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A near real-life environment

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Combining technical aspects and the human factor in a near real-life environment is what takes the Team Based Well Control training, organised by Maersk Drilling, to a higher level. These are but some of the things, which LuShian, Ricky and Ashrul agree on, after having spent a week at Maersk Training’s drilling simulator complex in Denmark.

With their technical background and years of experience in the drilling industry, LuShian Onn, Ricky Liew and Ashrul Nayan are already highly competent in their field of work. Then again, how is it possible to really prepare for a well control situation such as a kick while cementing, without experiencing it first-hand?

Recently, LuShian, Ricky and Ashrul travelled from Brunei to Denmark together with their colleagues at Maersk Drilling and Brunei Shell Petroleum to participate in the Team Based Well Control Simulator exercise. The purpose of the training was to develop the team’s practical well control skills in a life-like environment. 

“It is important for me that our Bruneian employees benefit from the training opportunities that Maersk Drilling offers all its employees. To be able to do this together with our client Brunei Shell Petroleum adds further to the value of team based well control training”, explains Predrag Berlafa, Rig Manager of the jack-up rig Maersk Completer operating offshore Brunei.


The human factor

80% of all offshore incidents are linked to the human factor. “In an industry with much focus on technical aspects, we tend to forget the human factor. What the human factor adds is the importance of decision making and situational awareness in a well control situation”, says Morten Kaiser, Chief Instructor, Maersk Training.

The combination of technical aspects and the human factor was particularly meaningful to both LuShian Onn and Ashrul Nayan. “The facilities at the training centre are remarkable and I have enjoyed training closely together with my teammates and seeing how they progress to a higher level. What taught me the most is how big a role the human factor plays”, Onn explains.

Nayan agrees and continues; “I think it is an investment worthwhile, that Maersk Drilling offers this kind of training to its employees. Training in a life-like environment will definitely add value to my daily work and prepare me for the unexpected, should a well control incident occur”. 


Preparing for the unexpected 

“It is essential that the crew is prepared for the unexpected and that clear roles and responsibilities are defined”, Assistant Rig Manager of Maersk Completer Ricky Liew highlights. “The drilling simulator offers an excellent well control scenario programme through the use of specific Maersk Drilling rig designs and the focus on interaction between crew members”, Liew continues. 

In addition to the drilling simulator itself, the purpose built, three-dimensional complex includes a rig control room simulator, an engine room simulator and crane simulators. This enables integrated training for the entire crew by allowing for interactions with other operations on the rig. A feature not offered by any other training provider.

Within the team environment the crew can develop their practical well control skills. In addition to the instructors evaluating the technical skills of the crew members, human factor specialist are monitoring the communication and interaction during training to provide feedback on this important aspect of a stressful situation. 

“Team based training is the key-word”, says Manish Kumar, Rig Superintendent with Brunei Shell Petroleum. “Seeing with my own eyes how effective this kind of training is and how well the Maersk Completer crew performed in the drilling simulator, has given me great confidence in their capabilities of handling any situation on-board the rig”, Kumar says.  

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With public concern and media attention, the safety of offshore drilling for both people and environment, has been widely discussed for many years. Safety is about constant risk management and we depend on the right procedures, technology, and culture. It is our belief that fundamentally, safety is an active decision and the result of a serious commitment from all employees in Maersk Drilling. Our goal is zero incidents by 2018.