Planning the drilling

The decision has now been made to end our casing operations at 800 m below the sea floor, not 900 m as originally planned, because we’ve now entered the zone a very hard rock, which should be stable for the deeper part of the drilling. The decision to stop casing is taken by the drillers in consultation with the scientific leadership. Today I wanted to introduce you to the two men who are most responsible for these technical decisions. In this picture we see on the right Steve Midgeley who is the offshore operations superintendent and works directly for IODP. He is the man who is directly responsible for planning the drilling with the science objectives in mind, but he does this in consultation with Sam McClelland (on the left) who is the offshore installation manager and who works for SIEM. It is Sam’s responsibility to put into effect the plan devised by Steve. The rig crew work for SIEM and therefore answer to Sam rather than to IODP directly. Although this may seem complicated to a first-time the system seems to work pretty well mostly because communication between the two groups is very good, as they know each other well and their offices are just across the corridor from one another, and indeed right next to the rig floor. If we are to be successful at this site then such creative thinking to solve the significant engineering problems is crucial.

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