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Macondo recommendations lead to changes in well control training and assessment

27 September 2013

International Well Control Forum (IWCF) is rolling out a raft of new measures that will improve the competence of people involved in well operations to prevent future major oil spill incidents. As part of its strategic approach to implementing these recommendations, IWCF has reviewed its syllabus and launched new subjects within key areas identified as root cause findings from major incidents. 

The forum, which sets international training standards for well control, has been working closely with the human factors task force of the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP) on recommendations to enhance existing well control training, examination and certification. IWCF believes the recommendations will now be the foundation for a permanent change across the whole oil and gas industry.

IWCF has also introduced role specific training so that the learning is more relevant to individual roles rather than the current more generic approach.

David Price, chief executive officer of IWCF, said: “As the only independent body, wholly focused on well control training and accreditation, representing all stakeholders across the industry, we take our guidance from OGP and are raising our game to meet the recommendations in full. The ultimate goal for everyone in the industry is to deliver a step-change in competence assurance of well control knowledge and understanding so that we can avoid another tragedy on the scale of Macondo.

“This means taking a fresh look at what we teach, how we teach it, how people learn and the tools we use to assess and assure competence

“Following a number of commissioned reports to explore the implications and inform the forum’s response to the recommendations, we have taken a holistic, non-analytical approach to their implementation.”

The review of IWCF’s syllabus and introduction of role specific training are immediate measures to meet the critical requirements of the recommendations with further enhancements under development that will be rolled-out in the medium and long-term.

The new subjects will include:
* Assurance of well integrity throughout the lifecycle of the well
* Barrier management, casing and cementing
* Risk assessment, contingency management and implementation

The training programmes will now have five levels through which people will progress, ensuring the required level for each specific job with prevention as the primary objective. Certificate renewal training will also be enhanced with an emphasis on case studies, simulation and scenario-based training.

The syllabus will be continually reviewed to incorporate the latest equipment, practices and incident data. Well operations crew resource management training will also be introduced to provide non-technical skills to all well operations teams.

In the longer term, IWCF is proposing the introduction of a fully modular approach to suit the global and geographical needs of the industry and regular role-based operational simulations.
Founded by the oil and gas operators in 1992, IWCF is an independent, not for profit organisation with elected representatives and a global network of branches, representing the entire industry. Head-quartered in Montrose in the UK, the forum sets the international standard for well control training. It exists to improve well control competence and performance by developing and administering well control training, assessment and certification programmes for personnel employed in the well operations sector of the oil and gas industry.

Since 1992, IWCF has certified over 160,000 people in almost every continent through 210 accredited training centres.

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