As the need for energy independence broadens hydrocarbon exploration to new geographies and involves new and improved techniques, new lifecycle success factors are continuously introduced to unconventional projects which are required to achieve production objectives on schedule and budget. These factors differ somewhat from the ones a traditional drilling and production field development exposes to the view of those beyond the industry, thus generating new challenges. Traditionally perceived technical issues are typically centered on well control, hydraulic fracturing fluid composition and other technical discipline improvements on a well by well basis. However a set of new challenges have developed as a range of social, economic and environmental stakeholder issues. These can significantly support or affect the ultimate outcome of an investment. The following analysis exposes the authors’ views on performance to the technical limit and factors that contribute to the end result which are beyond the technical limit.

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