This paper describes the integrated subsurface/surface concept generation and challenge process which delivered a novel water flood project (raw seawater injection), slashing 60% off the original engineering Capex, while still addressing key subsurface uncertainties, and keeping within the normal project timescale. It also attempts to identify the key factors and processes that helped to deliver this innovative solution in spite of the challenges.

The processes described in this paper allow for early surface/subsurface/well engineering engagement in order to promote creativity and manage uncertainties in challenging E&P projects. Managing such creative, parallel processes has allowed the Barton team to be better integrated in finding an optimal and novel solution to a complex situation, hence positioned to deliver higher value within a reasonable timescale. The team acknowledges the value of a structured process to generate widely divergent solutions (which look like chaos at the time), and the creative tensions and discomfort that accompany shifting through this chaos to deliver an innovative solution. It also described the means in which the team had built stakeholder support for new ideas through engaging global expertise.

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