2023IADC, Regulation, and LegislationNovember/December

Looking back at IADC activities in 2023: A year of living our legacy

By Jason McFarland, IADC President

The drilling industry serves an essential purpose within modern civilization. Hydrocarbons are the most abundant, affordable and reliable energy source on the planet, and these resources enhance humanity’s longevity and quality of life. As 2023 IADC Chairman Andy Hendricks mentioned in the January/February edition of this magazine, “Regardless of the public’s perception of our industry … the fact remains that the world needs oil and gas.”

This is true – we do need oil and gas to power our everyday lives. This industry will continue to play a central role in reducing emissions, providing clean energy and having a positive impact on the world. In fact, the drilling industry is uniquely equipped with the tools, personnel and knowledge needed to usher modernization through the next energy expansion.  

The concept of legacy has been on my mind recently, largely because three IADC chapters celebrated significant anniversaries this year. When I think of legacy, I think of what this association brings to the world and to the industry. I wonder, how do we leave a long-lasting positive impact? How do we leave the world a better place than we found it? And just as importantly, how do we make the world a better place now, while we’re still here? 

The IADC North Sea Chapter celebrated an outstanding 50 years of service to the industry this year. The South Central Asia Chapter and the Southern Arabian Peninsula Chapter both celebrated 25th anniversaries. All three of these chapters have a robust and active membership, and their efforts are truly something to be celebrated. 

In addition to serving the drilling industry, IADC also helps serve the community. The IADC Houston Chapter awarded 20 scholarships this year to students at two universities in the region. The North Sea Chapter regularly donates money to local charities, often to support vulnerable populations. IADC will have sponsored about 140 students from our Student Chapters to attend industry conferences in 2023 by year-end. 

Oftentimes when people think of legacy, they think of it as something that’s left behind. I believe that IADC will not only leave a legacy; we’re living our legacy. Just as the world is currently benefiting from the labor of the drilling industry, the drilling industry is benefitting from the efforts of IADC members. And that’s all happening right now. 

How can we best serve our members?

IADC’s 83-year foundation is built on safety, collaboration and advocacy. This foundation is steadfast and sturdy, which means we have the capacity to expand into new areas. We always operate with the central question of “How can we best serve our members?” I’m pleased to recount that, as part of IADC’s current living legacy, many new initiatives, projects and resources were born out of this past year. 

A lot of new things have been happening in terms of IADC’s engagement with the next generation. IADC Student Chapters were established at the Universiti Teknologi Petronas in Malaysia and the Petroleum Training Institute in Nigeria, which brings our program to 16 total Student Chapters worldwide. This year, the IADC Young Professionals Committee introduced a series of professional development webinars exploring topics like personal branding. The Permian Basin Chapter introduced a program to recognize short-service employees each month who exhibit exceptional commitment to their employer’s HSE policies.  

In the realm of accreditation, IADC launched the H2S Safe training standard, designed for individuals who have the potential to be exposed to H2S or an H2S environment. The IADC Accreditation team also met with leaders to discuss the potential of a new training center in Angola. 

The association rolled out a number of new resources and features this year. For example, the Sustainability Committee published an ESG Reporting Guidance document. The UBO & MPD Committee recently released the Riser Gas Handling Guidelines, published as a stand-alone chapter of the IADC Drilling Manual (see p33). For the first time, IADC started offering the ability to download its model contract forms at no cost from IADC.org. This allows our members to have direct access to edit and exchange contracts. We also welcomed Drillcotec as our first distributer offering the electronic version of the IADC DDR Plus in Spanish. 

The Industry Value Initiative made significant progress this year. The ongoing project, which is led by an appointed workgroup, aims to find effective and impactful ways to communicate the value of our industry, especially regarding individuals who are seeking employment. The initiative to update the Incident Statistics Program system has been another large project unfolding throughout this year. 

There are so many more examples of the impactful things IADC and its members have accomplished in 2023 – everything from hiring new team members, to live-streaming a virtual panel discussion from the IADC studio for the first time, to hosting the first official IADC DrillersPAC event. Living a legacy isn’t just about the tangible gifts and benefits… it’s so much more. It’s the irreplaceable sense of community and collaboration; the atmosphere of innovation; the collective desire to work toward common goals together – so we can leave this industry, and this world, better than we found it.  DC 

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