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A few weeks ago, we posed a crucial question to the drilling community on our LinkedIn page, delving into the core of effective drilling management. The response was overwhelming, and the insights flooded in, providing a diverse tapestry of perspectives.

These options were strong contenders:

  • Efficient meetings
  • Collaborative work environment
  • Unified team spirit

The most crucial habit for successful drilling operations, as identified by our followers, is a collaborative work environment.

Inspired by this insight, we drilled further into the topic, conducting an interview with Brad Parker, our Team Leader of Well Interventions / Platform Drilling at our Perth office. This interview aims to uncover how he fosters a collaborative work environment within his team.

“Well intervention demands a strong sense of ownership, empowering each team member to shoulder individual responsibilities throughout the well project life cycle. This ownership mentality not only fosters a problem-solving mindset within individuals but also nurtures a collaborative atmosphere within the wider team.

In a drilling campaign, you have a diverse array of skill sets and job titles working in tandem — from design and well engineers to project managers, logistics coordinators, and technical assistants. The seamless collaboration of these roles is paramount. Should any position diverge from the unified goal, it could lead to missed deadlines, escalated costs, and the need for rework due to miscommunication or oversights.

“By championing a collaborative approach and placing a premium on communication and transparency in project planning, the unique roles and specific tasks become well understood and integrated within the team. This not only minimises the occurrence of issues but also ensures a smoother, more efficient project execution.”

What difficulties arise in cultivating collaborative work environment in drilling operations?

“I believe the primary challenge lies in the team culture. If the workplace lacks a positive atmosphere, it becomes inherently challenging to rally everyone in establishing a robust and successful team spirit. Creating a positive, dynamic and fostering an enjoyable work environment can significantly influence how the team operates and approaches their tasks.”

What are five actions that drilling managers or well intervention team leaders can take to nurture collaborative work environment?

  1. Regular Check-Ins: Initiate one-on-one check-ins with well team members to inquire about their well-being and offer support in their roles.
  2. Individual Approach: Understand the unique traits of each team member and adapt your leadership approach accordingly. Effective communication requires recognizing and embracing the diversity of personalities within the team.
  3. Celebrate Successes: Acknowledge and celebrate achievements, big or small. While tasks and projects are ongoing, taking the time to recognize and celebrate wins is vital for maintaining team motivation and engagement
  4. Continuous Learning: Introduce and promote continuous learning initiatives relevant to your team’s goals. Encourage team members to grow, learn, and enhance their skills, providing support for their ongoing development.
  5. Reflect and Improve: Regularly review and enhance existing systems and processes. Solicit feedback from the team to identify potential efficiencies and streamline processes, even when things seem to be going well. Continuous improvement is key to fostering a strong and efficient team.

What could go wrong if a team doesn’t work together effectively on a rig or platform?

“The consequences can be pretty catastrophic if you don’t have a strong team on the job – not only for the company but for each individual as well.

“Lack of communication and teamwork could result in health and safety issues. If you consider the wider implications of what could go wrong as well, you’ve got a huge environmental impact if there’s loss of containment or a release of hydrocarbons to the environment.

Undoubtedly, the severe repercussions of such catastrophes will inflict substantial damage on the company’s reputation. Additionally, the financial toll is immense, encompassing both the costs of addressing the issues and the significant loss of production. The financial impact can affect not only the Operator, its partners but also their clients.

Therefore, having a thoroughly efficient drilling team working collaboratively is essential to ensure the safe and efficient execution of the operations.

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