The process of selecting a field development concept following a discoveryinvolves a complex iterative interaction between its key elements ofsubsurface, drilling and completions, surface facilities, and commercial andregulatory considerations. The objective being to understand how differentrisks and uncertainties impact each scenario, leading to the final selection ofthe tsingle concept that best balances the key elements and extracts maximumvalue for all stakeholders.

A recommended procedure for Arctic concept selection has been developed, using a building-block approach matched with a practical and systematic methodfor understanding the key drivers and uncertainties in a project. In order tocomplete this type of anyalysis, experienced professionals are equipped with atoolkit and set of processes that allow a disciplined approach to only doingwork that is focused on each decision that has to be made. This then leads tothe development of a decision based plan to extract the maximum value from anyopportunity.

Also discussed are some of the common traps that can befall a conceptselection study such as: solving the wrong problem due to an inadequate projectframe; utilizing incorrect, invalid or out of date data; having inadequatesystems and tools in place to maintain focus and alignment; an inability toarticulate key insights; a lack of team integration; and finally the dangers ofan activity based workscope instead of a decision based one.


Recent studies have estimated that 25% of the world's petroleum reserves arelocated in Arctic waters. Current energy demand has promoted renewed interestin the exploration and field development of offshore hydrocarbon basins inArctic and ice covered waters of the northern hemisphere. With the oilindustry's continued quest for oil and gas in frontier offshore locations, several developments have taken place in regions characterized by seasonal icecover and the presence of icebergs including the US Beaufort, North Caspian, Sakhalin Island, and the east coast of Canada. These new frontier developmentshave a higher cost per barrel than traditional developments. With thisknowledge, it becomes even more important to make good robust decisions whenanalyzing projects to invest in and maximize the value of capital employed. Additionally frontier basins have a lack of benchmark data to give confidencein development costs and schedules - the old " norms" simply don't apply inthese cases.

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