2017 Project Management Conference

oil rig

Robust Project Delivery in the UKCS

2017 Oil & Gas Project Management Conference



The OGA’s “Lessons Learned from UKCS Oil & Gas Projects 2011-2016” report demonstrates that despite an increase in Project Management processes, tools, project controls, supervision and engineering man-hours, there has been no visible improvement in the ability to predict outcomesThe study highlighted that fewer than 25% of major projects were delivered on time, with projects experiencing an average of 10 months’ delay and coming in around 35% over budget.

Major offshore industry players gathered for the third Oil & Gas Project Management conference at the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre on the 31st October 2017 to explore practical ways to improve project performance. It is clear that we need to manage our projects better, not only is this essential to the profitability of the assets concerned but it is also critical to attract investment into the Industry.

This year’s event heard from leading industry figures who called on operators and the supply chain to share good practice and adopt collaborative working to drive better project performance. Chris Claydon, Chief Executive of the ECITB, said: “This year’s conference offered participants a range of practical examples of how projects are being transformed for the better. These learnings will be crucial if we are to maximise economic recovery, boost efficiency and secure a sustainable future for the North Sea.”

Jim Lenton, Managing Director of Integrated Solutions at WorleyParsons and Chair of the Offshore Project Management Steering Group, said: “Improving project delivery is critical to the economic health of the oil and gas industry in the UK. This conference has highlighted some of our challenges, and shone a light on what we can achieve by working together. It is clear that change is needed and doing what we have always done won’t be the answer.”

Delegates also listened to first-hand accounts of industry collaboration in action. This included a presentation from Shell UK, Wood and Stork on the Brent Bravo Decommissioning Project. For this project, which involves preparing the platform’s topsides for decommissioning, the three companies created a single, unified project team and plan – which has not only helped to build a shared sense of purpose, but also improve the efficiency and pace of project delivery.

Shona Campbell, of Maersk Oil, one of nearly 280 industry members at the event, said: “I loved hearing convincing evidence from case studies that behavioural changes are happening and delivering results.”  

To view the conference programme please click here

Read about the conference Keynote Speakers.

Meeting the Challenge of Delivering Successful Projects

Gunther Newcombe points to encouraging signs that the ability to deliver projects in line with cost and schedule commitments has been improving recently.

Innovative approaches to financing & operating infrastructure in the UKCS

Andy Hessel looks at the steps CML are taking to deliver its strategy of being recognised as the leading midstream business in the UK.

Planning for efficient and predictable project delivery

Jim Lenton talks about the importance of aligning expectations and looking for new ways of improving project efficiency.

Sellafield Ltd.’s experience in delivery of projects

John Oliver summarises how Sellafield manages a large and complex project portfolio on a highly constrained site with a focus on embedding lessons learned .

Putting the New World Culture of Leadership into Practice

Prof Eddie Obeng will discuss how to reappraise the leadership practices and culture within our organisations.

Robust project delivery through a collaborative organisational framework

Ron Themsen, Robert Hunt and Johan Van Spronsen discuss the organisational design considerations and focus on collaboration and how a robust delivery of the business case is being achieved.

Front End Engagement – Building a Strong Foundation for Success

Scott Cameron and Steven Petrie focus on early engagement models and ways of working in recent years, and how this might contribute to more robust project delivery in the UKCS.

Responsiveness to Execute Fast Track Frontier Basin Development

Clare Slightam and Angus Hunter describe a case study overview of the project execution activities of Hurricane Energy and Petrofac Well Engineering who worked collaboratively.

Keynote Speakers

Gunther Newcombe, Operations Director - Oil & Gas Authority

Gunther NewcombeGunther joined OGA on June 1st 2015 from Indonesia where he was President and CEO of VICO, a joint venture upstream business owned by BP and ENI focused on both conventional onshore oil and gas and coal bed methane. Gunther is a graduate of Manchester University and started his 35 year career with BP as a geologist. Assignments followed in London, Germany, China, Aberdeen, Norway, Indonesia, Houston and Venezuela. In the UK North Sea, Gunther’s leadership roles have included operating an FPSO in the Atlantic Frontier, running BP’s onshore terminals and pipeline business and finally as VP Decommissioning for BP. Gunther is married with four children and based in Aberdeen.

Andy Hessell, Managing Director - CATS Management Limited

Andy HessellAndy Hessell has been Managing Director of CATS Management Limited since its inception in July 2015. He is an experienced leader with extensive knowledge of the oil and gas industry, having spent over 26 years with BP in a range of senior commercial, financial, strategy and business development roles in the UK, Houston and Vietnam.

In the early stages of his career, Andy held a number of commercial and planning roles, and operated internationally negotiating gas contracts in Vietnam. In 2005, he moved to Houston as Commercial Operations Manager supporting the company’s Russia Offshore business.

Andy went on to progress through the BP North Sea organisation in a variety of leadership positions including Head of Planning & Performance Management, Head of Finance, Head of Business Development and North Sea Region Chief Financial Officer covering the UK and Norway.

Latterly, in his role as BP’s Vice President Commercial Operations, North Sea & Angola, he led a team of over 100 industry professionals, and was responsible for optimising the company’s commercial performance in these regions.

Andy is a graduate of the University of Nottingham and has a first class degree in Physics. He also holds a Diploma in Business Administration & Management from Henley Management College.

Jim Lenton, President Asset Support - Amec Foster Wheeler

Jim LentonJim was originally born in England in 1967, but emigrated to New Zealand in 1974.  Jim was educated at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch (New Zealand), receiving a first class honours degree in Chemical and Process Engineering. Jim started his working career in New Zealand as a Process Engineer, in the methanol industry, at a plant in New Plymouth. After gaining four years’ experience Jim “backpacked” to the UK, and on the way met his Teesside born future wife, Fiona.  Fiona is a drilling engineer and had a base in Aberdeen, so Jim joined her there.  Jim joined Brown and Root in 1993 as a Process Engineer in the Aberdeen oil industry, and progressed to become an experienced Engineering Manager, working for customers such as Shell, Total and ExxonMobil

Jim married in 1995, and has two sons, Cameron and Harvey.  Jim joined Petrofac as their corporate Brownfield Engineering Manager in 2005, helping to grow the business from a £20m/annum to £300m/annum business and developed through positions such as International Projects and Modifications Director to Engineering Director. Jim has spent a great deal of time in the Middle East and Romania.

Jim joined Amec Foster Wheeler in January 2012 as the Engineering Director for the Europe & West Africa business. He was appointed as the Project Delivery Director for the NECIS business unit, following the acquisition of Foster Wheeler in 2014.  In 2016, Jim was appointed Interim President for NECIS where he was responsible for operations across five operating units.   Following a Company restructure effective January 2017, Jim was appointed President Asset Support for the Oil, Gas & Chemicals division.

In 2017 Jim was proud to be asked to lead the divestment of Amec Foster Wheeler’s UK Oil & Gas business, as Managing Director.

Jim is a Fellow of the IChemE, and IChemE UK Board member. He is Co-chair of ECITB’s Offshore Project Management Steering Group and sits on the OGA’s Technology Leadership Board.

Jim has dual citizenship of the UK and New Zealand.

Jim and his family are keen travellers and are always looking for new places to see and experience, especially in the Far East and the Americas.  In his spare time Jim enjoys golf, cycling, running and experiencing the Scottish outdoors.

John Oliver, Waste Retrieval Director - Sellafield Sites Limited

john oliverJohn has more than 30 years’ experience in the energy sector, where he has delivered a diverse range of major projects around the world. Most recently he led a major programme to expand one of the world’s largest oil and gas fields, in Kazakhstan.

John is responsible for leading the business across legacy ponds and silos in order to safely deliver the targets in the Sellafield Ltd operating plan. John is also accountable for delivering projects and programmes across legacy ponds and silos so that the benefits described in each programme plan are obtained at the soonest opportunity in the most cost effective manner.

Eddie Obeng Founding Director, Pentacle Virtual School

Eddie ObengBorn in Africa and “brought up with a strong oral tradition” makes Eddie a brilliant orator and presenter.

A highly competitive guy with a patient and supportive feminine side which makes him tough enough to deal with awkward middle-aged executives but compassionate enough to listen.

A helicopter pilot who has survived an accident caused by his instructor which gives him a sense of the precariousness and unpredictability of life.

A double first class degree in chemical and biochemical engineering which means he can design effectively and do sums.

A family background that dates back to 1100A.D.” which gives him a sense of perspective.

At 32 he was the youngest business school executive director in Europe at Ashridge Business School” and learned the skills and competences needed to ‘herd cats’.

An early career with Shell” prepared him for globalisation and complexity.

An entrepreneur and the Founder of Pentacle, the world’s first Virtual Business School which forces him to ‘take his own medicine’ and practice what he preaches.

By 45 he had researched, and invented all the frameworks for an entire alternative MBA, based on the premise that the world is complex and changes faster than most organisations can learn.

A Professor at the School of Growth Innovation and Enterprise at Henley Business School which gives him good links to the rest of the consulting and education community.

Eddie has written ten books on Innovation, Change and Leadership.

Parallel Sessions

Ron Themsen, Project Manager - Shell UK

Ron ThemsenRon has 25 years of practical experience working in Petrochemical, Oil & Gas Development projects in both Client and Contractor roles and in greenfield / brownfield, onshore / offshore and upstream / downstream environments and in various locations (NL, UK, Gabon, Nigeria, Brunei). For the last 10 years, he has been in a position of leading and managing projects from Concept Selection thru to Execution and Start-up. 

Since 2014, Ron has been managing the delivery of the Topside Preparations for Single Lift on the Brent Decommissioning Project, previously for Brent Delta and now for Brent Bravo. Both complex, challenging and first of their kind projects. 

Ron has a specific focus on developing a collaborative execution mindset, continuous improvement and simpler more efficient ways of working.

Robert Hunt, Project Manager – Wood Group

Robert HuntRobert has spent 34 years in the Oil & Gas industry and before that 20 years in Shipbuilding. He is a competent business manager with strong leadership, communication and process implementation skills. He is passionate about delivering a safe working environment where no one gets hurt. He has experience of developing successful business units through focus in key areas such as HSEQ excellence, customer relationships, cost effective and timely delivery of the work and in performance measurement and improvement. 

He is the author of numerous technical papers including FPSO operation & Maintenance; Riser access systems; Design Analysis and Manufacturing Considerations for TLP Riser and Tether Connector Systems and Development of Small Offshore Oilfields Using Remote Subsea Systems.

Johan van Spronsen, Senior Contract Delivery Manager - Stork

JohanJohan has worked in the Oil & Gas industry for 10 years, following eight years in a technical managerial role in the Royal Netherlands Navy Submarine Service. Joining Stork in 2007, Johan has gained extensive experience and developed skills in maintenance delivery, project and contract management across UK & Africa and Continental Europe starting as a Project Engineer, progressing to Contract Manager and now Senior Contract Manager. 

With a Master of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Johan has been at the forefront in business improvement initiatives throughout his career. This has brought significant efficiencies and improvements, resulting in bottom line cost savings to Stork and its clients. 

A key achievement to date is the successful management of integrity led campaigns for a key client, delivering Stork’s fully integrated suite of Assess, Inspect and Repair services. This included the management of Integrity Engineering, Inspection & NDT and Fabric Maintenance scopes of work.

Scott Cameron, Business Unit Director – Subsea7

Scott Cameron Scott joined Subsea 7 in 1999 as a tendering specialist and since then has been based primarily in the UK across a range of business acquisition and delivery roles prior to taking up his current position of Business Unit Director within the North Sea Canada Region senior leadership team.

 For the last three years Scott has been looking after a $1Bn Portfolio of projects in Subsea 7’s UK business and has a key role helping to expand the local business. Previous to that he spent 12 years as a Project Manager for a diverse range of subsea infrastructure developments ranging $50-350m. In 2005 he was a founding member of the evergreen Partnership between Venture Production (now part of Centrica Energy) and Subsea 7 that jointly won the Oil & Gas UK Joint Award for Supply Chain Business Innovation. 

He has a balanced approach to managing and leading having worked within both traditional contracting and collaborative working environments encompassing a range of operators, partners, suppliers and subcontractors, peers, regulatory and legislative stakeholders. 

He graduated from Robert Gordon University with a Degree in Quantity Surveying.

Steven Petrie, Head of Procurement, Capital Projects – Centrica E&P

StevenSteven has over 15 years’ experience both national and international in the oil and gas industry for both service companies and operators across a range of categories within wells, projects and O&M. 

He joined Subsea 7 in 2000 and held a variety of roles within the Contracts and Procurement function supporting activity across a wide range of projects in both West Africa and the North Sea gaining valuable experience and understanding of the industry, procurement and contracts. Was part of the CIPS award winning team in 2006 for best purchaser-supplier partnership. 

In 2010 joined Centrica as the Supply Chain Manager for Wells supporting all drilling activity across the E&P portfolio which included UK/NL, Norway, Trinidad & Tobago and North America. In 2014 was appointed the Supply Chain Manager for Projects in Norway and led the development and implementation of the Strategic Partnership Alliance to support the operated development projects of the company. In 2017 appointed the Head of Procurement for Capital Projects managing a team that supports the procurement activity across the E&P businesses of Centrica.

Clare Slightam, Subsurface Technical Director - Hurricane Energy

Clare SlightamClare Slightam graduated in 2002 with a first class honours degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences. After graduating, she worked as a geologist with an operator in the North Africa Middle East region. She was employed by Hurricane Energy in 2005, shortly after the company was set up. She took responsibility for the seismic interpretation over the West of Shetland area, including all the detailed fault mapping of Hurricane’s basement prospects. Clare has also been heavily involved in all of Hurricane’s basement wells drilled to date working on well placement, detailed well planning, compiling geological well programmes and acting as a key focal point during operations. She now heads the Geoscience Team at Hurricane and is responsible for the integration of all data streams to ensure a robust conceptual reservoir model is in place ahead of field development. 

Angus Hunter, Wells Manager - Petrofac Facilities Management

Angus HunterAngus Hunter holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Management and is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and Well Engineer. Angus has worked in North West Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific regions for IOC’s and NOC’s in various well engineering and well operations management roles across the well-lifecycle and is currently Wells Manager for Petrofac Well Engineering based in Aberdeen. Following a period with Shell UK as a Well Engineer, Angus has worked for Petrofac Well Engineering for 10 years during which time their operating models have evolved to complement the latest market requirements, including in-house development of their WellAtlas® software as a key enabler for more efficient, collaborative project planning and execution.


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