None of the recent Floating Production Storage and Offloading Unit (FPSO) projects was delivered on time or on budget. This paper, part of a PhD in Systems Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), endeavors to make visible some Root Causes by comparing the design process in two industries enabling the upstream oil energy value chain, Subsea oil Production Systems (SPS) and shipbuilding. The comparison uses Systems Engineering concepts and techniques to illustrate the current practices and their reliance on different domain specific conventions.

Particular attention is given to possible commonalities and synergies in the design process to enable a more integrated approach to the industry needs. The purpose is to enable seamless requirement transfer between the user of the vessel and the shipbuilder.

The comparison of the two design processes is leveraging on the 25 years subsea oil production experience of the writer and the guidelines established by professor Stein Ove Erikstad at the Department of Marine Technology at NTNU in his course "Introduction to Marine Systems Design Models and Methods".

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