Managing in the Current Environment: Mitigating Risks & Uncertainties to Maximise Upstream Returns

Disciplines: Health, Safety, Environment, and Sustainability, Management, Production and Operations, Projects, Facilities and Construction, Reservoir

Course Description

The current low oil price environment demands a focused approach based on high quality decision making in order for companies to maximise returns and achieve their performance targets. Success requires recognition of uncertainty and practical strategies for the minimisation or mitigation of risk to ensure delivery of projects within budget and to generate predictable cash flows. 

Setting aside speculations about when and to what extent oil prices will recover successful companies must run their businesses based on sustainable oil price assumptions, realistic cost estimates, operational predictability, efficient project delivery and optimised exploration portfolios. To deliver these outcomes company executives must understand the sources of value, risk and vulnerability in their business concentrating on core competencies while managing risks and uncertainties.

This course reviews the key concepts for risk based evaluation, valuation, planning and decision making. In addition participants will gain a hands on understanding of markets and practical risk management instruments thereby gaining experience in selecting and using a variety of risk management techniques and tools.

Learning Level

Intermediate to Advanced

Course Length

2 Days

Why Attend

This course is for management to achieve best practice in risk evaluation by reviewing their decision making processes to ensure they make the right decisions, they make these decisions quickly and efficiently, that the decisions made are implemented and incorrect decisions are recognised and acted upon.

Various tools and methods of identifying, quantifying and managing the risks and uncertainties involved with prospect evaluation, portfolio management, resource assessment, production forecasting, cost estimating and project execution through the exploration, development and production life cycle will be reviewed. These are skills critical to efficient decision making especially in a risky environment such as the current time where oil prices are at a low and margins are under pressure. Participants will also be exposed to how strategies are developed in order to minimise exposure to risk and where possible to mitigate risks thereby achieving optimal operational performance to deliver strong results.

Learning and mastering these concepts, together with the methods of analysing and making risk based decisions together with appropriate risk mitigation strategies directly leads to improved evaluation and management of exploration projects.

Who Attends

This course is intended for oil and gas upstream professionals and management engaged in operations, planning and decision making, assessing and managing projects and work programs, assessing new ventures opportunities and managing exploration portfolios.

  • Business development managers
  • Drilling managers
  • Exploration and production team leaders
  • Exploration managers
  • Operations managers
  • Senior exploration managers
  • Senior petroleum engineers
  • Senior reservoir engineers
  • Senior safety engineers
  • Technical safety engineers
  • Planning managers and departmental heads will also benefit from this course


Engineers are responsible for enhancing their professional competence throughout their careers. Licensed, chartered, and/or certified engineers are sometimes required by government entities to provide proof of continued professional development and training. Training credits are defined as Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or Professional Development Hours (PDHs).

Attendees of SPE training courses earn 0.8 CEUs for each day of training. We provide each attendee a certificate upon completion of the training course.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be received no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. Cancellations made after the 14-day window will not be refunded. Refunds will not be given due to no show situations.

Training sessions attached to SPE conferences and workshops follow the cancellation policies stated on the event information page. Please check that page for specific cancellation information.

SPE reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule courses at will. Notification of changes will be made as quickly as possible; please keep this in mind when arranging travel, as SPE is not responsible for any fees charged for cancelling or changing travel arrangements.

We reserve the right to substitute course instructors as necessary.


Ian Tchacos

Ian Tchacos is an oil and gas professional with a track record of generating value through his involvement in a range of petroleum projects from exploration through to development as well as value generating acquisitions and asset sales. He has been instrumental in building a number of high growth oil and gas businesses through strategic acquisitions as well as organic growth in a range of junior to mid-sized oil company environments.

His 30 year career has involved international experience in corporate development, strategy formulation, mergers and acquisitions, petroleum exploration and development as well as commercial negotiation, oil and gas marketing, corporate and energy finance. Central to the success of these energy business activities has been risk based portfolio management, project evaluation and field development.

In his last executive appointment as Managing Director of Nexus Energy he was responsible for this company’s development from an onshore A$ 2 million micro-cap explorer to an ASX listed top 200, A$ 1.2 billion market capitalised offshore producer and operator. Ian was directly responsible for initiating and developing risk based decision making as the basis for exploration, development and production investments.

Ian holds a bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and a graduate diploma in Chemical Engineering commencing his professional career as petroleum engineer with significant practical experience in exploration and energy developments. He then progressed to business development roles in organisations where he was responsible for exploration portfolio development as well as project evaluation, commercialisation and development.

Ian is currently executive chairman of an unlisted energy company, non-executive chairman of two ASX listed companies and provides strategic, technical and finance advice to a number of other companies. He brings to a board and management team hands on expertise in asset value development, strategy formulation, operational and commercial risk management, portfolio development, corporate affairs, project finance and corporate governance.