The safest training is hands-on, and the oil and gas industry wants to see it return to the Bakken. That’s what is driving the resurgence of two WellSharp classes at TrainND Northwest, which will be restarting in August.
The programs were dropped as a cost-cutting move during the downturn after an instructor retired, when it seemed the only option for a replacement would be flying in an instructor from Alaska.
“This is a directive of our advisory board saying there is a need for a hands-on approach to the training out in North Dakota,” Kenley Nebeker, regional director for technical programs and training at WSC. “Our life-size simulator gives us the ability to give a true hands-on training approach to this curriculum.”
Nebeker said he anticipates there will be a high demand for both courses and the supplement, which are an annual certification in IADC WellSharp Drilling Operations Supervisor and IADC WellSharp Oil and Gas Operator Representative.
The Drilling Operations training includes an optional one-day supplement for workover rigs.
IADC stands for International Association of Drilling Contractors, and its curriculum is considered among the best in the field.
“It is much more than just being compliant by passing a standardized test,” said Martin Walters, IADC instructor of well control. “It is important that personnel understand and retain the information and principles so that they are able to work quickly and decisively under stress.”
WellSharp training was developed by industry veterans to provide detailed, technical coursework that helps oilfield workers feel confident in the field.
“Well control is integral to the drilling process,” Accreditation Operations Vice President Mark Denkowski said. “Maintaining well control throughout the lifecycle of a well is crucial to ensuring safe, efficient, and environmentally sound operations.”
Role-specific well control training is part of the training, to familiarize everyone, regardless of position, with safety principles.
“It is very stringent and very highly tested,” Nebeker said. “They come out and audit you. It is the real deal. They don’t mess around with this at all.”
The two classes will be offered every other month to start out, but could expand to monthly if demand is there.
“The biggest thing about this program, and why I’m so passionate about it, is that this is a real danger and hazard that is out in the field, and this training is built to help people know and avoid the hazard should it come about,” Nebeker said. “I cannot think of a more important thing to do than training people on how to be safe and go home to their families at the end of their shift. This is just one more way we are making sure that happens.”