This paper demonstrates how the adoption of systems engineering practices, where functional requirements are established and interdependencies are dynamically modelled, allows optimisation of the project holistically to create value at the earliest stage, and for this value to be protected throughout the lifecycle.

We will explain how functional requirements and project value drivers are identified; causal loop diagrams are utilised to ensure causal precision; the conversion of causal loop diagrams to stock flow diagrams to allow the incorporation of algorithms, which dynamically model the interdependencies. We will demonstrate how this model is utilised to optimise and protect value.

This has been implemented successfully on several projects. Two case studies will be presented: one where systems engineering was used where field production from a complex group of 350 offshore wells producing from different reservoirs was anticipated to decline in the medium term and a best technical solution to maximise Net Present Value (NPV) for the asset was required. The second application of this approach was the development of a Normally Unmanned Installation (NUI) concept that removes 250t of topsides equipment, a 90% reduction based on previous wellhead towers in the same basin, achieves a 98% reduction in power consumption, and only requires planned offshore working once per year. The systems model was established in concept and is continuing to be used through the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) phase of the project to protect this value created and prevent "death by a thousand cuts", or the slow process of erosion of value brought about by individual, seemingly inconsequential, decisions that aggregate over time to cause project failure.

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