Overview: Deepwater Exploration and Production (June 2006)
- John Barnes (AMEC Paragon)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- June 2006
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 44 - 44
- 2006. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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Deepwater oil and gas projects are some of the most challenging of human endeavors. The sheer size of many of these efforts—and the impressive new technologies used—is truly amazing. Deepwater projects also entail great risk, however, and things sometimes do go wrong. Of course, things go wrong on all types of projects, but the deepwater environment itself and the large-scale nature of many projects exacerbate the severity of any problem. Costs can increase to many times the budget, the details associated with implementing new technology can be overwhelming, and schedules easily can slip enough to jeopardize the commercial success of the project.
Some problems are related to project decisions that are made to maintain schedule before all of the needed facts are available. On a complex project, decisions are made that, in retrospect, are clearly wrong. Other problems arise simply as a result of mistakes made by the project management or technical teams. To be successful, the project team must be willing to recognize mistakes as early as possible and take corrective action. Knowledge of how mistakes were addressed on previous projects, both successfully and unsuccessfully, can be invaluable in selecting an appropriate corrective action.
Examining lessons learned from previous projects provides one of the most important methods for improving project execution. Barry LePatner, an attorney testifying before a U.S. House of Representatives Science and Technology Committee on disclosure of information from building failures, made the following observation:
“Good judgment is usually the result of experience. And experience is frequently the result of bad judgment. But to learn from the experience of others requires those who have the experience to share the knowledge with those who follow.”
The sharing of project-management lessons learned on deepwater projects, however, is a relatively recent development. Project management is as important to the success of deepwater projects as technology. The continued sharing of project-management lessons learned would help project teams meet the myriad nontechnical challenges associated with deepwater projects.
Deepwater Exploration and Production additional reading available at the OTC Library: www.otcnet.org
OTC 17971 “Albacora Leste Deepwater Field: Improvements on Well Construction,” by E. de Melo Sanches, Petrobras, et al.
OTC 17806 “Combined Effect of Flowline Walking and Riser Dynamic Loads on HP/HT Flowline Design,” by M.S. Brunner, Technip U.S.A., et al.
OTC 18311 “K2 Topside Facilities—Design Challenges,” by F. Colbert, OFD Engineering LLC, et al.
OTC 17655 “The Significance of Gas Hydrate as a Geohazard in Gulf of Mexico Exploration and Production,” by M.A. Smith, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, et al.
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