CEPEX Canada Advances Special Ops Forces (SOF) Approach to Effective Project Execution

CEPEX Canada introduced to industry the innovative concept called Holistic Upfront Project Planning (HUPP) a game-changing paradigm that helps find the most optimal project execution strategy and project cost, and at the same time fosters operational excellence (OE) through the SOF team approach

The current low-for-longer oil price scenario, which might continue for the foreseeable future, is forcing the oil companies to explore innovative ways to reduce costs on their new projects. The Center for Excellence in Project Execution (CEPEX Canada) believes that old ways of doing things are no longer par. An overhaul is required in the way the companies carry out planning for their new projects and the way the project teams are prepped for executing the projects; CEPEX has been introducing radical, innovative concepts toward this end.

CEPEX Canada introduced to the industry the innovative concept called Holistic Upfront Project Planning (HUPP) - a game-changing paradigm that helps find most optimal project execution strategy and project cost and at the same time fosters operational excellence (OE). This concept is applicable to many industries outside of traditional Oil & Gas, and can be adapted to fit diverse types of projects.

HIGH-PERFORMANCE PROJECT TEAMS

"To ensure true fidelity of HUPP implementation, it is important that an organization that wishes to implement HUPP should build and maintain high-performance project teams that are aligned with this paradigm - this is fundamental. By the way, building top-performing project teams to implement HUPP automatically contributes toward achieving enhanced OE in the organization since high-performance teams are a part of OE endeavour in an organization anyways," said Parth Mukherjee, Expert Principal, CEPEX Canada.

BUILDING HIGH-PERFORMANCE PROJECT TEAMS FOR 21ST CENTURY

For building high-performance project teams that can meet the challenges of low-for-longer oil price scenario and complex dynamics of project execution in 21st century, CEPEX Canada introduced to the industry the innovative and radical concept called "SOF (Special Ops Forces) Concept."

What the SOF concept seeks to do is to find the sweet spot between the top traits typically found in high-performance project teams and typical key elements of special ops forces.

"A high-performance project team should be viewed as a group of people with specific roles and complementary talents and skills, aligned with and committed to a common purpose, who consistently show high levels of collaboration and innovation, that produce superior results," said Anirudh Kumar, Principal, CEPEX.

SOF Team Traits

MAINTAINING HIGH-PERFORMANCE PROJECT TEAMS

After having formed high-performance project teams as per the SOF concept, it is very important that the said teams are maintained in a proper manner to keep them at high level of operational readiness and effectiveness, added Kumar.

To maintain high-performance teams, it is important to understand the key characteristics of the team members as indicated in the diagram above. Obviously, leadership of high-performance teams assumes critical importance because without proper leadership, the operation and maintenance of the team can get severely affected, points out Mukherjee.

However, emphasizes Kumar, what is also important to note is that to maintain effectiveness of a high-performance team, besides knowing the characteristics of a high-performance project team, the project team leader should also make sure that the team does NOT suffer from the following mentality, which can severely affect the effectiveness of the team:

  • Personal ego (stemming from illusion of being the best)
  • Discouragement of critical thinking
  • Negative perception of outsider inputs
  • Discounting diverging opinions and views

SUMMARY

Building high-performance project teams that can meet the challenges of project development and implementation in the low-for-longer oil and gas price scenario has become a must. More importantly, innovative concepts must be implemented in forming such high-performance project teams. Once formed, the said teams would need proper maintenance to capitalize on the wins.

Organizations that invest time and resources in this direction would stand to benefit in a big way not only will their projects be executed in the best possible manner, but also the organization's operational excellence will remain in strong alignment with the strategic goals.

CEPEX Canada helps in building high-performance project teams based on SOF concept. CEPEX also assists in implementing HUPP for projects and/or project portfolios of a company.

'HUPP' - the New Paradigm to Maximize Cost Reduction on Oil Sands and Oil & Gas Projects

The Center for Excellence in Project Execution (CEPEX) has come up with a review process called Holistic Upfront Project Planning (HUPP), which transforms the way the oil and gas companies have been planning, reviewing and assessing their new projects.

Press Release - updated: Nov 21, 2016 13:00 MST

The Center for Excellence in Project Execution (CEPEX) has come up with a review process called Holistic Upfront Project Planning (HUPP), which transforms the way the oil and gas companies have been planning, reviewing and assessing their new projects.

CALGARY, CANADA, November 21, 2016 (Newswire.com) - n important tool in the tool-set of transformational processes to achieve innovation and cost reduction, 'HUPP' - stands for Holistic Upfront Project Planning with focus on front-end loading in project planning. This tool forces the project planning and execution team to cast away the myopic 'fit for purpose' vision to a broader field of view at the project outset - thereby revealing embedded project risks and encouraging early risk management planning. The HUPP approach looks for synergies within the overall corporate ecosystem to maximize cost-effectiveness and facilitate smart decision-making.

1. WHAT IS 'HUPP'?

The current low-for-longer oil price scenario, which is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, is crimping revenue and hence availability of cash for new projects of the oil sands and oil & gas companies. As is well known, oil sands projects (unconventional) require higher capex (capital expenditure) as compared to conventional oil projects. As well, the gas prices are also subsisting at very low levels. Lowering capex has, therefore, become imperative, more than ever, for the oil sands and oil & gas companies to achieve economic viability of their new projects.

HUPP requires the oil companies to transition away from a narrow focus on solutions/strategy to a wide-angle view through holistic planning process right from the initial planning stage. The companies would need to evolve beyond reviewing just one phase or one element of the project at a given time to find cost reduction opportunities over the entire project life cycle and beyond.

“The HUPP review should be completed upfront for all the phases and all the processes involved in the project – i.e., the unified business – in order to identify cost reduction opportunities that can be implemented safely without compromising the quality on the project and also to land on the best project execution strategy,” said Parth Mukherjee, Expert Principal CEPEX.

Under today’s oil price situation, the oil companies cannot afford to take a phase-wise, or, piecemeal or a disjointed view and approach to plan their new projects – greenfield or brownfield, added Mukherjee.

2. BUSINESS DRIVER FOR HUPP

From 2005 until Q4 of 2014, oil prices generally stayed above $75-$80 per barrel with only occasional spikes and drops, and the oil sands projects along with other unconventional oil resources enjoyed healthy IRRs (internal rate of return).

“During this period, the oil companies implemented their projects based on their respective project implementation models; and, depending upon their organizational project management maturity, each company attempted at finding cost efficiencies with differing levels of depth and efficiency," said Anirudh Kumar, Principal CEPEX.

Cost reduction exercises of the companies were generally performed:

•           Either late in the game; or,

•           In piecemeal manner, looking at one element or phase at a given time; or,

•           Overlooking sequential connectivity of project; or,

•           Looking at different elements of the project separately.

This was the not the most efficient way to identify cost efficiencies. As the oil price plunged in Q4 of 2014, suddenly the oil companies’ ability to fund their new projects got severely constrained, IRRs got mauled, added Kumar.

New projects got stalled or deferred or cancelled. However, new projects are also a necessity from the point of view of exploiting the company’s recoverable reserves thereby enhancing wealth maximization of the company and returns to the shareholders.

“It is clear that the less than efficient ways hitherto used, as mentioned above, to achieve cost reductions on new projects are not going to be adequate. HUPP addresses the said inadequacies and maximizes the potential of cost reduction on new projects”, said Kumar.  

3. “HUPP” – THE NEW PARADIGM

In HUPP process, the review of the entire project planning and implementation begins with a diagnostic approach using holistic techniques – it means that the entire project is reviewed looking at all the phases, processes and policies combined, as opposed to focusing only on its specific elements or components. It encompasses a front-to-back and back-to-front review, including modularization plan, construction work package plan at a high level.

HUPP is a transformational process through which the owner company would make certain that their project is running at its full potential of cost reductions and efficiencies, as opposed to simply having strong areas and weak areas. HUPP seeks to facilitate conscious decisions about the projects’ development, its future course and future needs as well. This approach motivates the project teams to make positive changes, points out Kumar.

HUPP provides the platform from which the project teams of the companies see the ‘big picture’ and make the best decisions. This approach isn’t simply “out of the box”, but instead it is based on the belief that the “box” needs to be removed altogether. In this sense, HUPP allows project teams to develop entirely new mindsets and insights about their projects and their roles within them, emphasizes Mukherjee.

Application of HUPP doesn’t involve only a few of an organization’s project team, but will instead involve the entire execution team – personnel drawn from the various groups involved in the project at various phases in the project life-cycle. After all, HUPP is predicated on the fact that the entire project and its ‘business’ must be considered in totality to achieve success, and this is only possible if the entire project management and the execution team is functioning on the same page.

HUPP also helps in identifying major risks to a project and therefore in developing necessary mitigation plans. The important by-product of the mitigation planning upfront is the estimation of cost and/or time impacts on the project due to the risks. This ties in well with Risk Management - and supporting the risk reviews at an early stage of the project.

4. SUMMARY

HUPP is a transformational approach that is going to be fundamental to achieving the objectives that the oil sands, oil & gas (both conventional & unconventional) and petrochemicals companies are looking for in the context of planning and implementation of new projects – greenfield or brownfield. To achieve the right project objectives, a proper foundation must be laid, and arguably, HUPP approach is the way to go.

Oil sands, oil and gas and petrochemical companies that are keen about implementing HUPP in their companies in order to realize full potential of cost reductions and efficiencies, their first step should be to contact CEPEX, which is proficient in applying this approach.

CEPEX is a boutique management consultancy that exclusively focuses on achieving Cost Reduction, Efficiency Enhancement in the Oil Sands, Oil & Gas and Petrochemical sectors through partnering with Owner & EPC/M companies. HUPP is one of the tools in its toolbox.

CEPEX works with the project teams of owner companies – only on short duration assignment basis - in a manner that will allow them to get the most out of their project objectives of cost reductions and execution strategy and have it perform at its highest efficiency.

About The Center for Excellence in Project Execution

Based in Calgary, Canada, the Center for Excellence in Project Execution is a boutique management consultancy serving oil sands, oil & gas sectors worldwide providing niche consulting services covering cost reduction, project management, special projects and continuous improvement. You can visit us on the world wide web at www.projectexecution.consulting for more information.

Parth Mukherjee, P.Eng, PMP, Expert Principal, Center for Excellence in Project Execution, Calgary, Canada

1-403-397-8469 / parth@projectexecution.consulting

Anirudh Kumar, P.Eng, Principal, Project & Construction Specialist, Center for Excellence in Project Execution

1-403-397-8765/ kumar@projectexecution.consulting

Source: CEPEX Center for Excellence in Project Execution

CEPEX Pennsylvania Poll - Vindicated Through Trump Win

Press Release - updated: Nov 9, 2016 07:29 MST

CEPEX Pennsylvania poll conducted in late August vindicated by historic Trump victory.

Calgary, CANADA, November 9, 2016 (Newswire.com) - Center for Excellence in Project Execution (CEPEX) conducted an Independent, Unaffiliated, Unbiased Poll in late August this year, and reported a 5% lead for Donald Trump with a 7% error margin. The results in the election show Trump won Pennsylvania by 1.3% (nytimes.com, Nov 9 2016, 1:48 AM ET).

Subsequent to the release of the CEPEX poll results back in August, there were many questions raised by online commentators regarding the veracity of the claims, regarding the intentions of the poll and even the competence of the pollsters. Indeed CEPEX published a full disclosure and provided responses to common questions in keeping with the strict ethics and transparency which have come to be the hallmark of the Center for Excellence in Project Execution.

The failure of the polling and political commentary specialists regarding a Trump victory, lies in critical error of abandoning the scientific principles of inquiry, fact finding and not allowing the facts to point towards the conclusion - what ever that may be. This was the reason why Pollsters and Political Commentators completely missed the Pennsylvania trend towards Trump.

Anirudh Kumar, PRINCIPAL, PROJECT & CONSTRUCTION SPECIALIST, CENTER FOR EXCELLENCE IN PROJECT EXECUTION

The 2016 Presidential Election will be remembered, among many things, as one where real data and facts were hidden behind a fog of subjective opinions, preconceived notions and rejection of objective pursuit of facts. Thus it is of no surprise that even popular news sources like Drudge and Brietbart were labeled as 'Alternate Universe' by most pundits and commentators. 

CEPEX Center for Excellence in Project Execution, a Canadian Management Consulting company, decided to address the information gap by embarking on their own fact finding poll in one of the key battleground states of the election. The CEPEX principals are experienced Professional Engineers, and therefore perfectly capable of putting together the poll by following the key steps:

1. Identify the battleground state which would be key to deciding a close election.

2. Plan the scientific polling methodology to deliver results within a limited budget and schedule.

3. Implement the execution plan, verify results and communicate.

It is well known that Engineers have the technical capability in not just basic but advanced statistics, therefore planning a scientific poll is not limited only to companies which specialize in polling. In this particular instance, the information gap left by the more established players provided an opportunity to demonstrate CEPEX ability to plan and execute special projects.

At the time the poll was conducted, there were few, if any, comparable polls available for Pennsylvania. Further, the conventional wisdom dictated that Donald Trump had no chance whatsoever in a traditionally Democrat state. Many professionals in the field of polling fell into the 'human error' trap - finding only what they expected to see - which was Clinton leading by a wide margin.

Another reason why the traditional pollsters were unable to capture the clear trend towards Trump can be attributed to a 'Trust Deficit'. Without going into the reasons for the 'Trust Deficit', it is more informative to review the CEPEX experience while conducting the poll in August. The Pennsylvania poll was designed to be a telephone poll and went out to phone numbers across the entire state. Many of the numbers contacted went to answering machines, which was expected. What was quite unexpected were return calls from people who missed the telephone poll, and wanted to participate in the poll. Since strict methodology was followed, none of those call-backs were entered into the poll data. The return call rate was above the expected rate, which prompted the question to the caller - why take the trouble to call back. After having numerous such discussion with callers, the underlying theme emerged.

When opinion polled, people want to report their honest opinions, but only to organizations/companies which they believe to be non-partisan, unaffiliated and independent. Pollsters need to understand this basic premise and need to address the 'Trust Deficit' - to be able to do accurate polling, and draw meaningful results from the polls. 

CEPEX Poll versus Actual Election Results

  • 5% Trump Lead (7% Margin of Error,2 person contest) versus 1.3% (4 way contest)
  • "Strong support among women" was identified by the poll
  • "undecided voters holding the key"

About The Center of Excellence in Project Execution
Based in Calgary, Canada, the Center for Excellence in Project Execution is a boutique management consultancy serving oil sands, oil & gas sectors providing niche consulting services covering cost reduction, project management, special projects and continuous improvement.   

On the web: www.projectexecution.consulting

Contact

Parth Mukherjee, P.Eng, PMP
Expert Principal
Center for Excellence in Project Execution, Calgary, Canada
1-403-397-8469 / parth@projectexecution.consulting

Anirudh Kumar, P.Eng
Principal, Project & Construction Specialist
Center for Excellence in Project Execution
1-403-397-8765/ kumar@projectexecution.consulting

Source: CEPEX Center for Excellence in Project Execution

Cost Reduction in Oil & Gas Industry in USA & CANADA - Analysis by the Center for Excellence in Project Execution

Press Release - Oct 11, 2016 16:40 MDT

Innovation - a much talked out but often misunderstood concept - is analyzed from the perspective of Energy industry in North America by the Center for Excellence in Project Execution (CEPEX)

Calgary, CANADA, October 11, 2016 (Newswire.com) - Innovation is a buzzword which is being touted as the solution to Industry problems, whether it is IT, Oil & Gas, Mining or any other major industry with high capital costs. The Center for Excellence in Project Execution (CEPEX) discusses that indeed Innovation can be the solution but it is an abstract concept until the specifics the laid out for the industry to emulate and follow. For the Oil & Gas Industry, which is facing severe headwinds due to the falling commodity prices and increased regulation, Innovation is promoted as the ‘Out’ for the industry from its current troubles. In reviewing how Innovation can be applied in a tangible manner, Oil & Gas industry is a good example for such an analysis. There are several reasons why Oil & Gas makes a good representative for application of Innovation concepts: it involves software and hardware, the inputs and outputs are both tangible in the sense that a real tangible manufacturing facility needs to be set up, raw material is pumped/mined from the ground and processed to create output of crude oil and hydrocarbon products, depending on whether the focus is upstream, midstream or downstream sections of the industry.

To further bring into focus the applicability of Innovation in the Oil & Gas industry, the upstream sector can be selected. Narrowing the focus down further to capital intensive upstream operations, Alberta Oil Sands industry is a suitable candidate as it deals with high capital and operating costs which run into Hundreds of Millions or Billions depending on the technology used, and high greenhouse gas emissions associated with it.

In the era of low oil prices and a fragmented narrative on future of energy, Innovation has become not only a 'value added' initiative, but a necessity which will determine which companies or even industries survive in the next 10 years. For Oil & Gas, the choice has never been so stark even comparing back to the 'Peak Oil' days. Innovation - of technology, business process, design methods, construction methods, and procurement channels - will determine survival of the fittest in the extremely competitive Energy industry today.

Anirudh Kumar, Project & Construction Specialist, Principal, Center for Excellence in Project Execution (CEPEX)

So the question becomes, how can the Alberta Oil Sands Industry apply innovative practices to reduce costs, enhance competitiveness and safeguard the environment?

Innovation can be looked at as a phenomenon, which needs the right environment to take place. The intent for successful business should be to not just have innovation as a transient phenomenon but rather a continuous process. Therefore, the goal should be that the environment for the industry should encourage innovation and the environment itself needs to be able to adapt to continue to allow the phenomenon of Innovation to take place. This should be seen through as a continuous process with a feedback loop rather than a batch operation. Innovation is organic, and organic processes are seldom discrete processes, and Innovation needs to be viewed and practiced keeping this perspective in mind.

To create a ‘stable’ environment for innovation, it is essential to build the foundation first. This means getting rid of inefficient and low-value-addition processes, and replace with streamlined and efficient systems. To achieve this, there needs to be a common objective for the industry, a common set of rules for the industry to follow, as a basic requirement. In other words, this industry needs to Standardize, as the first step in being truly innovative. The first step of Standardization is the most critical as it allows the industry to have a common voice to its stakeholders – the suppliers, vendors, equipment manufacturers, module fabricators, designers & engineers, construction & trades personnel and finally operations and sustaining capital groups. With a common voice, the communication within the industry becomes coherent and efficient. This allows the industry to continue to improve standardization and streamlining. The benefits of this would result in almost immediate savings in design, procurement and construction. The industry will be able to leverage its collective resources by benefiting from a virtual ‘economy of scale’.

Step 1: Standardization of Design

  1. Create a common set of standards, specifications and line classes. Allow each company to deviate from the common standards on an exception basis only. Use industry best practices to develop cost effective standards with input from the various stakeholders.
  2. Create a common set of ‘detail’ drawings to be used across the industry. These details can be broken down in terms of process units / applications and commodities.
  3. Establish an Industry Council to manage these Standards on behalf of the member businesses. Institute a streamlined and logical Management of Change Procedure.

Step 2: Standardization of Project Management

  1. Create an industry specific Project Management Manual to be followed as a guideline. Outline the minimum requirements, and companies which wish to go above and beyond the basic guidelines would be able to implement their own methodology.
  2. This creates a common set of expectations for the service providers, vendors, equipment suppliers and project management practitioners, which helps to reduce surprises during project execution.

Step 3: Standardization of Modularization

  1. Establish a common set of standards and guidelines for modularization based on the standardized designs.
  2. Entire process units / skid packages can be standardized based on best practices for modularization.

The above 3 steps create a solid foundation for the industry as a whole which has immediate spin-off benefits aside from streamlining and cost reduction through ‘economy of scale’. Through proper training, the industry as a whole creates a knowledge and skills base which can be easily interchanged within the industry with minimal retraining. This allows for efficient re-allocation of resources within the industry as one project winds down and another picks up. Payoffs also come with increased reliability and consistency in design, end result and costs associated with doing projects within the industry. This allows investment dollars to flow into the industry due to lower risks and more precise project financial projections. The other benefit is increased transparency throughout the industry, and the ability for newer and more motivated players to join into the industry, thus leveraging market competition to optimize costs.

After the first 3 steps are in place, the industry environment can be considered conducive to innovation and ready to reap the benefits of innovative practices. The innovative practices can come in a number of areas, such as coordinated logistics to reduce overall carbon footprint of the industry; or encouraging certain education streams or areas of study based on forecast demand for specific skills; changing the mix of energy sources required for energy input into the industry, among many others. The right ecosystem for innovation allows the people within the industry to unleash their potentials to hopefully perpetuate the cycle of innovation and positive change.

Numerous examples abound in the business world where standardization brought on a whole new era of growth to the industry. Take for example the Standardization of Shipping containers which revolutionized transport and trade in the second half of the twentieth century. The ‘Containerization’ led to streamlining of the transport and handling process, increased reliability and resulted in a significant reduction of freight transportation costs. This was if not instrumental, at least critical to enable the massive growth in global trade. As was the case with Standardization of shipping containers, and the resulting growing pains, such growing pains can also be expected with Standardization in the Alberta Oil Sands industry as well. The growing pains are unavoidable, but they can be utilized for constructive feedback to reach the point of a stable ecosystem for the industry.

In order to facilitate implementation of the above strategies, a new kind of leadership is required, which can help transform the regular practices - Transformation Leadership - to go hand in hand with creating a conducive 'ecosystem' for innovation. A new generation of Transformational leaders would be needed, who create teams based on their approach. Change has to be 'top down' and 'bottom up'.

Stay Tuned for the next series on strategies for Transformational Leadership for the Oil & Gas industry. Also coming up in the future release from Center for Excellence in Project Execution (CEPEX) is the HUPP concept for implementation of Oil & Gas projects, indeed any project of sufficient complexity. HUPP stands for Holistic Upfront Project Planning with focus on front-end loading in project planning.

About The Center of Excellence in Project Execution
Based in Calgary, Canada, the Center for Excellence in Project Execution is a boutique management consultancy serving oil sands, oil & gas sectors worldwide providing niche consulting services covering cost reduction, project management, special projects and continuous improvement. 

Nov 8 US Presidential Election May Be a Watershed Moment for Oil & Gas Industry

 

The Center for Excellence in Project Execution (CEPEX) analysis indicates that the future of Alberta oil sands and global oil may be shaped, in near and long term, by the outcome of US presidential election on November 8. A victory for the Democratic party candidate would continue the status quo for oil and fossil fuels. But an unlikely victory for the Republican may turn out to be a watershed moment and more importantly lead to a change of narrative for Alberta oil sands and global oil.

Calgary, CANADA, September 26, 2016 (Newswire.com) - The Center for Excellence in Project Execution (CEPEX) analysis indicates that the future of Alberta oil sands and global oil may be shaped in a significant manner, in near and long term, by the outcome of the US presidential election on November 8.  

A victory for the Democratic party candidate would continue the status quo for Alberta oil, and the industry is already preparing for a 'lower for longer' bear oil market. President Obama's policies on climate change and renewable energy sources would be expected to continue and to evolve further under President Clinton. On the Canadian side, there will be no easy solutions and an internal pipeline routing to tidewater would probably be the only hope for the troubled homegrown oil industry. There may be relatively more opportunities on the renewable energy industry manufacturing expected for provinces like Ontario and Quebec, but resource rich provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan would likely continue to face challenges.

In the scenario of a Republican Presidency in the US, the oil price rebound may happen sooner than anticipated and return to the levels that make the oil sands projects in Alberta more attractive. It is well known that per barrel of flowing oil capex for oil sands projects is higher than the conventional oil projects. It is quite remarkable how a political event in our southern neighbour and arguably the world’s largest economy can turnaround the outlook for the oil sands industry in Alberta.
— ANIRUDH KUMAR, PRINCIPAL, PROJECT & CONSTRUCTION MANAGER, CENTER FOR EXCELLENCE IN PROJECT EXECUTION

However, if the Republican party candidate wins on November 8, the whole outlook on the oil front may very well turn on its head. It may potentially be a watershed moment for Alberta oil sands and global oil, in general. Under a Trump presidency, a renegotiation of the Canadian leg of the Key Stone Pipeline can quickly lead to improving investor confidence in the Alberta oil patch. If the Republican President follows through with the campaign promises and policy statements, a general increase in US manufacturing and Shale oil production can quickly result in a commensurate impact on Canada, the largest trading partner of US. This can positively energize the manufacturing sector in Ontario & Quebec, and more importantly lead to a change of narrative for the Alberta oil industry.

Parth Mukherjee, Expert Principal, Center for Excellence in Project Execution, said: "In the event of a Trump win, the narrative on impact of oil on climate change will get re-visited. Instead of oil being painted as an antagonist, the conversation around oil may change – oil may no longer be the outcast at the major international forums."

Victory of the Republican candidate on Nov 8 is likely to have a ripple effect in the EU and elsewhere in the world. It might catalyze change of guard along with the momentum generated by Brexit in countries next year, like, Germany and France – and it is not as far-fetched as once believed – and the new personalities in power in these countries may have a softer sentiment on oil, added Mukherjee.

Anirudh Kumar, Construction & Project Manager, Center for Excellence in Project Execution, said: "A Republican in the White House would possibly drive a change in narrative for G-7 on oil, there may be a greater motivation and acceptability among the rest of the G-7 and G-20 countries to use oil as an engine of growth and development to power the global economy, at least for the near future. There may be greater cooperation between the US and Canada on oil production and transportation. This can potentially be a game changer for Alberta oil sands."

Whereas oil production within the US may get additional impetus, on the flip side one may observe less motivation in the US and elsewhere in the world to increase investment on renewables if those renewable projects are not financially viable, added Kumar.

A Republican Presidency, if the policy statements are to be believed, would spur demand for oil in both near term and long term forecasts, leading to a significant increase of investment in the oil industry and fossil fuels as a whole. While the gains made in the renewables so far are commendable, it is doubtful if the climate of subsidies for renewable power generation would continue, thus triggering potential reduction in investments on renewables. In the meantime, the deep cuts made in 2015 and 2016 in capex on oil sands and other oil projects will also start to bite in, and the gap between increased demand for oil and available incremental global supply can be expected to widen – this can provide further reason for oil price to move up from the punishingly low levels of 2015 and 2016.

“In the scenario of a Republican Presidency in the US, the oil price rebound may happen sooner than anticipated and return to the levels that make the oil sands projects in Alberta more attractive. It is well known that per barrel of flowing oil capex for oil sands projects is higher than the conventional oil projects. It is quite remarkable how a political event in our southern neighbour and arguably the world's largest economy can potentially turnaround the outlook for the oil sands industry in Alberta”, said Kumar.

Even in the event of potential oil price turn-around in post-Trump win era, Alberta oilpatch will have to continue to pursue cost reductions on new and ongoing projects. Based on the hard lessons learned in 2015 and 2016, there is no denying the fact that cost reductions should and will be an important component in the project execution strategies developed by the Alberta oil sands companies irrespective of the election outcome, feels Mukherjee.

All in all, Nov 8 is going to be very critical for the future trajectory of Alberta oil sands and oil, as a whole, in the coming years. Investors are increasingly aware of how US Political outcome on November 8 can impact the Oil industry, and the markets can be expected to respond with more volatility based on this factor.

About The Center of Excellence in Project Execution
Based in Calgary, Canada, the Center of Excellence in Project Execution is a boutique management consultancy serving oil sands, oil & gas sectors providing niche consulting services covering cost reduction, project management, special projects and continuous improvement.   

On the web: www.projectexecution.consulting

Contact

Parth Mukherjee, P.Eng, PMP

Expert Principal

Centre for Excellence in Project Execution, Calgary, Canada

1-403-397-8469 / parth@projectexecution.consulting

Anirudh Kumar, P.Eng

Principal, Project & Construction Manager

Center for Excellence in Project Execution

1-403-397-8765/ kumar@projectexecution.consulting

Source: Center for Excellence in Project Execution (CEPEX)

The Center for Excellence in Project Execution (CEPEX) analysis indicates that the future of Alberta oil sands and global oil will be shaped, in near and long term, by the outcome of US presidential election on November 8.

A victory for the Democratic party candidate would continue the status quo for Alberta oil, and the industry is already preparing for a ‘lower for longer’ bear oil market. President Obama’s policies on climate change and renewable energy sources would be expected to continue and to evolve further under President Clinton. On the Canadian side, there will be no easy solutions and an internal pipeline routing to tidewater will be the only hope for the troubled homegrown oil industry. There may be relatively more opportunities on the renewable energy industry manufacturing expected for provinces like Ontario and Quebec, but resource rich provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan would continue to face challenges.

However, if the Republican party candidate wins on November 8, the whole outlook on the oil front may very well turn on its head. It will potentially be a watershed moment for Alberta oil sands and global oil, in general. Under President Trump, a renegotiation of the Canadian leg of the Keystone Pipeline can quickly lead to improving investor confidence in the Alberta oil patch. If the Republican President follows through with the campaign promises, a general increase in US manufacturing and Shale oil production can quickly result in a commensurate impact on Canada, the largest trading partner of US. This can positively energize the manufacturing sector in Ontario & Quebec, and more importantly lead to a change of narrative for the Alberta oil industry.

Parth Mukherjee, Expert Principal, Center for Excellence in Project Execution, said: “In the event of a Trump win, the narrative on impact of oil on climate change will get re-visited. Instead of oil being painted as an antagonist, it will be seen in a different light – oil may no longer be the outcast at the major international forums.”

Victory of the Republican candidate on Nov 8 is likely to have a ripple effect in the EU and elsewhere in the world. It might catalyze change of guard along with the momentum generated by Brexit in countries next year, like, Germany and France – and it is not as far-fetched as once believed – and the new personalities in power in these countries may have a softer sentiment on oil, added Mukherjee.

Anirudh Kumar, Construction & Project Manager, Center for Excellence in Project Execution, said: “A Republican in the White House would change the narrative in G-7 on oil, there will be greater motivation and acceptability among the rest of the G-7 and G-20 countries to use oil as an engine of growth and development. There will be greater cooperation between the US and Canada on oil production and transportation. This can potentially be a game changer for Alberta oil sands.”

Whereas oil production within the US will get additional impetus, there will be less motivation in the US and elsewhere in the world to increase investment on renewables if those renewable projects are not financially viable, added Kumar.

A Republican Presidency will spur demand for oil in both near term and long term forecasts, leading to a significant increase of investment in the oil industry and fossil fuels as a whole. While the gains made in the renewables so far are commendable, it is doubtful if the climate of subsidies for renewable power generation will continue, thus triggering reduction in investments on renewables. In the meantime, the deep cuts made in 2015 and 2016 in capex on oil sands and other oil projects will also start to bite in, and the gap between increased demand for oil and available incremental global supply will widen – this will provide further reason for oil price to move up from the punishingly low levels of 2015 and 2016.

“In the scenario of a Republican President in the US, the oil price rebound may happen sooner than anticipated and return to the levels that make the oil sands projects in Alberta more attractive. It is well known that per barrel of flowing oil capex for oil sands projects is more than the conventional oil projects. It is quite remarkable how a political event in our southern neighbour can turnaround the outlook for the oil sands industry in Alberta”, said Kumar.

Even in the event of potential oil price turn-around in post-Trump win era, Alberta oilpatch will have to continue to pursue cost reductions on new and ongoing projects. Based on the hard lessons learned in 2015 and 2016, there is no denying the fact that cost reductions should and will be an important component in the project execution strategies developed by the Alberta oil sands companies irrespective of the election outcome, feels Mukherjee.

All in all, Nov 8 is going to be very critical for the future trajectory of Alberta oil sands and oil, as a whole, in the coming years. Investors are increasingly aware of how US Political outcome on November 8 can impact the Oil industry, and the markets can be expected to respond with more volatility based on this factor.

About The Center of Excellence in Project Execution
Based in Calgary, Canada, the Center of Excellence in Project Execution is a boutique management consultancy serving oil sands, oil & gas sectors providing niche consulting services covering cost reduction, project management, special projects and continuous improvement.

The Center for Excellence in Project Execution Calls for a Paradigm Shift in Alberta Oil Sands to Meet 'Lower-for-Longer' Head-On

Press Release - Sep 19, 2016 17:00 MDT

The Center for Excellence in Project Execution is calling on the Alberta Oil Sands industry to embrace a paradigm shift through "Standardization" in its quest for achieving cost reductions on new resource projects.

Calgary, Canada, September 19, 2016 (Newswire.com) - Based in Calgary, Center for Excellence in Project Execution is a boutique management consultancy directed specifically at Oil Sands, Oil & Gas and Petrochemicals industry in Alberta to deliver top-notch cost reduction and efficiency enhancement services to the owner companies in the aforesaid sectors.

Anirudh Kumar, Construction & Project Manager, Center for Excellence in Project Execution said, "An initiative which can easily spearhead innovation and cost reduction is an industry-wide Standardization of specifications and standards. In the Alberta oil sands, technology has become more or less standardized. The next step is to standardize design and construction standards and specifications across the industry. This standardization and its subsequent adoption by the oil sands industry as a whole will result in a paradigm shift in the competitiveness of the industry vis-à-vis its peers at a global level."

Through standardization, the Alberta oil patch needs to redefine success by normalizing the standards across the board and celebrating success of the industry as a whole instead of as individual entities. Such a step would send a strong signal to investors that the industry is taking decisive steps as a whole to improve competitiveness and return on investment.

Parth Mukherjee, Expert Principal

Kumar, a strong proponent of Standardization of the industry standards, has presented papers on the above topic in international and other seminars and the same have been well received and quoted.

Parth Mukherjee, Expert Principal, Center for Excellence in Project Execution, said: "Through Standardization the Alberta oilpatch needs to redefine success by normalizing the standards across the board and celebrating success of the industry as a whole instead of as individual entities. Such a step would send a strong signal to investors that the industry is taking decisive steps as a whole to improve competitiveness and return on investment."

This boutique consulting approach is an industry first of sorts, providing access to owner companies simple-to-apply but effective holistic approaches to review an entire project – design engineering through to construction – to identify major viable cost reduction opportunities.

Both Kumar and Mukherjee have worked on some of the largest and most complex projects in Alberta for clients covering all the major producers, and engineering design consultants.

“Other than industry-wide initiatives such as standardization, the owner companies also need focused help to find cost reduction opportunities on new projects, Center for Excellence in Project Execution is proposing to fill this vital need of the industry”, added Kumar. "We have the hands-on industry experience; moreover, we are a small business ourselves. In summary, our message is 'we understand your requirements, and we're here to help'."

Center for Excellence in Project Execution will provide more information on how this standardization endeavour can benefit the oil sands industry in the coming days.

About Center of Excellence in Project Execution

The Center of Excellence in Project Execution is a boutique management consultancy serving oil sands, oil & gas sectors providing niche consulting services covering cost reduction, project management, strategy consulting, special projects and continuous improvement.  

On the web: www.projectexecution.consulting

Contact

Parth Mukherjee, P.Eng, PMP
Expert Principa
Center for Excellence in Project Execution
403-397-8469
parth@projectexecution.consulting

Anirudh Kumar, P.Eng
Principa
Center for Excellence in Project Execution
403-397-876
kumar@projectexecution.consulting

Source: Center for Excellence in Project Execution

Trump Leads Clinton by 5+ Points in the Key Battleground State of Pennsylvania

an official press release from

Center for Excellence in Project Execution (CEPEX)

About Center for Excellence in Project Execution (CEPEX)

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Trump Leads Clinton by 5+ Points in the Key Battleground State of Pennsylvania

Press Release - Aug 21, 2016

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has surged to a 5-point lead over democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania as per a latest poll.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, August 21, 2016 (Newswire.com) - Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has surged to a 5-point lead over democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania as per the poll conducted by CEPEX Center for Excellence in Project Execution, on Friday (19th Aug 2016).

Trump leads Clinton 41.9 percent to 36.5 percent, with 21.5 percent voters undecided. Trump’s lead is just inside the margin of error and marks the first time that the Republican candidate is catching up in the traditional stronghold state of the democratic party.

"With the undecided voters holding the key which way the state eventually goes in November, both the campaign teams will be tweaking their ground games to win over this key demographic" - Parth Mukherjee, Expert Principal, CEPEX Center for Excellence in Project Execution. "One of the reasons of Trump's surge is attributable to increasing support from the women" - added Mukherjee.

Parth Mukherjee, Expert Principal

The survey contacted around 1,000 registered voters. Results are estimated to be accurate within 7.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. According to CEPEX analysis, the error percentage is high due to the results obtained from just one day of polling. Subsequent polling would be required to reduce the error percentage.

While it is noteworthy that Trump is making headway in this battleground state, the undecided voters hold the key to the eventual outcome on Nov 8.

“With the undecided voters holding the key which way the state eventually goes in November, both the campaign teams should be tweaking their ground games to win over this key demographic” – Parth Mukherjee, Expert Principal, CEPEX Center for Excellence in Project Execution.

“One of the reasons of Trump’s surge is attributable to seemingly strong support from the women” – added Mukherjee.

CEPEX Center for Excellence in Project Execution will continue to conduct independent polls in the various states leading up to the presidential election this November. 

CEPEX- Center for Excellence in Project Execution, a Management Consulting firm, is conducting opinion polling and analysis on the US Presidential Election 2016 as an Independent Unaffiliated source. 

Source: CEPEX (Center for Excellence in Project Execution)

Alberta Construction Industry takes note of CEPEX ideas

Following my speech at the 2016 Modular Construction conference in Calgary, the Construction industry in Alberta took note of the concept of Enhanced Standardization.

Enhanced Standardization calls for a Uniform set of Specifications and standards for each system/process unit across the entire Oil Sands Industry. What this means is a set of common standards including pipe classes, insulation, coating, cleaning etc. as the first step. This Enhanced Standardization approach can be a real game-changer for the Alberta Oil/Gas industry, to help compete with US Shale Oil producers, Middle Eastern Low Cost producers and others.

In summary, Standardization of design and systems within the Oil Sands industry will result in multiple cost reduction benefits:

  1. Reduce Engineering and Design Costs - Several operating companies are already pursuing a "Templating" strategy, where projects are developed in phases. After the first phase, the subsequent phases are expected to be simply follow the template created by the first phase.
  2. Reduce Procurement Costs - While "Templating" works for individual operating companies, and by definition, are restricted to individual companies, enhanced Standardization across the industry can result in higher overall cost savings. This is achieved by:
    1. Develop industry wide Approved Vendor Lists.
    2. Increase competition between vendors through regular expansion of the Approved Vendor List, and leverage low cost fabrication centers more effectively.
    3. Since all vendors work off the same specifications and standards, there is less time spent on deciphering uniqueness of specs and standards between various owner companies, and more certainty in the overall bid price.
  3. Reduce Fabrication & Construction Costs - This is one of the biggest areas of focus during cost reduction, and where significant savings can be achieved if the Enhanced Standardization approach is implemented.
    1. Common set of standards and guidelines create a workforce trained on Oil Sands projects in Alberta. The trades and construction contractors become more familiar with the industry requirements and by working off a common base, effectively achieve continuous improvement in their skills.
    2. Construction contractors are able to be in a better position to accurately bid and execute jobs within the industry for various clients.
    3. The experience of personnel becomes more interchangeable when working on projects for different Owner/operating companies.
  4. Holistic Continuous Improvement - A more holistic and integrated continuous improvement process can be implemented within the industry resulting in the overall industry performance increasing year after year.
    1. Improve the standard design based on learnings obtained from a wide range of projects in the industry.
    2.  Constant improvement in the productivity and efficiency of the workforce.
    3. Continuous enhancement of execution strategies based on what worked and what didn't, using more data points from projects all across the industry.
    4. Refine the standard modules on a continuous basis.
    5. Constantly help improve the skills of the vendors to deliver cheaper, faster and better quality of products and services.

CEPEX presentation to the Modularization industry in Alberta

Anirudh Kumar spoke to the construction industry professionals at the 5th Annual Modular Construction conference in Calgary, held in March 2016.

At the conference I advocated a change in approach to reap significantly enhanced benefits from modularization by pursuing an industry wide Standardization within Oil Sands. While this was the main thrust of my speech to fellow professionals in the industry, I also vocalized strong support to get back to the basics - Bringing back common sense in design - Reduce overdesign by Trusting the team.