Deepwater ventures : organizing for Gulf of Mexico well construction operations
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Deepwater Gulf of Mexico well construction operations are some of the most challenging and expensive operations in the E&P industry; not only does the outer continental shelf of the Gulf of Mexico present the distinct environmental challenges of hurricanes and loop currents, its geologic profiles can include such challenges as salt, tar or pressurized zones. To overcome these challenges technology is being pushed to its operational and mechanical limits but technology advances can only accomplish so much without the presence of capable personnel. In the E&P industry, human resources are becoming more limited due to the “Big Crew Change”; a disproportionate relief of the retiring Baby Boomers by Generation X workforce that now requires Generation Y assistance. Regardless of the aforementioned, operators venture out into deepwater with hopes to capitalize on the recently discovered attractive development and exploratory opportunities, but to do so they must organize and properly develop their internal well construction organization in a manner that all members are capable to address the challenges as they come. Therefore, team organization is an operator’s priority, a challenge that should be addressed through common project management practices. This paper parallels the project management practices to establish the appropriate organizational structure for an operator’s deepwater well construction group, manage the human resources to properly delineate responsibilities and to structure their staff management processes to acquire, develop and manage personnel in a manner scalable with the operator’s expansion agenda.