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Challenges of Mega Projects—Managing Project Execution from Conception to Operation

10 – 11 March 2014

Abu Dhabi, UAE | Jumeirah at Etihad Towers

Technical Agenda

Session 1: New Challenges raised by the Increase in Numbers and Complexity of Large Projects

Session Chairs:  Christopher Bush, Technip; Jean-François “Frank” Coupaud, Total; Scott D.
Power
, Fluor Middle East

The multiplication of “mega” projects and the ever increasing complexity of new oil & gas field developments have generated a whole new range of challenges to the industry in various areas.

This session will analyse the industry trends for the foreseeable future, to help identify challenges and potential areas of risk in terms of availability of resources for project implementation, as well as technological issues that may be raised by the complexity of new developments.

Resource shortages may affect all areas of project implementation and more specifically engineering, equipment supply, fabrication and installation capabilities worldwide.

  • Training and development of engineers is a lengthy process in an industry that no longer attracts large quantities of students.
  • Manufacturers of oil and gas equipment are limited in numbers and therefore in output capacity.
  • Fabrication yards in some areas are becoming saturated, leading to introduction of new players.
  • Installation campaigns may be delayed due to availability and suitability of offshore construction spreads.

With all known “simple” developments now substantially complete, new technological challenges are raised by the next generation of oil and gas field: tight reservoirs, high pressure/high temperature, sour fluids, digital fields, brownfield upgrades require new, highly specialised skills and resources that are in short supply or under development.

Session 2: Field Development Strategies

Session Chairs: Graham Richardson, TAQA; Walid Masri, Chevron

The effective development of mega projects requires the application of best practice across a wide range of management and technical disciplines. This session will discuss and expand on a number of these key elements.

Good practice in field development for mega projects involves providing sufficient project context at an early stage, assessing the potential value of various options, identifying and aligning all the stakeholders, and evaluating all issues pertaining to partner relationships. Sufficient front end loading should shape and configure the project so that it is profitable for all stakeholders and investors and provide a stable platform for detailed design work and subsequent project execution.

Topics that will be discussed include the provision of sufficient front end loading to scope and study the various options for maximising value, whilst managing uncertainties and risks for technical and commercial challenges. This may include small scale early production or pilot projects to help increase understanding and mitigate risk. Apparently small issues, if not addressed effectively in early stages, can potentially cascade to become major problems.

Effective risk management will be discussed, including the opportunities to mitigate and share risk by effective partnering and by a phased approach to development. Options as to how best to leverage the operator-contractor relationship will be discussed, together with the pros and cons of various contracting philosophies for different types of projects.

Session 3: Project Execution Practices

Session Chairs: Adrian Sambrook, BP; James Voskamp, WorleyParsons

In the current energy market where there are multiple large complex projects in different stages of development and execution, owner/operator, contractor, and vendor resources will be constrained to deliver high quality outcomes.

This situation creates technical and commercial risks that need to be addressed and mitigated to ensure the projects’ economic and timely completion. Prudent portfolio management is required to balance multiple drivers and demands such as project phasing, capital availability, partners’ priorities, etc.

The last few years has seen constraints in the availability of qualified and experienced resources in the region in addition to changed dynamics in the way these services are being delivered. Work sharing between multiple global locations allows projects to access remote capability as necessary at competitive costs.

Project interfaces continues to be a key discipline in terms of successful delivery. Whilst interfaces within the project are critical, external interfaces such as drilling must also be taken into account.

Finally, with increased demands on cost and schedule for mega projects, accurate and timely analysis of project performance is critical to ensure timely and appropriate interventions occur when required to achieve successful outcomes.

This session seeks to explore and discuss some the key project execution challenges raised above.

Session 4: Industry and Community Readiness

Session Chairs: Ali Al-Rawahi, Petroleum Development Oman; Mohamed Harb, ADMA-OPCO

Operations readiness is a coordinated and structured process which ensures a new asset or development is delivered to the asset owner in proper working order and condition. Operations readiness is an integral part of project delivery standards and methods with its own formal controls.

The application and conduct of the operations readiness process is three parts:

  • Flawless Project Delivery (FPD):  The project should be delivered to the owner in a way that commissioning and start-up will be a smooth process. Basically; build it safe, build it clean, build it tight, build it right, and fully functional. FDP is the vehicle to make this happen. An appropriate organisation has to be set up to implement the FPD activities.
  • Commissioning and Start-Up Readiness: The creation of a competent CSU organisation, the development of a system based CSU logic, schedule and preparation for the project to asset transfer.
  • Asset Owner Readiness: Operations involvement in the project from initial phases and to the initial operate phase. It covers for example, the development of management systems, operations and maintenance philosophy, operations input to design, designing and setting up a competent permanent organisation, maintenance and integrity management.