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Aberdeen Drilling School first training provider to offer IWCF subsea well intervention pressure control worldwide

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23 March 2021

The need for specialist subsea well intervention training has been recognised by the industry for a long time. The publication of industry best and recommended practices for subsea well intervention dates back to 1995. These recommended practices were updated in 2006 and reaffirmed in 2011. In 2016, the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) then revised its recommendations for pressure control training to include the specific challenges of subsea well interventions.

However, despite the continued increase in subsea completions and interventions worldwide, there was no industry-recognised certified subsea intervention-specific training available, with most training providers continuing to provide generic surface, rig-based well intervention training and certification. When the recommended best practices for subsea well intervention were adopted as an international standard, the need for formal certified training was made a priority and, working with our subsea industry partners, Aberdeen Drilling School moved quickly to address the requirements.

Working closely with industry partners, Aberdeen Drilling School has developed a new subsea well intervention module as part of its Well Intervention Pressure Control (WIPC) programme. The new module has been certified by the International Well Control Forum (IWCF) making Aberdeen Drilling School one of the first training providers in the world to be able to offer this accredited enhancement to the existing WIPC programme.  Aberdeen Drilling School are the only provider offering it in each of its global locations.

The length of the industry journey to this point reflects the complexity of the challenge. Today, subsea wells are incredibly complex feats of engineering which in turn also makes the required subsea well intervention training highly complex.

Working with industry partners a global offshore subsea contractor, a leading well flow management company, and one of the major international operators Aberdeen Drilling School combined the necessary technical and training expertise to ensure the certified course reflected the specific needs of the subsea industry.

Submitted for review in late 2020, and certified by the IWCF in early 2021, this is the first internationally certified, subsea well intervention pressure control training course to be made available worldwide. With qualified instructors, Aberdeen Drilling School is preparing for the official launch of the course on 29 March 2021.

"Although maybe not the biggest project of my career, this was certainly one of the most challenging, due mainly to all the differences between the many subsea procedures and standards, said Martin McCaffrey, Well Intervention Instructor, Aberdeen Drilling School.

The new certified Subsea course will be available either as a standalone class i.e. as a bolt-on to an existing WIPC certificate, or included as part of the full 5-day WIPC course. The standalone class will involve a minimum of eight hours teaching plus revision and assessment over 1.5 days. If taken as part of the full WIPC programme, candidates will attend 4 days of instructor-led training followed by the IWCF assessment on day 5.

With subsea interventions now accounting for up to 40% of complex well interventions globally, and even up to 90% in some geographic regions, the need for specialist certification in subsea well intervention is a rapidly growing requirement.

The new Aberdeen Drilling School WIPC Subsea Module addresses this specific industry need and ensures that the well intervention training provided is relevant to the day-to-day operations of subsea operators, contractors and service companies worldwide.

Martin McCaffrey, Well Intervention Instructor, Aberdeen Drilling School

Aberdeen Drilling School first training provider to offer IWCF subsea well intervention pressure control worldwide