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International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC), Nigeria Chapter, has hinted at slight market recovery going by the rig counts, stressing the need for prioritization of training and retraining of members to meet industry’s standards.

It, however, noted that a revival of the Iranian nuclear deal will lead to an increase in global supply, while the oil market is anticipating that Iran’s supply will pick up again by late summer.

“This notwithstanding, it is expected that the demand recovery will be strong enough to absorb it,” Chairman of IADC, Nigeria Chapter, Chuks Enwereji, of Shelf Drilling Offshore Services, said at the 2021 HSE Awards & Technical Session Webinar of the Nigeria Chapter.

He disclosed that the chapter’s 10 rigs in February increased to 12 in May, signalling market recovery, but added that the reported fresh wave of the pandemic might deflate optimal drilling expectations.

The association, however, lamented the gaps in training and Research and Development (R&D), saying that decisions to cut costs could end in catastrophe if attention is not paid to training and other key parameters.

SEPLAT Executive Director Operations, Effiong Okon bemoaned the near absence of Research centres in Africa, low rig counts, bottleneck in local content compliance and variable cost of doing business.

He stated that despite low productivity and fragmented market including capital inadequacies, opportunities abound in Nigeria’s oil and gas space, adding that with new rigs, there are lots of businesses ahead.

Okon solicited considerable efforts to improve planning, data analysis, hardware barriers and oil well control failures to shape the future.

“Hardware is needed for drilling, but with ICT, you can predict situational variables accurately,” he advised. He urged members to develop strong and reliable corporate governance and desist from cutting corners during integrity tests saying, “At SEPLAT, we raised a $600 million bond and the bond was oversubscribed because of our strong corporate governance.”

Okon urged drilling contractors to carry out scheduled maintenance according to manufacturers’ recommendations and adhere to control mechanisms.

IADC Vice President, Eastern Hemisphere, Hisham Zebian said the association is poised to keep members abreast of latest innovations in the industry.

He hinted that the global drilling association has included more technologies like High Movement, Artificial Intelligence, (AI), Face Recognition, etc on its training programmes. “We bridge the knowledge gap through smart programmes,” he said.

While presenting plaques to members who participated in the 2020 Incident Statistics Program (ISP), and the winner of the best performance in 2020, IADC Nigeria Chapter Vice Chairman, Valentine Iheasirim stated that the essence of sharing knowledge through the webinar was to “Sustain and build culture of safety, given that drilling operations cut across land, swamp, shallow and deep waters.
Following the award criteria and the independent committee’s report, Shelf Drilling Nigeria Limited posted the best safety performance and emerged as the winner in the 2020 Incident Statistics Program (ISP).


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