The Barracuda and Caratinga Field Development Project, one of the largest construction contracts of the Oil Industry, was established over a US$ 2.6 billion contract for the design, procurement, construction, commissioning and assisted operation of two FPSO units with an oil capacity of 150.000 bpd and a gas capacity of 6.000.000 m3/d each, as well as the drilling and completion of 54 wells and installation of a submarine system. A challenge for Petrobras in this key project was how to organize itself in order to, at the same time, fully guarantee the scope contracted and minimize the interfaces and interactions with the Main Contractor's work, comply with its responsibilities under the Project Finance Arrangement and QHSE requirements, while dealing with its own organizational needs throughout the project development. This paper aims to present the cell management model and the results achieved with its implementation in the Barracuda and Caratinga project.


Along the years, oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) companies have been experimenting with various organizational structure models for their teams involved in their field development projects. This issue, also present in other industry segments, has already been the subject of various studies and articles, having been thoroughly analyzed by several organisms aimed at the development of project management practices. The organizational model alternatives most applied in the industry vary from the more functional structures, in which the management of the functional knowledge is prioritized in detriment of the organization of a certain engagement, to structures more project-oriented in which the reporting and subordination processes follow the priorities defined by the project requirements, in detriment of the maintenance and centralization of the functional knowledge. Project-oriented organizational models present the advantage of the synergy that is created in the project team around their common objectives. In these cases, all resources relevant to the project development are allocated full time to the project and the whole team reports exclusively to the project manager, thus guaranteeing a quick decision making process and a higher alignment of all those involved. On the other hand, these structures tend to make the perpetuation of knowledge and the reutilization of experiences rather difficult, to the extent that the functional areas work and report to the project leader and not to a centralized organization. The functional models are those in which the preservation of the functional knowledge is prioritized, to the extent in which the specialists are utilized by the projects, without, however, losing their subordination status with the centralized organization responsible for the maintenance of the best practices and the dissemination of experiences. However, these models normally present important issues of interface, conflicts for shared resources, double subordination and eventual lack of adherence with the project objectives. Usually, E&P organizations utilize organizational models that are at some point between the two models described and have been searching creative ways of dealing with the advantages and disadvantages of each one of these models, based on its own cultural issues.

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