John Thorogood
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John L Thorogood




Drilling Global Consultant LLP

John Thorogood has a 44-year career in drilling engineering, field operations, drilling technology and exploration well project management.  He is a self-employed drilling engineering advisor working mainly for operating companies.  His areas of practice encompass technical standards, processes, policies and procedures, technical and organisational reviews, exploration well project management, risk management, process safety and human factors.



Technical and Organisational Reviews

With publications in many aspects of drilling engineering and operations, combined with a broad general knowledge of the literature from 25+ years of peer reviewing papers for publication, John can undertake technical reviews of a wide range of well engineering technical problems.  He focuses on the logic and detail of the work under consideration, looking for consistency and flushing out assumptions to test the reasoning behind conclusions and recommendations. 

Management Systems, Technical Standards and Processes

For the majority of his career, John has been involved with developing and implementing procedures to ensure safe and consistent operations.  Initially in relation to directional drilling and surveying then progressing to the organisational process required to ensure technical integrity of safety-critical directional drilling and surveying operations.  John has written and helped develop a considerable number of well delivery processes, technical standards, policies, procedures and guidelines. 

Operational Control of Work

From his work on process safety and operational excellence, John has observed that inconsistencies in the way operations are run and decisions made accounts for a significant level of under-performance.  Throughout the industry there is a lack of consensus and written procedures that define how well site operations should be carried out.  He has formalised these in a way that can be trained, practised and assessed.

Process Safety, Major Accident Risk and Human Factors

Following the Macondo accident, which affected many of his friends and former colleagues, John developed a deep interest in the closely related areas of process safety, major accident risk and the impact of human factors on operational performance and decision making.  He has published a number of papers in this area, written technical standards for operational barrier management and procedures for risk management in well engineering and operations. 

Exploration Wells Project Management

Ten years of managing frontier exploration projects provided considerable breadth of experience in the project management and organisational skills required to deliver successful operational outcomes.  Having lead teams in Norway, the Faroe Islands and Russia and coached others, including a deep water project in the South Atlantic, John has a wealth of experience and lessons learned documented in a manual that enables him to assist teams to avoid the traps for the unwary.

Board Membership

John is a non-executive director of two technology companies in the oil industry, to which he brings his knowledge of drilling technology, awareness of the state of the art and nature of the competitive landscape.  Although focusing primarily on technical matters, he advises on organisational questions and business strategy.  In his non-executive roles outside the industry, he contributes his experience of personal and process safety, major accident risk assessment, project management and operations efficiency.