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On the Edge of Chaos: Complexity Offering Value to O&G Industry

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Course Credit: 0.15 CEU, 1.5 PDH

Oil and gas drilling schemes are inherently complex systems comprising different technical disciplines and multiple interconnected, globally diverse stakeholders, operating within a dynamic environmental and legislative environment. This presents numerous challenges to traditional project management which assumes a very ‘reductionist lens’ and which fails to account for the impact of dynamic internal and external forces on the ‘soft’ boundaries of the project domain. Oil and gas projects are characterised by extreme difficulty in predicting outcomes and system behaviours and, at the tails of the distribution of events, ‘black-swans’ do occur. This increases project and business risk for stakeholders and affects value creation and appropriation opportunities.

The Webinar argues that a holistic understanding of oil and gas drilling projects is necessary to account for the experiences, politics, human interactions, emergence and complex behaviour of individuals and teams, both internal and external to the project environment. Experience and case studies will be discussed and challenged to uncover if this complexity is one of the reasons why projects sometimes fail to deliver sustainable value outcomes to clients. Then, through exploring complexity theory, we will attempt to understand the importance of understanding and coping with the emergent behavior of systems, using the theoretical ‘edge of chaos’ as a metaphor for ‘highly complex wells’. By understanding complexity (as distinct from attempting to quantify it), the authors suggest that our existing ‘bodies of knowledge’ in project management may require a significant overhaul to improve project outcomes, the value expectations that clients have and to contribute to long term sustainable and competitive growth for the industry. All content contained within this webinar is copyrighted by Wael Ziadat and its use and/or reproduction outside the portal requires express permission from Wael Ziadat.

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 1 chapter

Course Chapters

  • 1On the Edge of Chaos: Complexity Offering Value to O&G Industry - Chapter 1
    Media Type: Video


Earn credits by completing this course0.15 CEU credit1.5 PDH credits


Dr. Wael Ziadat