ECITB have launched the Project Collaboration Toolkit for the Oil & Gas Industry.  This is another strand of activity to encourage knowledge sharing and collaboration within the industry, developed by the ECITB and the Offshore Project Management Steering Group (OPMSG). The ECITB Offshore Project Management Steering Group (OPMSG) was set-up in January 2014 and is a group of (voluntary) Project Practitioners from Operators and Contractors with a vision of achieving world-class project delivery.

The OPMSG delivered a ‘not for profit’ community conference to circa 300 project practitioners in November 2015 which focused on ‘Collaboration for Cost Reduction in delivering North Sea Projects’, the purpose being to challenge the audience in thinking about behavioural changes that will drive collaboration. Significant feedback was collected from the event which addressed key areas concerned with the MER Agenda  and overwhelmingly, the consensus demonstrated the Industry wants and needs to collaborate, but didn’t know how to achieve this.

There has been ongoing discussion and debate in the oil and gas sector for some time around the most effective contracting relationships, with particular focus now that there is a crisis in confidence due to ongoing low oil price.  The ECITB and the OPMSG agreed to take action and deliver a ‘Project Collaboration Toolkit’ which would serve as a practical aid and set out the behaviours required for all parties to achieve greater collaboration across all sectors in the Industry.

The working group was led by Jim Lenton, Interim President at Amec Foster Wheeler and sought contributions from across the sector. The toolkit has since been endorsed by Oil & Gas UK and the OCA as it makes a very positive contribution in addressing the challenges facing the industry, and supports the Oil & Gas UK Efficiency Task Force (OGUK ETF) Behavioural Charter.

The Project Collaboration Toolkit is designed to be used at all levels of the supply chain from regulators and operators through to contractors and suppliers and is intended to build on existing synergies to become even stronger over time.

The entire toolkit can be used to support project collaboration from inception to completion, but individual phase steps and activities can be applied by project managers to projects which have not been established on a collaborative strategy.

Lynsey Benson, ECITB senior account manager for Scotland, and member of the OPMSG said:

“Adopting a collaborative approach to project delivery will never be an easy option. It will require a change in sector culture and a move away from the delivery and contracting models that have predominated. Collaboration is not promoted as a complete replacement for business and project competition. It is not something that will bring the entire sector together for all of the time and, where it is applied, will require a clear vision”

Throughout the development of the toolkit, contributions were invited from over 50 companies across the sector including the OGUK Supply Chain Forum ensuring all views were represented.

Jim Thompson, head of projects at Aker Solutions, and OPMSG chairman commented:

“A tremendous effort has gone into producing the toolkit in a very short timeframe – but one that is necessary to serve the needs of the industry NOW. From concept to completion in four months is testament to the drive and determination that exists in our industry, and a clear statement of the OPMSG’s desire to make a difference.

I find it particularly pleasing that this tool is developed in response to a need voiced by the industry; compiled by experienced practitioners within the industry; and now opened up for use across the industry through the ECITB. The initial feedback is overwhelmingly positive, and the desire to adopt, apply and embed this best practice into the right projects is already being made clear. The tool is concise, accessible, current and most importantly, usable.”

On 23 August 2016 the ECITB launched the Project Collaboration Toolkit for the offshore industry at a breakfast meeting at Woodbank House in Aberdeen, hosted by Shell UK Ltd. The meeting was attended by key industry stakeholders across the sector with presentations from Walter Thain, Managing Director, Petrofac and Jim Lenton, Interim President, Amec Foster Wheeler.

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