is getting an update, with a team of 60 drilling experts working together to revitalize the industry’s definitive operational drilling guide. An updated version will be available in 2014, to be provided in a digitized format with the ability to be updated in real time.

Another of members’ most critical issues is the need for appropriate legislation and regulation. “We must look at the potential regulations and work to influence them. We must ensure that no one is taking on risks that they are not trained to take on,” Mr Colville noted.

IADC is undertaking an overhaul of its government and regulatory affairs efforts to ensure that staff is in place with the capability to take action and lobby in all regions in which members operate.

Recognizing that global reach is needed, IADC also is establishing offices in Brazil and the United Kingdom, where association influence and assistance is needed.

The last page of the Red Thread details specific ways members can actively participate in IADC. “IADC is not about the staff; it is about the members. We encourage more active participation to share understanding. The success of IADC programs are driven by the members who contribute to them and enact them,” Mr Colville said. “Our goal is to prove to the world that we are doing our best to have the best performance possible. We provide the energy that drives the world forward. We must ensure that we do that safely and professionally.”

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