There are many elements of risk which need to be identified and managed to ensure the optimum exploration or development option is selected and successfully executed. In practice, the explicit assessment and management of all risk elements is very rare and generally only the legislated requirements of Safety and Environmental Risk management are considered.

Established risk management techniques developed for safety and environmental risk management can also be readily applied to technical and economic risk elements to establish the overall risk exposure profile for each option. These techniques provide a structured and systematic process for identifying, assessing, reducing and accepting risk and contingency planning. The value of this process is not merely the establishment of the overall risk profile, but rather an explicit understanding of all elements of risk undertaken by all of the stakeholders.

This paper presents an integrated and structured approach to the management of exploration and development risks. All elements of risk are addressed: Drilling strategy/technique used to exploit the field, company Reputation (in the event of a major safety, environmental, technical or economic incident), Asset (drill rig/reservoir) loss, Safety, Target zone definition, Environmental and overall project Cost. These elements are collectively known in this paper by the acronym "DRASTEC" Risk management.

To complete the risk management process, this paper distinguishes between risks which are within the control of the organization and those which are not. Where an organization has influence, risk control measures can be identified and implemented to prevent, mitigate and minimize the risk. The DRASTEC Risk management process may also applied to the risk elements in the other life cycle phases (i.e. Conceptual, Detail Design, Construction, Commissioning, Operations and Abandonment). The benefits of applying an integrated and structured approach to the management of all exploration and development risks are fully described.

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