IWCF launches first free training for basic well control awareness

The International Well Control Forum has launched a global online training course which will be free to everyone in the industry to increase knowledge around drilling and well intervention operations as well as what can cause a well blow-out and potential oil spill incident.

The interactive e-learning has been developed in response to the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) recommendations following the Macondo well blow-out which stated an introductory level 1 awareness training should be introduced. IWCF is the first organisation to achieve this and is offering the course free of charge through its website, supporting the organisation’s aim to increase competency and change behaviour in this safety-critical operation.

IWCF already offers the higher levels, 2, 3 and 4, which are targeted specifically at those involved with well and drilling operations, whereas the new level 1 training is designed to be accessible by everyone with an interest in the industry.

David Price, CEO of IWCF said: “It is important to us, particularly in the current climate within the industry, to give something back and by making this training readily available we believe that it will help to increase understanding of how well control events can occur and their consequences and prevention.

“The training is open to everyone, it is specifically aimed at those in the industry with a secondary involvement in well operations but students considering a career in oil and gas or anyone else with an interest in the industry will also find it insightful. Ultimately, we want to see an increase in well competency which will improve offshore safety.”

The online training modules will start with in introduction on how reservoirs are formed and the lifecycle of a well through to drilling and intervention activity and finally hazards, prevention methods and industry techniques to deal with a blowout with real life examples on Macondo and other incidents. Each module can be easily completed in half a day with the whole course taking around two days.

The launch of the new course has been welcomed by Robert Gordon University, who, in conjunction with leading drilling and engineering contractor KCA Deutag, provide inclusive simulation training through its DART® training services. “This is another step towards improving knowledge within the industry. Although only aimed at those taking their first step or on the periphery of the oil & gas industry, it does provide a good general understanding and awareness of some of the issues faced,” said Peter Howell, Drilling & Wells Excellence Manager at RGU’s Oil & Gas Institute.

“RGU is an accredited centre, already offering IWCF Levels 2, 3 and 4 certification, with the launch of Level 1 and the work currently being undertaken on Level 5, we shall shortly have an entire suite of drilling-specific training and examination,” continued Peter.

Huw Roberts, UK drilling manager at E.ON E&P UK and a member of IOGP’s Wells Committee said: “Understanding the basic elements of well control is crucial to improving the overall safety of the offshore industry, which is why a level 1 course was recommended in IOGP’s 476 report. Members have welcomed this first level 1 course which answers these recommendations, this is an important step in well control training and offers the opportunity to increase well competency across the industry and beyond. We would like to see more of this training in the industry as it is something we can’t afford to be complacent about.”

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