The management of exploration, appraisal and production is a problem of leveraging the expertise of a company to maximise the potential of the asset. The word company is very appropriate here as it describes well the gathering of disparate disciplines focussed on a specific purpose. The management of the asset is a process that requires the gathering and integration of evidence of many different types from different experts with all kinds of uncertainties.

This paper describes a methodology and tool for handling that process in multidisciplinary teams. It is a generic technology that can be applied across the business. It is being applied to estimating the dependability of reserves estimates, estimating the likelihood of success of a prospect, enterprise resource management, technology selection and condition monitoring. Case studies are presented.

The method has three elements:

  • a process model of the management process highlighting dependencies,

  • a record of the attributes of the process, and,

  • a rich uncertainty calculus for the integration of uncertainties.

The uncertainties are expressed using interval probability which allows the evidence for success to be separated from the evidence against success. The whole approach is implemented in a highly visual graphical environment that allows new users to build new models very quickly.

Case studies have shown that the added value comes not just from the numerical assessment of the overall dependability of the project, but from improved communications both inside and outside the team. A shared understanding of the situation is developed and misunderstandings resolved. The model gives a one page pictorial overview of where the project stands, showing where the vulnerabilities and sensitivities are. In terms of corporate memory it provides an easy to assimilate record of how the conclusions were reached and a shared memory for the team.

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