A Company Reaches Higher, A Country Benefits

Following its acquisition of a natural gas asset in a developing nation, a global resources company generated an unprecedented commitment to contribute to local economic and social growth. This stand came in the form of a Charter created by that company’s leadership in country, including both nationals and expats. The Charter included bold commitments to the maintenance of a clean environment, the betterment of the life of every citizen, and the company’s intention to create a lasting benefit to the country it was operating in through the development of its people and communities.

At a glance

Industry: Oil & Gas

Challenge: Deliver a complex endeavor while at the same time contributing to local social and economic growth

Objective: Develop the first in a series of interconnected oil and gas fields on time and under budget

JMW Approach: Acquisition support, project team support, engaging stakeholders

Results: The $180m platform was the first to be managed, engineered, and constructed in the country by its own people. It was delivered on schedule and within budget.

The Objective

Following its acquisition of a natural gas asset in a developing nation, a global resources company generated an unprecedented commitment to contribute to local economic and social growth. This stand came in the form of a Charter created by that company’s leadership in country, including both nationals and expats. The Charter included bold commitments to the maintenance of a clean environment, the betterment of the life of every citizen, and the company’s intention to create a lasting benefit to the country it was operating in through the development of its people and communities.

Within this context and its attendant expectations, the company set out to develop the first of a series of connected oil and gas fields. The development included the design and construction of a $180 million offshore platform—an endeavor that was much more complex than most ventures of its scale. There was a dynamic mix of priorities and stakeholders to navigate, including the concerns of the country and its government, and the company’s interest in developing the fields in an innovative way that was economically viable as well as advantageous for the region.

The company faced the steep dual challenge of developing an original structural design to economically access this undeveloped gas asset while upholding its overarching commitment to the betterment of local citizens and communities.

JMW Approach

JMW was called in to help the project team determine the best approach to the work—meeting that dual challenge of innovative project design and delivering on the client company’s Charter commitment to the country. The work initially involved engaging various stakeholders in critical opening discussions about how best to approach the design and logistical challenges at hand. In JMW’s view, the lofty goals at stake could only be achieved if all involved—from the company to local communities and Government decision-makers—gained a better understanding of one another’s priorities, and became engaged to support both project development and their own interests.

There was initial progress as the stakeholder group devised plans that showed promise of success. A leadership team of 25 key players agreed to a new methodology to build the series of offshore platforms needed by using a standardized design for the platforms, as well as developing a common hub-and-spoke infrastructure that would be shared by the platforms. This approach would meet stakeholders’ collective needs in terms of cost efficiency, as well as an accelerated timeline.

Although the agreement on how to proceed represented a breakthrough, it did not sufficiently address the overarching commitment to the country and its citizens. Reaching the high bar set by the Charter required additional work with the leadership team and building a cross-company, local, and international affiliation capable of generating a truly innovative approach.

Fundamental to the work was helping the project team reach beyond their technology advances to take a leap forward in their commitment to local people and resources. JMW worked alongside key players as they deliberated about how to remain true to their Charter as they implemented their plan. In this process, they developed a game-changing strategy to not only have the platform installed and operated by local managers and employees, but also for it to be fabricated at a fabrication yard in-country employing local tradespeople, to be built for this project. This fabrication yard would carry on as an independent local business after completion of this first project, serving the growth of heavy industry and economic development in the country.

The Result

This is the first platform to be managed, engineered, and constructed in our country by our people, and it was delivered on schedule and within budget! Now that this has been done successfully, there will be more to follow in the future and they will be delivered best-in-class when compared to projects throughout the world. Thanks to all who contributed to this first success.

 – In the words of the Project Manager after the successful delivery of the project

The plan for fabrication of the platform in this local fabrication yard marked a historic “first” for the nation—a plan which was then successfully executed. Within the six-month stage of front-end engineering (“FEED”) supported by JMW, the stakeholders pulled together to produce a highly-detailed project plan that would ultimately be delivered on time, on budget, and—very significantly—in keeping with the company’s commitment to local jobs and infrastructure.

The project team overcame other challenges as well, effectively addressing initial budget concerns as the project team reduced estimated FEED stage costs by 23%. They did so without postponing any critical engineering tasks to a later stage, thus helping to ensure the successful launch of the industrial site in a way that championed the collective interests of the company, local communities, and the country.