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Insights from the first IADC Drilling Caspian 2023 Conference & Exhibition, Baku

February 15, 2023

The IADC Drilling Caspian 2023 Conference & Exhibition brought together industry leaders and drilling professionals to discuss challenges in the Caspian region and share best practices and experiences.

Marin Koceic, General Director and Area Manager of Nabors Kazakhstan represented Nabors as a committee member and panelist. Marin engaged in discussions with other influential industry leaders on the competitiveness of drilling in the Caspian region and the challenges and opportunities in implementing new technologies and digitalization across the industry to enhance productivity.

What conference topics did you find most interesting?  

I was most interested in conversations about energy transition and new technologies, operators’ perspectives, new drilling campaigns and regional opportunities. The energy industry is advancing towards an era of clean power sources, which means innovating new technologies, and more of them, quickly. Innovation is a key differentiator and mission-critical element. Innovative new technologies and unconventional solutions to enhance oil and gas exploration in a safe and carbon-neutral manner are necessary to fulfill world energy demands.

Was there anything discussed at the conference that made you think differently about your work for Nabors?

Several topics confirmed Nabors’ strategic alignment with industry needs, vision and mission. Most notably, safe and efficient operations, carbon footprint reduction, industry and governmental demand for innovation and development, and rapid implementation of new technologies. Nabors is keeping up with current trends and is amongst the leaders in the versatility of development, adoption and acquisition of new technologies.

Nabors’ successful deployment of the R801 fully automated land rig was a major leap forward and an industry milestone, as was deploying a rig retrofitted with the RZR Rig Floor Automation Module in November 2022. Both were developed using our tubular handling robotics expertise. These technologies position Nabors as a market leader in innovation and give us a competitive advantage. The conference emphasized the need for innovation and called for cooperation between the drilling contractors, operators and governmental bodies to bring the energy industry into a new era.

What were the most critical issues/challenges discussed at the conference, and how do you see Nabors addressing those challenges?

Nabors and our peers still face changing market conditions, geopolitical constraints, post-pandemic operational challenges, workforce development, drilling efficiency and climate change. Nabors will continue to focus on automation, digitalization and decarbonization. Process automation is integrated into several business processes and has optimized drilling performance. Digitalization enables our customers to benefit from remote operations, monitoring and tracking various rig and drilling parameters that are comprehensively interpreted and presented as meaningful data information. I see additional opportunities to capitalize on our already commercialized technologies that reduce fuel consumption and lower emissions under our Nabors Energy Transition Solutions (NETS) portfolio. This further enables entry into markets that have implemented strict policies and expectations and where they have comprehensively defined their clear carbon-neutral target(s).

In the panel related to Energy Transition, panelists respectfully but clearly voiced their concerns for companies that resist change and those that do not quickly adapt while highlighting the opportunity for those that are agile and invested in innovation associated with the aforementioned challenges. While the demand and necessity for fossil fuels will unlikely reduce in the following decades, we must continue our progress towards producing them with minimum to zero environmental impact.

We at Nabors are encouraged to continue this path where we transform our business into a more sustainable organization that minimizes its environmental impact while delivering safer, cleaner energy.

What are your takeaways from this conference? How can you apply them at work?

My main takeaway from this conference is that there are many opportunities for future development within the oil and gas industry. I find it very encouraging that oil and gas majors like BP and SOCAR expressed that energy transition is a new subject in the industrial engineering curriculum and will soon offer a narrower specialization. This is very important and encouraging for the new generations to understand that their knowledge and experience in the energy sector will provide them with transferrable knowledge and skills. Though future talent will have to develop their digital skills further, the need for oil and gas professionals and engineers will not deplete.

The Caspian Drilling Conference allowed me to learn about technological innovations in development and their potential impact on the industry in the region and globally. Many brilliant minds are working on how to solve some of our industry’s most pressing challenges and help us achieve our goals in today’s changing environment. Considering numerous business challenges in the Caspian basin, it was very insightful to have the opportunity to exchange opinions, thoughts and recommendations with fellow industry leadership and management working in the same region.