Oil and Gas - Drilling
Steve is a technical arbitrator and expert witness with over 40 years experience planning and drilling wells across the globe.
Expert instructions have included:
Litigation relating to an IP dispute
Expert Witness. Researched claim documents, examined patents and advised counsel on validity of claims
Covid related termination of rig contract
Expert Witness. Analysed reports, assisted Counsel in drafting the Statement of Defence on technical issues. Wrote Expert Report (ongoing).
Liner, packer, cementing, testing, well control and HSE issues
Expert Witness. Forensic analysis of a series of events to understand the true nature and causes of a set of problems. This was for a high value ICC arbitration. Wrote 20,000 word Expert Report. The case was settled
Subsea BOP issue
Expert Witness. Appointed by the Tribunal to provide an expert report on a dispute between an oil exploration and production company and a drilling contractor. The subsea BOP could not be disconnected and was left lying on the seabed for over a year.
Incident investigation – near fatality
Led the investigation and issued a report on a near fatal incident where part of the travelling block failed and a large steel plate fell to the rig floor, missing one person by less than 50cm.
Sub Surface Safety Valve Mandrel Welds
Expert Opinion. Investigated and provided expert technical opinion regarding the failure of welds on sub surface safety valve mandrels. The company lawyers had advised that there were no grounds to bring an arbitration. I was able to show that there were breaches of contract.
Incident investigation – well testing incident
Led the investigation and issued a reporton an incident during a well test which came within a few seconds of destroying a $100m exploration well with potentially catastrophic loss of life and pollution. A combination of failures in equipment, planning, supervision and failure to follow Management of Change procedures.
New Build Jack Up Rig
Expert Opinion. Appointed by counsel for the claimant to provide expert technical opinion on test loading of spud cans on a new build jack up rig.
Subsea oil well accidental disconnection
Expert Opinion. Appointed by counsel for the claimant to provide expert technical opinion on the merits of claim and defence for an issue with a rig
causing an accidental disconnection from a subsea oil well.
Oil Well Control Issues
Expert Witness. Appointed by counsel for the respondent to provide an expert report for an arbitration on a well control issue where procedures were not followed correctly.
Steve is a trainer also and has designed and delivered courses:
Member of the IWCF Drilling Taskforce, created and delivered courses; 2 week “Drilling Engineering for non Drilling Engineers” for NexT. 4 day “Advanced Well Control” for Shell Expro. 1 week “Casing Design” offered as a public course.
Created an online course for SPE, “Wellbore Stability”.
Tutor at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen; subject matter expert for web based course “Drilling Cost Reduction”.
“Practical well planning and drilling manual”
“Drilling technology in non-technical language”
Dubai Petroleum, Oct 2016 – Jan 2020
Exploration and Development Drilling Superintendent at Dubai Petroleum.
Different assignments at different times; running 2 jackup development rigs,
running one jackup for HPHT exploration drilling, special projects, incident
Various short term consulting work, Oct 2014 – Oct 2016
Drilling Superintendent, DW exploration well offshore Ivory Coast for Vitol.
Facilitated DWOP, TWOP, HAZOP workshops for various Operators.
Completed an investigation into a series of problems on a rig offshore West
Africa costing in total $18m and one incident involving a near-fatality.
Total E&P in Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon and South Africa, Aug 2012 – Oct 2014
Drilling Superintendent responsible for planning and executing UDW
exploration wells with the Ocean Rig dual derrick drillship “Olympia” in up to
2300m water depth in Ivory Coast and Gabon. Then responsible for DW
exploration wells with the Ocean Rig semi Eirik Raude offshore South Africa.
Tullow Ghana Limited, Nov 2011 – Aug 2012
Drilling Superintendent – operations in up to 2000m water depth.
Tullow Oil, Dublin & French Guyana, Sept 2010 – Nov 2011
Drilling Superintendent – exploration well in 2048m water offshore French
Guyana. Created the well design and drilling programme, led the project
management from the Tullow Dublin office then worked in the Cayenne
office. Designed and built a project website; the drilling programme was
Web based, together with all other necessary information for a widely
Cairn Energy, Edinburgh and Greenland, Apr to Sept 2010
Drilling Supervisor, Stena Don DP semi working offshore Greenland.
DONG E&P A/S, Denmark, Jan to Apr 2010
Planned two geothermal wells then ran the land rig as Drilling Supervisor.
Commissioning company name not to be disclosed
Due Diligence examination and report on a new type of drilling rig; the
Rotating Coiled Tubing rig from Reel Revolution, Ltd. Odessa, Austin,
Vitol Ghana Ltd, March to July 2009
Exploration well, Blackford Dolphin semi.
Rodeo Resources Limited, Cameroom, Oct to Dec 2008
Drilling Manager. Planning for an exploration campaign onshore
Cameroon. Project stopped as funds ran out.
Hess Libya, Aberdeen & Tripoli, Jul – Sep 2008
Well planning and execution for an exploration well in the Gulf of Sirte using
the Songa Saturn drillship.
Drillers.com Inc, Oct 2007 – June 2008
Training assignments plus working on the Drillers.com Online Drilling Manual.
East Coast Energy, Tanzania, Nov 2005 – Aug 2007
Drilling Manager. The Songo Songo 9 well contained 4 wireline fish,
producing gas with a mesh screen installed. The fish were breaking up and
blocking the mesh. I designed a submersible barge and platform with a
large crane installed to successfully work over the well. Designed and
drilled a new production well on Songo Songo island.
Devon Energy Egypt, Aug 2004 – Oct 2005
Carried out a variety of roles and tasks as needed in the Cairo office. Drilling
Engineer/Superintendent/Relief Drilling Manager. Exploration and
Production drilling in the Gulf of Suez.
Cuu Long, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Apr – May 2004
A special consulting assignment to design the casing (4 options created) for
a high temperature, H2S well. Gave casing design training to the local
Tullow Oil (Bangladesh and Gabon), Dec 2003 – Apr 2004
Planned and drilled an exploration well offshore Gabon as Drilling Manager
with a tiny team. Took 42 days from arriving to design the well, write the
programme, beg/borrow/buy equipment, accept the rig and spud. Went on
to Bangladesh to fill in there for the Drilling Manager.
TOTAL (Nigeria), Aug – Oct 2003
Drilling Supervisor on the semi “Scarabeo 4”.
PCNEPL (Petronas) (Niger), Sept 2002 – Mar 2003
Drilling Superintendent preparing for remote operations in the Niger Sahara
Desert. Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur and Niamey, Niger.
PEMI (Turkey), Feb – July 2002
Operations Manager responsible for a production base near Diyarbakir,
Devon Energy (Egypt), Feb 2001 – Feb 2002
Drilling Supervisor on the Santa Fe 135 in the Gulf of Suez. Drilling
Superintendent for planning and drilling another Gulf of Suez well. Maadi,
Houston Drilling Management (Israel), Dec 2000 – Feb 2001
Drilling Supervisor on the semi “Atwood Eagle” drilling an exploration well in
the Mediterranean Sea for Samedan Israel. Houston, Texas, USA
Schlumberger IPM and NexT, Jul 1997 – Jul 2000
Created and delivered classroom and online training and mentoring for
Schlumberger IPM Drilling trainees and other Schlumberger disciplines.
Courses include 4 week “Wellsite Operations” 1 week “Drilling Engineering
for non Drilling Engineers” 1 week “HPHT Well Planning”
British Gas (Egypt), Aug 1995 – June 1997
Drilling Manager. Responsible for drilling operations in Egypt
(Mediterranean, Gulf of Suez, Red Sea). Planned the first North Sinai
Exploration well $1.8m below budget with the drillship Robert F Bauer.
Bapetco (Shell Egypt). Mar 1993 – Aug 1995
Office based Drilling Engineering and Management tasks. Worked on land
rigs in the Western Desert as Drilling Supervisor and also Field
Superintendent for 3 land rigs.
Various, April 1989 – Feb 1993
Consulted for a variety of oilfield operating companies as Drilling Supervisor
offshore or Drilling Engineer onshore including Conoco UK, Phillips
Petroleum, Agip UK, Texaco, BP (stuck pipe task force), BP (Papua New
British Gas plc (London and Easington, Yorkshire, UK), Sept 1985 – Mar 1989
Superintendent, planning and drilling wells on the Rough field, Southern
Shell Internationale (Holland and Brunei), Sept 1979 – Sept 1985
Trainee Driller in Holland. Posted to Brunei as Assistant Driller. Promoted
to Driller. Worked on land rigs and tender supported platform rigs.
British Aerospace plc (Brough, Yorkshire, UK). Sept 1974 – Sept 1979
General Aeronautical Engineer. Worked on full scale airframe fatigue
testing and other mechanical testing & investigations after serving a 4 year
R A Graydon (Plastics Engineers) Limited, Aug 1973 – Sept 1974
Apprentice Draughtsman working on GRP structures such as boat hulls,
chimneys, scrubbers, claddings etc.