Project Execution and Offshore Field Development in the Current Oil Market Downturn
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This Record of Study presents the author’s experience in the capacity of riser lead and technical advisor working on multiple engineering and management project assignments by Cuneiform Offshore Consulting (Cuneiform). Cuneiform is a consulting firm based in Houston, Texas, specialized in providing engineering, technical advisory and project management services to the offshore energy industry. The author provided direct technical and managerial support to several of Noble Energy’s field developments in Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and Eastern Mediterranean; and, performed CVA (Certified Verification Agent) duties on behalf of BSEE (Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement) by conducting riser design, fabrication and installation verification for risers intended for operation in two different GOM developments. The author’s assignments were comprised of different technical and managerial challenges related to design, engineering, fabrication and installation of offshore risers. A fundamental goal and imperative challenge was to minimize project execution and operational risks and costs. The author emphasizes the importance of correct hazard identification, appropriate risk assessments, good decision making and judgement to ensure the health, safety and protection of the offshore personnel, the public and the environment, as well as the avoidance of incidents through proper riser design and proper execution to help safeguard the offshore asset and the interest of all stakeholders. The engineering and execution of offshore dynamic risers require a detailed understanding of the internal and external environment and interfaces. Early assessment of key design considerations during feasibility and concept selection phases was of utmost importance as it allowed for the identification of technical gaps and risk evaluation. Indeed, particular attention was given to the riser type selection philosophy with respect to host floater types, field configurations, environmental conditions, and fluid properties amongst primary parameters. Moreover, the author’s experience highlights the importance of staffing, teamwork, communication, planning, management, leadership and decision making as key factors and challenges to the overall project execution success. Furthermore, organizational elements such as talent identification, retention and acquisition; continuous investment into innovation and R&D; risk assessment and minimization; ability to adapt to changing market demands; cost control; and maintaining a cash flow positive organization with access to capital are found to contribute to an enhanced operational efficiency. The thorough assessment of outcomes for each project provided valuable technical and managerial lessons. The acquired experience and proper implementation of the gathered lessons from past projects enables better execution of future projects. Finally, the overall outcome and success of any project can be judged by assessing its technical rigor and robustness as well as the efficacy in its managerial decisions, approaches, processes, priorities and execution.
Oil Market Downturn
Cash Flow Positive
Tavassoli, Armin (2016). Project Execution and Offshore Field Development in the Current Oil Market Downturn. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from