New enhanced training standard in drilling launched by Well Control Forum

David Price, Chief Executive, International Well Control Forum
David Price, Chief Executive, International Well Control Forum

The Montrose-based International Well Control Forum (IWCF) has launched a new training standard in drilling and well intervention for top-achieving candidates and is urging operators to get involved. 


The move is in direct response to the Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) guidelines following the Macondo and Montara incidents and aims to drive up competency standards and improve safety for those working with wells.


The IWCF is the independent organisation that sets global training standards for well control. Founded by the oil and gas operators in 1992, the forum administers well control training, assessment and certification programmes and is committed to creating a step-change in well control knowledge. Since then, IWCF has certified over 160,000 people in almost every continent through more than 220 accredited training centres.


Thousands of contractors and workers have to pass exams in drilling and well intervention every two years to enable them to work at offshore and onshore well sites.


The Enhanced Standard is only available to candidates who have achieved at least an 80% pass mark on previous exams and demonstrate significant experience of undertaking well control training in their past. The content is primarily based on real industry well control incidents involving simulated exercise, team work and peer-to-peer review and feedback. 


It focuses on enhancing technical knowledge using case studies in a team based environment. Candidates are assessed in a similar manner as on a standard course and can be expected to achieve higher results.


David Price, Chief Executive of IWCF, said: “Introducing the enhanced training will encourage candidates to strive to be the best and will challenge them in new ways in a replicated well site environment.


After a successful pilot scheme, we are now looking for operators and training providers to sign-up as ultimately it will help create a safer environment at offshore and onshore well-sites. We are making strides to create a step change in well control competency to help the industry avoid another significant well-related tragedy, but we need operators and contracting companies to get behind these changes.”

 The IWCF is investing in new facilities at its UK headquarters in Montrose to improve training for well control assessors and instructors who address drilling operations and well intervention activities. The organisation is also introducing new levels to well control training including a new level 1 introductory online course, which will be available free to anyone with an interest in the industry. 

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