It can take months, perhaps a year or two, to get through Front End Loading (FEL) stages with the current industry approaches. As the industry strives to be more efficient, faster to market in this lower for longer world, we need a different and much faster, lower risk approach that does not erode value. Multiple tools exist that allow subsurface/surface simulation integration and coupling, but these are cumbersome to configure and not appropriate for an early field development at the stage of pre-FEED (Front End Engineering and Design).

To meet this challenge, an agile approach to Field Development Planning (FDP) has been established. The approach is inspired by agile project management techniques and best practices that are currently used in the automotive, aerospace, construction, software development industries and lean start-ups. It is based on parallel sprints rather than the waterfall approaches to project management. Collaborative teams work on parallel deliverables to create a minimum viable product (MVP) and value drivers for further development are established quantifiably with an Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). The notion of a fully representative dynamic techno-economic model is presented. This model applies a multi-dependent system thinking approach, with dynamic integration of economic, reservoir, subsea, facilities and schedule data.

Two case studies are discussed where this approach was used to maximise economic benefits of the asset and accelerate the decision-making process during FEL stages:

  1. Identification of the best compression solution to optimise the economic outcome of production from a complex group of 350 wells intersecting different reservoirs. The result of this example was an 18-month acceleration of the decision process and 30% cost saving.

  2. Deciding whether the FEED should be oriented towards simultaneous or sequential production for the development of two marginal offshore satellite fields.

This presentation will be of interest to anyone looking to speed up the time to first oil/gas and reduce production costs on undeveloped or underdeveloped fields and bid more confidently on assets during licence rounds with less risk. It will also be of interest to those wanting to accelerate their decision-making process during FEL stages from months or years to weeks and allow decision makers to visualise and test inter-dependencies creatively with less cognitive bias.

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