UIBC 2023 Addresses Carbon Readiness and Competitiveness, E&P Contracting Strategies, Portfolio Staffing, and More

The annual meeting of the Upstream Industry Benchmarking Consortium (UIBC) took place Monday, November 13 to Wednesday, November 15, 2023, in McLean, VA. This year, more than 100 upstream sector project professionals representing owner companies that benchmark their capital projects with Independent Project Analysis (IPA) were in attendance. Over the course of UIBC 2023, IPA shared exclusive new research studies, highlighted industry trends and metrics, and led focused discussions—all with a focus on helping UIBC members continuously improve upstream capital project practices and performance.

Continue reading for highlights of selected research studies, focused topic sessions, and presentations delivered at UIBC 2023:

INDUSTRY TRENDS: Carbon Readiness and Competitiveness

Understanding carbon competitiveness is an important decision factor in opportunity selection and project development. IPA has evaluated the carbon competitiveness targets of many E&P projects over the last few years. In this session, we introduced the data collected from project teams using IPA’s standard emissions breakdown structure and benchmarking methodology. We presented industry trends in project-level greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions performance and emerging practices that influence this targeted outcome. Finally, we highlighted the key drivers of low-carbon performance and provide quantitative insights into how certain decisions and scope choices influence carbon competitiveness.

RESEARCH STUDY: E&P Contracting Strategies

IPA has studied the performance of contracting forms and strategies for decades and has quantified what owners can typically expect for cost, schedule, and production outcomes across the various contracting approaches. However, with heightened demand and resource constraints, today’s contracting market is shaping up to be one of the most challenging we have ever faced. This study seeks to discern whether the established performance patterns are resilient in the face of the current, highly competitive market conditions. We delved into the comparative analysis of project outcomes across different contracting strategies and concept types, both in historical contexts and within the present-day EPC market. Additionally, we investigated the roles played by standardization and repeat supply chain in shaping project outcomes for on-going projects using the latest project forecasts.

RESEARCH STUDY: Counting Carbon—From Targets to Reality

Many projects today establish decarbonization objectives and make project decisions to meet those goals. However, the industry lacks a consistent methodology to feed emissions performance data gathered after startup back to project teams so they can incorporate it into their decision making. This study bridges this gap by introducing a metric that measures project emissions performance and predictability post startup, enabling teams to deliver more competitive and predictable performance in future projects. The study highlights emissions performance in recently assessed projects and examines real-world examples to understand the factors influencing emissions performance.

FOCUSED DISCUSSION: Water Injection—State of Industry, Challenges, Opportunities, and Lessons Learned

Previous IPA studies have quantitatively analyzed the performance of water injection and highlighted the shortfall between expectations and results. This facilitated discussion briefly revisited the takeaways from IPA’s last water injection study in 2020 and discussed the challenges faced in delivering effective water injection programs. Debated topics included if/how cost effectiveness is measured, considerations of water injection on opportunity/portfolio selection, implications of historic performance on scoping, and more. This focused discussion also provided participants with an open forum to discuss opportunities and lessons learned for water injection programs.

PRODUCT DEMONSTRATION: E&P Portfolio Staffing Tool (A Concept in Development)

IPA’s data continuously demonstrate that well-staffed teams and project systems lead to improved project performance. IPA currently offers ways to predict staffing levels for individual projects and project portfolios; however, we have identified a clear need for a flexible, user-driven software tool for capital project resource management. IPA is proposing to build a tool that enables project system leadership to see how resource needs fluctuate around different portfolio scenarios, and empowers pre-emptive, informed decision-making around the resource dimension of portfolio planning. In this session, we shared our initial concept and requested member feedback on prioritization of the features that will deliver optimal value.

Additionally, UIBC members also participated in sessions covering these topics:

  • Industry Performance Metrics
  • Market Trends in Capital Projects
  • Delivering Carbon-Capital Effective Projects
  • The State of E&P Site & Sustaining Capital Projects
  • Validating Practices in Carbon Cost Optimization
  • Accelerated Schedules
  • Non-Operated Ventures
  • Continuous Improvements in Project Management Practices Through PMOs (member presentation)

Upstream sector companies interested in joining the UIBC are encouraged to complete the web form below to request more information.

Get more details

  • Read our Privacy Policy
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.