A Rig Manager’s Thoughts

The thought of attending a training school to sit the full IWCF exam was a daunting when you consider that historically we have only attend 4 days of classroom study prior to examination. However, with the correct preparation and knowledge that we have all gained through the years sitting IWCF exams, it was not as oppressing as first thought.

Day 1 consists of the standard level 4 IWCF P and P and equipment papers. It was refreshing that the results are cascaded back to us on the same day and an added difference is that any questions you got wrong were highlighted. For the remainder of the program, the 6 of us whom attended the course was split into 2 teams of 3.

Day 2 started off with an introduction to the simulator, and what a set up that is! The centre has two simulators that we were trained and tested on, the 6000 which is a full cyber based system and the 5000 which is the conventional brake. Over the course of the week, we were exposed to numerous scenarios on the simulators, volumetric well control, bullheading, cementation and highly deviated wells etc, all as part of our teams in various roles (Ads, drillers, TPs). During the course of day 2, we were also taken through the IWCF simulator exercise which was planned for day 3, this differed from the normal approach as this part was 2 hours in length and held on the 5000 simulator. Again it is not something new to us but it provided more in-depth knowledge.

We were also introduced to the HF side of the program (human factors). Again this is not something new to most of us and is very much behavioural based and focused on how our thoughts and actions can effect given scenarios. It was very interesting and informative and was a major part of the program through the week. On completion of the program, we were again examined on what we had learned. We had a P and P and equipment examination (based on the classroom activities and simulator), this was completed by a team exercise. Happily, all completed the program and will receive their enhanced well control certificate. From a personal perspective this course is 1st class and well worth attending as it takes well control and behavioural factors to a new level. On a lighter note if you have to take the course during the winter months as I did then wrap up warm as it is freezing in Svendborg!

By Donald Millar, Rig Manager, Seadrill West Vencedor
This article was originally written for Seadrill News Asia Pacific, Janaury – March, 2016

About IWCF Enhanced Well Control

Enhanced Well Control is developed by Maersk Training under the guidance of the International Well Control Forum (IWCF). It is an intensive seven day course that involves up to 12 people role playing real-life scenarios using a fully immersive simulated drilling rig while observed by a psychologist as well as an IWCF assessor. Participants are assessed on their behaviour and interactions as well as their technical knowledge as they are put through their paces in a series of demanding modules, tailored to specific equipment and challenges.

Candidates sit the IWCF Well Control Level 4 test on the first day and are required to prepare any nec-essary readings or study prior to arriving. The Enhanced Renewal Program test will renew current certificate, however an 80% pass mark is required for both P&P and the equipment test to proceed. On the last day candidates are tested individually on advanced well control, followed by two team tests. ‘Successful teams’ will be awarded the Enhanced Well Control Certificate.

The new standard has been welcomed by the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP), which called for a sharper focus on human factors following the 2010 Macondo incident in the Gulf of Mexico. It is now hoped that other operators and contractors who have expressed interest in the new IWCF standards will follow suit by implementing their own internal requirements.

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