DOT 2011: Reviewing lessons learned from the Jubilee project

“Most mega deepwater projects are unsuccessful, and adversity will come to your deepwater project,” said Dennis McLaughlin, Senior Vice President with Kosmos Energy, Tuesday morning at the Deep Offshore Technology International Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans.

Offshore staff

NEW ORLEANS – “Most mega deepwater projects are unsuccessful, and adversity will come to your deepwater project,” said Dennis McLaughlin, Senior Vice President with Kosmos Energy, Tuesday morning at the Deep Offshore Technology International Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans.

McLaughlin’s presentation, “The Jubilee Project: Lessons Learned,” was part of a panel of major offshore operators who addressed the challenges in developing deepwater projects.

“Large deepwater projects are inherently difficult and risky,” McLaughlin observed, “and the best protection is to empower the project team.”

It was only by applying several important philosophical and operational guidelines on the Jubilee project that Kosmos Energy and its partners were able to bring Ghana’s first major deepwater oil project to a successful conclusion in a very short timeframe.

Jubilee was Ghana’s first commercial offshore oil discovery, and there was no regulatory or commercial infrastructure in place when the project began. Despite this, McLaughlin noted that Jubilee was completed in a very rapid timeframe, from the first discovery in July 2007 to first oil in November 2010.

Despite the challenges, the Jubilee development project had an excellent safety record, with no spills and very few lost time incidents. And, McLaughlin noted, the cost performance to date has been good as well.

The key to this achievement, he said, was collaborating with contractors and having an open dialogue with them and the other members of the development team. It was also vitally important to have an “experienced and empowered” project team.

Another key lesson was to keep the commercial and operational parts of the project separate. Allowing a roadblock in one area to affect progress in the other was an avenue for failure and delay. “If you get these elements mixed, you will be late,” McLaughlin commented.

10/11/2011

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