In the decision making process for investing large capital sums the Oil & Gas majors adopt an aged and proven methodology: FEL or Front End Loading to both mitigate project risk and also to enhance Return on Investment (ROI). This somewhat dated approach to large project investment methodology is seen by all as the standard norm and as such has being used by all over the last decades. However within this said process of risk mitigation, the FEL process remains open to challenge as to its actual viability in today's forever challenging performance environment.

This paper in its essence does support the FEL process and definition and does however openly challenge the outdated approach and puts forward a well-structured alternative which offers increased RISK mitigation and in turn reduces ROI, addressing at the same time the important question of how to allocate important asset resources (People) to maximize profit whilst reducing RISK!

"Front-end-loading should be considered as a sound field development practice that allows the optimum allocation of capital and human resources, reduces the uncertainty of key information and ensures a holistic view to all field development plan decisions.

We present an uncommon approach to addresses how to make optimal decisions during field development planning to maximize profit and minimize risk. Although there is no fixed method to control and maximize the optimal decision making process in a capital projects, FEL (front-end-loading) methodology measures and increases the level of project definition, thereby increasing the probability of project success at any stage of the life of the oil field. Traditionally, economic resources have been the principal metrics for analysis. However, the term resources encompasses many potential inputs to the system, e.g. drilling, facilities, enhanced recovery, and allocations and in particular and most importantly People!

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