3 Dec, 2012

NEWS: Latest industry training program drills deep to reduce accidents & boost retention, especially among entry-level drilling ops employees

DRILLING OPERATIONS: Latest industry training program drills deep to reduce accidents & boost retention, especially among entry-level drilling ops employees

KATY, Texas, USA (3 December, 2012)

The facts are disturbing:

• ACCIDENTS:  In 2011, the largest percentage of drilling operator fatalities occurred among workers with 1-5 years of service, with most victims being floormen (IADC).

• RETENTION:  “We’ve seen floorhand turnover as high as 74 percent, with 26 percent of those leaving within the first 30 days,” said a drilling operator spokesperson in a 2012 Drilling Contractor magazine article.

To help reverse these alarming statistics, PetroSkills now is offering drilling contractors the industry’s broadest, most in-depth training targeted to onshore and offshore workers.

While PetroSkills has trained more oil and gas employees at all levels than any organization worldwide, initial focus for the drilling ops program will be entry-level staff. Courses offered through the company’s ‘Drilling Operations Accelerated Development Program’ are immediately available. 

The accredited training will be offered globally – either at a drilling operator’s in-house facility or at PetroSkills’ training centers around the world. For drilling contractors with training programs already in place, the PetroSkills curriculum is designed to enhance – not replace – those programs.

Classes are carefully designed to systematically train each employee in his/her current job, and help individuals accelerate through the ranks -- from floorman to drilling supervisor.

“Hiring and retaining the right entry-level staff is a major pain point for drilling contractors,” said Marc Summers, Vice President of Accelerated Development Programs at PetroSkills. “We’re significantly elevating the training of entry-level employees, along with certain mid-level staff. It’s what drilling contractors want because it positively impacts their bottom line.”

Reviews of certain incidents from 2006-2010 by the National Institute for Occupational Health show the astounding financial impact of injuries on drilling operators.

  • In one incident, a large contractor’s direct and indirect cost for each lost-workday case was estimated to total a shocking $1.2 million.

  • Even one lost-time injury on a rig can be financially crushing. In examining another rig incident, NIOSH found that after covering all direct and indirect costs, that rig made no contribution to bottom-line profits for the next month.

A February 2013 article in the Houston Chronicle titled, ‘Deadliest Job in Texas,’ noted that “Oil and gas field services and drilling workers were killed on the job in Texas more than those in any other profession.” From 2007-2011, 197 oil and gas employees perished on the job in Texas, an average of 39 per year.

According to Summers, “Industry statistics confirm what we all know, that staff with less than 6 months of work experience are most at risk because of their lack of experience. Our training program for entry-level employees is specifically designed to reduce injuries while delivering the skills required to be as productive as possible.”

Regarding employee retention, a senior vice president for a large oil and gas exploration and production company recently commented in Drilling Contractor magazine, “In the short term, I think everybody’s just trying to hire from each other, and I can tell you it’s not working. Everybody loses because we have such a tremendous turnover. It’s a zero-sum game.”

Summers’ own consulting work with a large U.S. drilling company proves how proper training can boost retention. Before Summers came onboard, the contractor experienced 100 percent annual turnover. “The company previously had the attitude, ‘We’ll see if you hang around before training you. If you stay onboard, you’ll get training,’” he said. “They recognized they had to do something different to get a better retention result.” When Summers helped implement a training program that new employees completed before working on an operational rig, the turnover rate quickly dropped 60 percent.

Summers said PetroSkills initially will market its program to specific drilling contractors, which will allow for a customized curriculum to meet each contractor’s particular training requirements.

“We’re constantly updating our coursework with new technology, assessment and tracking tools, course materials, and teaching techniques,” Summers said. “We guarantee the courses are 100 percent relevant to a contractor’s immediate needs.” He noted that the company has trained far more oil and gas professionals, in a broader spectrum of disciplines, than anyone else.

The foundation for the PetroSkills training program is the company’s deep relationships with many of the world’s largest oil and gas companies. PetroSkills’ courses are based on industry-approved standards of what professionals must know at every level in an organization.

For more program information, call PetroSkills in the United States at 1-800-821-5933 or email drillingops@petroskills.com.

About PetroSkills

The PetroSkills Alliance was created in 2001 by BP, Shell and OGCI to provide “important but not unique” high-quality, competency-based training. Through its membership PetroSkills has successfully evolved into an industry-driven, industry-approved program that spans the value chain. PetroSkills continues to grow as additional organizations join the PetroSkills Alliance at various levels.

With more than 280 instructors, PetroSkills delivers more than 2,000 public and in-house course sessions annually, in more than 45 different cities worldwide. PetroSkills' mission is to build competent petroleum professionals by delivering learning and development when, where and how it is needed – and now through multiple delivery models.

For more program information, call PetroSkills in the United States at 1-800-821-5933 or email drillingops@petroskills.com.



Chris McCullough +1-405-321-1383

VP, Marketing