Project Management for Marginal Offshore Oilfields

Reservoir Descriptions and Dynamics


Marginal offshore oilfield development requires more careful risk management than more economically robust field developments. As such, project management of marginal field development also requires an additional degree of scrutiny, particularly in regard to project drivers. Any adverse effects to these drivers, such as cost blowouts and schedule overruns will likely result in commercial failure. However, the most important project driver is related to reserves or specifically the oil recoverable by individual wells. Failure of reservoir well performance, for whatever reasons tends to have a devastating effect.

The course is a 3-day course that commences with the principles of project management, including project drivers and economic considerations, and definitions of a marginal field. Secondly, the three project elements are addressed: reservoirs, facilities and wells, paying particular attention to uncertainties, options, design and risks. Thirdly, the course covers management processes, including tollgating and post-implementation reviews, as well as cost estimating and control, and schedules. Finally, the course covers economic evaluation aspects; project risks and analysis; and safety, health and environmental aspects.

Throughout the course, principles, practices and processes are underscored with numerous examples. Three case histories are discussed in detail, giving an outline for each case first, followed by participants’ group deliberation, discussion, presentation, further discussion and debriefing. Case histories deal with alternative reservoir development options, well options and design, and facilities types.

Day 1:
L1 – Introduction to project management and marginal fields
L2 – Defining reservoir uncertainties and risks
L3 – Facilities options for marginal fields
L4 – Case History I: Skua marginal oilfield development, Timor Sea
Group exercise and discussions

Day 2:
L5 – Well options and design considerations
L6 – Management processes
L7 – Cost estimating and control, schedules
L8 – Case History II: Dai Hung, stacked and compartmentalised oilfield, Vietnam
Group exercise and discussions

Day 3:
L9   – Fiscal terms and economic evaluation
L10 – Project risk analysis
L11 – Safety, health and environment
L12 – Case History III: Typhoon deepwater marginal oilfield development, GOM
Group exercise and discussions

Why Attend?

Participants will learn how marginal oil fields can be development by applying good project management practices, principles and processes, with particular emphasis to subsurface uncertainties and various risks (not just subsurface).

Who Should Attend

Members of the following project teams:

Subsurface – in particular development geologists and reservoir engineers;
Well construction – in particular drilling and completion engineers;
Facilities engineers – marine, process and subsea engineers.

In addition team leaders and managers associated with oil field development would benefit to attend.

Cancellation Policy

To receive a full refund, all cancellations must be received in writing no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. Cancellations made after the 14-day window will not be refunded. Send cancellation requests by email to; by fax to +1.866.460.3032 (US) or +1.972.852.9292 (outside US); or mail to SPE Registration, PO Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083.


Prof Peter Behrenbruch is currently Managing Director of Bear and Brook Consulting Pty Ltd. He is also Adjunct Professor at the Australian School of Petroleum (ASP), the University of Adelaide, and at the Ho Chi Minh University of Technology, Geology and Petroleum Engineering (GEOPET), Vietnam. Furthermore, he has an ongoing teaching position at the University of Western Australia.

Peter’s recent positions included an industry position (2008-09) as Chief Operating Officer (COO) for East Puffin (SINOPEC) for the Puffin offshore development project, Timor Sea. He held a similar position (2007-08) for AED Oil Ltd on the same project. He held a full time, academic position as inaugural Head of the School of Petroleum Engineering and Management (2001-03) at the University of Adelaide, and he was full time professor at Adelaide University (2001-07), tenured in 2004.

His 39 years of industry experience covers engineering, R&D, project, technical and general management as well as academic positions.

Peter’s expertise ranges over petroleum engineering and management, focusing in:
- management of field development (planning & feasibility) of major (offshore) petroleum projects (as project director/ project manager); management of producing fields; R&D and technical: reservoir characterization, special core analysis, (probabilistic) reserves determination, reservoir simulation, pressure transient analysis.