Specialist rig inspection company Aberdeen Drilling Consultants (ADC) has been helping hundreds of oil workers across the world learn how to maintain drilling operations since the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
In a lower oil price environment, inspection and maintenance can be among the first activities to be cut as offshore crew numbers are reduced, and ADC witnessed first-hand the impact of this in the previous oil price downturn, with an increase in equipment failures as activity began to return to higher levels.
In order to help its customers protect their operations with the double impact of Covid-19 and the lower oil price, ADC offered its Understanding Rig Inspection online course to all clients free of charge. In the past few months, more than 500 people from businesses including operators, drilling contractors, contractors and certification organisations have signed up to the training from locations around the globe, including the Americas, Australia, Asia, West Africa and Europe.
Kit Trahan, Vice President – ADC Americas, who led the support to clients, says, “It is important to us that our clients are able to maintain their operations so we chose to offer to help train their staff to be able to identify the early signs of mechanical fatigue, systems failures and other issues. Having people with that level of knowledge will ensure rigs are maintained to an operational level. It is critical to us that we help our clients adapt to the new environment we are all working in.”
The immersive online course – which is made up of video footage, animations and technical input from ADC – was initially developed in 2012 in response to requests from clients, and has seen nearly 10,000 people sign up since it was launched. Not only has the course been SQA certified, but it has also been vetted by the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) and now makes up 10% of the Master’s course in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Aberdeen.”
Trahan adds, “With people unable to travel to attend training courses right now, we are pleased to be able to provide clients with a viable alternative, which allows people to progress at their own pace. The great thing about the course is that it’s not technically heavy or engineering-based, so it is accessible for everyone, no matter their role. We have had people who are involved in procurement and other areas complete the course in order to help them understand drilling operations in more depth.”
“It’s all about educating people, and helping their development, and we have been delighted to offer this to our clients. As well as the programme we have been running since the pandemic hit, our in-house eLearning development team can produce, prepare and deliver bespoke training courses which can benefit clients across the world, and the recent success shows that we are able to help people regardless of where they are and what they do,” he continues.
The course has been developed to focus on the key areas of ADC’s expertise and can be used to help organisations plan ahead for projects which may not be starting until 2021, or even 2022. It also helps companies demonstrate that external training is being carried out, particularly during a period where the time or budget may not have been available.
ConocoPhillips Malaysia is among ADC’s clients whose employees have undertaken the course. Drilling Superintendent Philip Hayden says, of the course, “All the feedback from my team has been positive. While many of us are familiar with some of the equipment on the rig there is quite a lot that has escaped people’s attention over the years. The comprehensive nature of ADC’s modules has worked as a good reminder for the former and a great introduction or overview of the latter. It was a great learning experience.”