Project management critical for oil and gas industry skills shortage

The UK’s recent economic downturn has highlighted a predicted skills shortage which is to affect the oil and gas sector, in particular a lack of specialized project management skills which are essential to ensure the sustainability of the industry.

Mr Ian Bell, project management consultant at Adept Knowledge Management, is set to share his expertise at a presentation this month for oil and gas professionals, hosted by the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

The event, which takes place on November 13th 2012 at Heriot Watt University, will see Mr Bell discuss two specialist project management techniques, Earned Value Analysis and Float Trend Analysis. Both tools are designed to benefit those working in a technical role, or looking to enhance their knowledge of project management.

Earned Value Analysis is a technique used to provide an accurate forecast of a project’s final cost, whilst Float Tend Analysis gives the project manager a reliable and realistic schedule assessment of the project, defining work under urgent and non urgent categories.

Both techniques create results that help the project manager assess the schedule status of a project and importantly, predict the likely end cost of the project, so that appropriate action can be taken to resolve or minimize any undesirable outcomes.

Mr Bell, who has over 40 years’ experience in project and program management, said that “Earned Value Analysis and Float Trend Analysis are two important tools for successful project management. The latter in particular has not seen the same popularity and recognition as other methods of project analysis. This presentation will focus on the two techniques to show how they can be used to successfully plan and manage a project.”

He added that “North Sea oil and gas seems to be bucking the trend and holding its own in an otherwise uncertain age. Nevertheless, there is always room to improve the performance of projects in this sector, with the consequent improvement in return on investment.”

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