Annual Technology Forum, featuring Wellbore Placement and Rotary Steerable Systems
Oct. 31 - Nov. 1, 2017

Houston Marriott North
255 North Sam Houston Pkwy E
Houston, TX 77060


If you have any issues registering for this event, please contact us at Thanks!

Over the past year, hundreds of people from operators, service companies and manufacturers have attended and engaged in discussions at various IADD technical events (MWD technology roadmap forum, mud motors vs. rotary steerables debate, extended-reach/10K+ laterals topical forum, high-capacity BHA extended luncheons, etc.).

While these forums have highlighted the progress that our industry has made [improved efficiency of mud motor power sections, ability to match drill bits with higher HP motors, benefits of running rotary steerables and mud motors together, etc.], they’ve also shed light on some of the “weak links” in today’s drilling assemblies, including (but not limited to) the:

  • High cost of rotary steerable systems
  • Reliability challenges of MWD systems
  • Lack of performance-to-spec of some mud motors
  • Understanding where we are in the well

As an industry, we are always focused on the next well that we are drilling; but we also need to understand why, where and how we are drilling it, as well as identify what innovative technologies and practices are required to extend the production results with minimal NPT and costs.

On behalf of the IADD Annual Technology Forum committee, we invite you to join us on October 31 and November 1 at the Marriott Greenspoint Hotel in Houston, Texas. This year’s forum will focus on Wellbore Placement and Rotary Steerable System technologies.


Event Sponsors


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Day One

Wellbore Placement is about successfully locating the well [especially in long unconventional play horizontals], drilling in the right spot, and doing it cost-effectively. This Forum will seek to address:

  • How do we decide where the well should be located?
  • Are there drivers and limitations that need to be discussed when placing a well?
  • What reservoir objectives dominate the well planning process, and how can we validate our achievement of meeting those targets?
  • Do we truly understand where the well is, anyways, and what best practices need to be implemented to improve this understanding?


Day Two

We truly are at a crossroads when it comes to rotary steerable systems. We have seen a huge increase in utilization in unconventional drilling, but much like the early years of deployment in more expensive markets, users are starting to question the economic rationale of using the systems that are available today. Topics at this year’s Forum will include:

  • How do we drill the wells today, and how should we be thinking about drilling them in the future?
  • Are we ready for the next technology evolution in shale plays?
  • What technologies—new or old—do we need to incorporate into our best-practices approach?
  • What does the move towards longer laterals mean in terms of technology, both downhole and surface, including automation’s role, and focusing on rotary steerables and their role?

We look forward to your participation in what will be an enlightening discussion of our current limitations, where the industry is headed, and what technology improvements will be required to meet the challenges of the next evolutionary step in directional drilling.

See you there!

IADD Technical Forum Co-chairs

Wellbore Placement

  • Jordan Meyer, Noble Energy
  • Len Duncan,
  • Shawn DeVerse,

Rotary Steerable Systems

  • Anders Storaune, Southwestern
  • Blaine Comeaux, Consultant
  • Jerid R Achord, Weatherford
  • Kevin McMillin, Terravici Drilling Solutions 


IADD has secured a special room rate ($109) with the Marriott Houston North facility for the Annual Technology Forum. To book a room at this rate, contact Veronica Lopez at 281.875.8991 or The cutoff date is October 10.

Featured Speakers
Speaker: Blaine Comeaux
Speaker Blaine Comeaux

Blaine is a 30+ year oilfield veteran with Sperry Drilling, a part of Halliburton. His career has included roles in Operations, Technical Support, Strategic Planning, Sales, Marketing, and Product Launch. He performed technology portfolio analysis, acquisition analysis, corporate strategy planning, and market research in cutting edge technologies. His technical expertise is primarily in directional drilling, rotary steerables, drilling dynamics, and M/LWD. He has been involved in geosteering, horizontal drilling, extended reach drilling, coiled tubing drilling, and MPD / underbalanced drilling. He led the launch of the Geo-Pilot Rotary Steerable into the Gulf of Mexico and later became the Geo-Pilot Global Product Champion. Blaine is currently with Qittitut Consulting, LLC, helping clients increase revenues and margins through new product launches, M&A opportunity analysis, and strategy development. He has a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from LSU.

Speaker: Kevin McMillin - Director of Operations, Terravici Drilling Solutions
Speaker Kevin McMillin - Director of Operations, Terravici Drilling Solutions

Kevin McMillin is currently the Director of Operations for Terravici Drilling Solutions. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma with degrees in both Geological and Petroleum Engineering, he began his oilfield career offshore. With more than 25+ years in the industry, his formation evaluation and directional drilling experience has included: performing the first induction resistivity, advanced geosteering technique; participating in the Conoco MWD/LWD Logoff; generating the first while-drilling, wellbore resistivity-at-bit images; and providing working with one of the industry's first remote monitoring facilities from a Barnett Shale operators office.  Kevin has authored numerous drilling technology articles and was a key contributor to the original publication of Offshore Magazine's annual Rotary Steerable Survey, and has been an active SPE member, serving 2 years on SPE-Gulf Coast Section's board of directors. 

Speaker: Richard Spears - Managing Director, Spears & Associates
Speaker Richard Spears - Managing Director, Spears & Associates

With an engineering degree from Oklahoma State University and graduate work in industrial engineering, Richard Spears has worked for 37 years in the upstream oil and gas industry, starting as a field engineer for Halliburton. Today, Richard is one of the managing directors of Spears & Associates, an oilfield market research firm founded in 1965. The firm has 400 clients worldwide, including all major oil companies, many national oil companies, all major service companies and over one hundred private and institutional investors. Richard has been with the firm since 1985 and leads the firm’s mergers and acquisitions support practice. Richard is a 31 year member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer 2005‐2006. He is also a 29 year member of the Association of Energy Service Companies. Richard is on the board of directors and is an owner of several oilfield service companies including Allied Wireline, an oilfield service company that is commercializing GE’s digital openhole logging technology; W-Technology, a manufacturer of MWD components; and Abrado, an offshore well intervention service company.

Speaker: Shawn DeVerse - President, Magnetic Variation Services LLC
Speaker Shawn DeVerse - President, Magnetic Variation Services LLC

Shawn is currently the President of Magnetic Variation Services LLC, where he manages operations, product development and business development. With a B.S. degree in Biosystems and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Arizona, he has worked in numerous technical roles within the upstream Drilling and Exploration sector. He has authored and co-authored six SPE publications related to wellbore positioning methodologies and practices. Currently, his efforts are focused on raising awareness of the importance that accurate wellbore surveying practices has on the economics of unconventional field development.

Speaker: Jerid Achord - Engineering Advisor, Weatherford Drilling Services
Speaker Jerid Achord - Engineering Advisor, Weatherford Drilling Services

Jerid is currently an Engineering Advisor for Weatherford Drilling Services in the Permian Basin. He began his career with Global Marine in the Gulf of Mexico. After graduating from Nicholls State University with his Petroleum engineering degree, he worked at Baker Hughes in various positions around the world, including Directional Drilling Specialist and Project Manager with Apache, Anadarko, and Hess. In 2013, Jerid joined Weatherford as the RSS Product Line Manager, where he worked with engineering to reform the Rotary Steerable configuration, and develop new BHA use criteria that became the global standard. He later became the U.S. Drilling Engineering Manager, and he aided in developing a real-time software platform, and established the Weatherford RTOC multi-services platform. He has been published in SPE twice during his career, and has been a speaker at multiple AADE conferences. 


Speaker: Jeff Lasater - CEO, Kinetic Upstream Technologies
Speaker Jeff Lasater - CEO, Kinetic Upstream Technologies

Jeff is currently the CEO of Kinetic Upstream Technologies. After graduating from Texas A&M University with a degree in Aerospace Engineering, he spent nine years in the US Space Program as a design engineer for Space Industries, Inc, where he designed and managed a number of diverse systems for the Space Shuttle, International Space Station, and other unmanned vehicles; on projects including scientific instruments, life-support systems, and planetary entry & descent systems (Mars Pathfinder). In 1997, Jeff joined Rotary Steerable Tools, Inc. (RST) where he led the development of the first commercial rotary steerable system in North America, which was acquired by Halliburton. He later returned to the space industry where he served as Director of BD with Oceaneering, until returning once again to drilling with Tercel Oilfield Products in 2011. In 2016, Jeff founded Kinetic Upstream Technologies to develop and commercialize a novel downhole automated steering system. He is the founder of several technology startups in oilfield, space, and ruggedized electronics and holds numerous patents in drilling and completions.

Speaker: Chris Conger - Account Executive, SparkCognition Inc.
Speaker Chris Conger - Account Executive, SparkCognition Inc.

Chris is currently an Account Executive at SparkCognition, Inc., one of the fastest growing and most innovative artificial intelligence companies in the world. After graduating from Texas A&M University with an Electronics Engineering Technology degree, Chris worked at Teradyne as an engineer in the semiconductor test and automotive industries. Since Teradyne, Chris has applied his talents to business development and building world class teams, holding both strategic account and executive positions at Tektronix and Erdos Miller, respectively. A native Houstonian, Chris has primarily supported upstream oil & gas companies since returning to his home town in 2011.

Speaker: Benny Poedjono - Advisor in Wellbore Positioning, Interception and Relief Well Operations, Schlumber
Speaker Benny Poedjono - Advisor in Wellbore Positioning, Interception and Relief Well Operations, Schlumber

enny is a Schlumberger Advisor in Wellbore Positioning, Interception and Relief Well Operations. He started with Schlumberger in 1982 as a field engineer and has held operations, management, engineering, technical support and business development positions, and has worked in more than 29 countries during his career. His recent areas of concentration are: geomagnetic referencing, advanced wellbore surveying, collision avoidance management, wellbore interception, and platform and pad design. Benny is assisting with Industry Steering Committee Wellbore Position Accuracy, Artic Technology and API RP 78 Recommendation for Wellbore Positioning. He has published more than 50 technical papers and holds many patents. Benny is a graduate of Bandung Institute Technology in Indonesia with a BSC and LR degree in Digital Electronic Engineering.

Speaker: Bill Chmela - Vice Present, Motive Drilling Technologies
Speaker Bill Chmela - Vice Present, Motive Drilling Technologies

Bill Chmela is Vice President of Motive Drilling Technologies.  Bill has extensive experience related to technology startups, leading technical teams, and identifying and developing product visions.  His experience spans multiple countries and in technologies including engineering, data analysis, geophysics, and drilling.  He is a registered professional Geophysicist in the State of Texas.

Speaker: James Franks - Director, Pioneer Natural Resources
Speaker James Franks - Director, Pioneer Natural Resources

James is a Technical Director at Pioneer Natural Resources, working on projects that address Continuous Improvement. He started his career as a summer hire Roustabout for Nabors Alaska Drilling while attending University.  Following graduation in 1996, he worked for Schlumberger and BP prior to joining Pioneer in 2006 where he has held various engineering and management positions.  James has a passion for innovative thinking and new technology and is actively involved in the search for and implementation of innovative ideas, products and processes. James is a veteran of the US Navy, a member of SPE, and holds a BSME from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Speaker: Jordan Meyer - Drilling Engineer, Noble Energy
Speaker Jordan Meyer - Drilling Engineer, Noble Energy

Jordan Meyer is currently a drilling engineer for Noble Energy’s Delaware Basin assets. In his time at Noble Energy, he has worked Deepwater Gulf of Mexico, International Drilling, and South Texas, all within a drilling engineering role. He attended Texas A&M University where he earned a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering.

Speaker:  Lars Olesen – Vice President, Product Management. Pason Systems Corp.
Speaker Lars Olesen – Vice President, Product Management. Pason Systems Corp.

Lars is responsible for product direction and the commercial results of Pason’s rig site and office based products.  With a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary, he has worked in various roles within the upstream Oil and Gas sector, including more than 15 years in drilling data management. He and his teams have authored or co-authored numerous SPE publications related to drilling optimization, directional advisory applications, data quality and data transfer from the rig.  His efforts are currently focused on the deployment and workflow of advanced advisory and automation applications.

Speaker: Mike Oswald - Rotary Steerable Sales Engineer, Extreme Equipment Rentals
Speaker Mike Oswald - Rotary Steerable Sales Engineer, Extreme Equipment Rentals

Mike is currently a Sales Engineer for Extreme Equipment Rentals – A Schlumberger Company.  After graduating from the University of Michigan with B.S. Degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Material Science Engineering, Mike began his career with Schlumberger as an MWD Engineer and Directional Driller in the Rockies.  For the past 8 years, Mike was Schlumberger’s PowerDrive Champion for North America Land.  He was responsible for reliability improvement, technical support, DD training, BHA design, and field test management.  He managed the introduction of PowerDrive X6 and PowerDrive Orbit to the North America Land market.  In his current role, Mike is focused on expanding the PowerDrive rental market in US Land.

Speaker: Neil Bergstrom - Senior Technical Advisor, MagVAR, LLC.
Speaker Neil Bergstrom - Senior Technical Advisor, MagVAR, LLC.

Neil is a senior technical advisor at MagVAR, LLC.  Previously he was Devon Energy's in-house wellbore placement expert, and chair of the Operator's Wellbore Survey Group (OWSG). Earlier positions include survey management for Halliburton/ Sperry Drilling, magnetic ranging specialist for Scientific Drilling International, and principal and director for Mount Sopris Instrument Company and COLOG. Neil has a degree in Physics from Colorado College.

Speaker: Ben Hawkinson - Director of Wellbore Positioning Services, Scientific Drilling
Speaker Ben Hawkinson - Director of Wellbore Positioning Services, Scientific Drilling

Ben Hawkinson is the Director of Wellbore Positioning Services at Scientific Drilling, and is based at Scientific Drilling's Applied Technology Center in Paso Robles, California. He joined Scientific Drilling in 2003 and led an engineering team which worked on Scientific Drilling's Keeper gyro survey products. He spent time in global operations before being named Product Development Manager at the Applied Technology Center, where he led technical developments in the company's MWD, LWD, and Survey products. Ben is an active member of the SPE and its Wellbore Positioning Technical Section, and has served on the committee for several SPE Workshops and an SPE Forum.  He holds a BS degree in Computer Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Speaker: Steve Carter, PE – Vice President, Drilling Operations, BlackBrush Oil & Gas, L.P.
Speaker Steve Carter, PE – Vice President, Drilling Operations, BlackBrush Oil & Gas, L.P.

Mr. Carter joined BlackBrush in 2010 as Manager of Engineering. He is a Registered Professional Engineer with 34 years of experience exploring and producing oil and gas. He has pioneered successful techniques to drill unconventional horizontal wells, including rotary steerable directional drilling and underbalanced pressure with various drilling fluids. Executed evolving horizontal completion designs for cased & open hole completions, and multiple stage oil and water fracs. His expertise includes the Maverick Basin and South Texas managing operations for a diverse set of carbonate, sandstone and shale plays. He has held engineering management positions at TXCO Resources, EnRe Corp, Venus Exploration, and Neumin Production. Mr. Carter received his B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1982. He is an active board member of AADE, and SPE.

Speaker: Jim Rogers - Drilling Automation Consultant
Speaker Jim Rogers - Drilling Automation Consultant

Jim Rogers is a Drilling Automation Consultant in Houston, Texas, where he currently is assisting Halliburton in applying automation technologies to drilling operations.

As an active member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Jim is a Board Member of SPE-DSATS, which is defining recommended practices for the industry. He is also a member of the IADC-ART Drilling Controls committee.

During his tenure at Shell, Jim directed a small technology team that developed the SCADADrill autonomous drilling system. During 2009, the team delivered a proof-of-concept project which demonstrated the use of automation technologies to automatically control the directional drilling of multi-lateral horizontal wells.

Jim has conducted several technology projects applying automatic supervisory control systems to drilling rigs. He is a frequent presenter at numerous industry associations, including SPE, IADC, DEA, IADD, and IPTC, and has been featured in print and on-line publications including World Oil Magazine, Drilling Contractor Magazine, and

Speaker Jon Rhodes - Marketing & Commercialization Manager, Directional Drilling Product Line, BHGE

Jon Rhodes – Baker Hughes Marketing and Commercialization Manager for the Directional Drilling Product Line, He has been with BHGE for over 25 years, starting out as a field engineer working in West Africa, before moving into various Operational management roles at district and regional levels in the Middle East and Asia. Moved to Houston in 2014 where he has taken on global marketing and commercialization roles in Drilling Services.


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Day 1 Agenda

Day 2 Agenda



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Houston Marriott North

255 North Sam Houston Pkwy E
Houston, TX 77060


A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available for this event. For more information, please contact Wendy Gray at

Date and Time

Tue, Oct. 31


Wed, Nov. 1, 2017

8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
(GMT-0500) US/Central


Houston Marriott North

255 North Sam Houston Pkwy E
Houston, TX 77060