The decade of the 1980s saw dramatic changes in the Drilling Industry worldwide; from record high utilization rates for mobile rigs to total depression and bankruptcies; from a strong market in the Gulf of Mexico to the steady flow of rigs to operating locations outside North America.

What has been the effect of the last decade on the "people" side of the business? To what extent has the technical ability of the drilling contractor been limited in the early 1990s resulting from the permanent departure of the seasoned technicians of the 80s? Where will the experienced people come from as worldwide rig utilization steadily grows and stabilizes? What role will the labor forces of lesser developed countries play in the future of manpower planning and development? What risk of safety and environment will we bear as an industry in this manpower rebuilding mode?

A major drilling contractor operating on land and offshore, long known as an industry leader in training, has tripled its employee development efforts in the last five years to prepare for this challenge. This paper describes the Contractor's current program of training and highlights the commitment in resources required in order to provide for the operational continuity, manpower capability and safety objectives of the future. The paper will clarify the relationship it anticipates beteen the coming manpower shortage, development of personnel and the safety of its people and environment. It will discuss plans already in place to effectively develop drilling expertise in lesser developed countries of operation.

Further, it will provide case study results of a proven method of accelerated training which ensures the development of senior rig personnel expeditiously without sacrificing safety. Finally, the paper will summarize a worldwide effort to develop an even higher calibre of personnel to ensure total quality rig performance.

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