Objective: Overcoming the safety challenge

In the post-Macondo world, even to begin to approach the ideal fo High Reliability Organisations in drilling the industry will have to adopt a level of operational discipline related to the execution of workplace activities that is far beyond its existing practice but which is routinely in evidence in other high hazard industries. An approach that looks at leadership as the means of driving safety culture is necessary but not sufficient.
Also required are the crucial elements of operational discipline and non-technical skills. The combination of these three aspects provides a stronger, more reliable basis for safe and efficient operations.


John Thorogood is an independent technical advisor to operators, service companies and research institutes in the areas of technology, technical policies, drilling automation, remote area exploration projects and arctic operations.

He has researched human factors issues associated with the command and control of drilling operations.

He worked with BP in many parts of the world, including deep-water and frontier exploration operations in Sakhalin, the Faroe Islands, UK sector and in Norway.

He is the author of more than 45 papers and has BA and PhD degrees from the University of Cambridge. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, is a member of the Editorial Review Committee and a member of the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference Programme Committee.

He is the recipient of the SPE International 2011 Drilling Engineering Award.