The search for common standards in well control training and certification in Europe began in 1982 with the formation of a European Union Directorate committee representing National Energy Ministries, Industry Trade Associations, and Trade Unions. Their recommendations, which were published in 1984, included the introduction of a standard training syllabus and certification programme for drilling personnel.
European Well Control Forum Working Party
The report prompted the agencies involved in well control certification programmes across Europe to consider the development of a common programme for operators and contractors. In 1989 a working party was formed with oil industry nominees from seven European countries actively involved in exploration and production activities. The initial objective of this working party was to devise an assessment and examination programme to measure well control skills and knowledge, which could be adopted by the industry in Europe to meet their existing voluntary or statutory certification requirements.
European Well Control Forum
During these reviews and discussions, the industry indicated a strong desire to take an active part in the management of the Forum and the development of the Assessment and Certification programmes. On 1st December 1992 the EWCF was officially registered as a non-profit organisation at The Dutch Chamber of Commerce in The Hague, The Netherlands.
International Well Control Forum
As a result of international growth in the programme the Board of Directors agreed in September 1994 to rename the organisation ‘International Well Control Forum’ – to better reflect the geographical scope of the programme.
Rotary Drilling Well Control
On 1 January 1993, the Forum introduced a Surface BOP Stack Assessment and Certification programme for Drillers and Drilling Supervisors.
On 1 April 1994, the certification need of personnel employed on floating drilling units was recognised with the introduction of a Combined Surface/Subsea BOP Stack Assessment and Certification programme for Drillers and Drilling Supervisors.
Following a detailed survey with IWCF member companies work has started on the development of an add-on module in Workover Well Control for the Rotary Drilling Well Control programme, and this programme is expected to launch in 2008.
Rotary Drilling Introductory Well Control
On 1 January 2010, the Introductory Level Rotary Drilling Well Control programme became available and has been developed to meet the needs of the drilling contracting industry in developing Roughnecks, Derrickmen and Assistant Drillers.
Well Intervention Pressure Control
Following the results of a survey among members and other interested industry organisations during 1995/96 the Forum, with the assistance of ICoTA representatives, developed a certification programme covering live Well Intervention activities using Coiled Tubing, Snubbing or Wireline equipment.
The programme was launched on the 1st April 1998.