In complex high-investment assets, project owners are primarily focused on engineering and geological uncertainties. Non-technical risks (NTRs), misunderstood or mispriced, pose huge impediments to the success in the current energy landscape, on average accounting for 75% performance failures. This paper presents a new integrated approach applied to the capital Project X situated near the Caspian Sea. The case study explores contingency recommendations, heat maps and correlation matrices to integrate NTRs into ongoing venture management.

The proposed methodology is summarized in the following key milestones. 1st Process walkthroughs to obtain snapshot of internal system and identify key areas of NTRs. 2nd Value and interaction maps for visual alignment of identified challenges and the first level insight of potential interfaces. 3rd Development of a macro picture for NTRs integration using risk wheel, heat map, and bow-tie diagram; identification of optimal risk-taking zone and value impact simulation using Monte Carlo approach. 4th A trial assessment and prioritization of NTRs, according to their criticality to the project and potential manageability.

The suggested approach was applied in Project X to amplify the universe of risks that is making up the current risk profile. Risk interactions were mapped in a correlation matrix; NTRs with complex risk nature were broken down into components to identify the root cause of events leading to its occurrence. Using qualitative criteria and speed of onset, risk interactions were evaluated for the highest risks and plotted in a heat map for a further prioritization. Based on simulation of impact, 55% of listed "key" risks are NTRs which confirmed the practical applicability of the suggested method. Full scale implementation of the proposed approach reduced bias towards operational threats across the project spectrum, increased awareness of teams towards potential risk sources, implemented more stringent levers of venture control resulting in better informed and confident investment decisions at the Consortium level.

The novelty of presented work is a coherent approach that is still new for the petroleum industry. While not intended to replace already existing risk strategies, it challenges the technical mindset traditionally adopted in capital projects. The proposed method allows project teams, whether novices or experts, to react more proactively towards NTRs, building a solid foundation for the dynamic process that recognize the diverse nature of risk in the modern petroleum business.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.