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In recent years, projects in upstream oil and gas have become more complex, remotely located, and, therefore, costly and difficult to deliver.
Many megaprojects are executed in greenfield areas with little or no infrastructure. The challenge is to ensure that the project team addresses infrastructure requirements with the same diligence and rigor that is applied to the cash generating the oil and gas asset. Neglecting access, accommodation, power and water supply, or disposal until later in the engineering definition process will more than likely lead to costly retrofits at a later stage.
1. Front-end loading
Value assurance and operations readiness are two key factors that lead to better project outcomes. These findings are underpinned in research. There are a number of steps that will pay off in the long run in any project, with the most pertinent being:
Merrow, E.W. 2011. Industrial Megaprojects: Concepts, Strategies, and Practices for Success, first edition. John Wiley & Sons.
Shenhar, A.J. and Dvir, D. 2007. Reinventing Project Management: The Diamond Approach to Successful Growth and Innovation, first edition. Harvard Business School Press.
The authors would like to thank the QCLNG Integrated Completions Group for supporting the preparation of this thought piece, and in particular, Paul Meech and Craig Hales for their personal leadership and guidance.
This article has also appeared in The Journal of Petroleum Technology, May 2015.
Kai C. Eberspaecher, SPE, is a Senior Associate at Advisian. Before joining the company, he worked for 10 years at BG Group and was the upstream Operations Readiness Manager of the Queensland Curtis Liquefied Natural Gas (QCLNG) project. Eberspaecher is a fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineering, a chartered engineer in the UK and Europe, and a registered professional engineer in Queensland. He holds a MEng in chemical engineering from Imperial College London and a MBA from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.
For further information, email Kai at email@example.com
Jamie W. Gabb, is the Integrated Startup Operations Manager of BG Group’s upstream facilities of the QCLNG project. Before joining the company, he worked for 16 years in a variety of operations, engineering project, maintenance, and asset management roles in the electric utility sector in Australia and Europe. Gabb is a member of the Institute of Engineers Australia and a Registered Professional Engineer in Queensland. He holds a MEngSc from Queensland University of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronic engineering with honors from the University of Queensland.
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