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Risk Management in Oil and Gas Construction Projects in Developing Countries: the Case of Iraq

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Table of contents
Introduction....................................................................................................... 6
Chapter 1. Theoretical aspects of risk project management and risk management in
oil and gas construction projects....................................................................... 10
1.1. Project management and risk management.............................................. 10
1.1.1. Concept and importance of project and project management............. 10
1.1.2. Concept and importance of risk and risk management...................... 13
1.1.3. Risk management processes.............................................................. 18
1.2. Review of project risk management in oil and gas construction projects.. 26
1.2.1. Risk management in construction industry........................................ 26
1.2.2. Risk management in oil and gas industry.......................................... 30
1.2.3. Relevant literature of investigation risk management processes in oil and
gas construction project.............................................................................. 32
1.2.4. Review of oil and gas construction project in Iraq............................. 34
Chapter 2. Research methodology.................................................................... 37
2.1. Development of research problem, research aims and research hypotheses 37
2.1.1. Research problem statement............................................................. 37
2.1.2. Research aim and tasks..................................................................... 39
2.1.3. Research hypotheses......................................................................... 40
2.2. Research design and research strategy..................................................... 41
2.3. Identification of risk factors affecting oil and gas construction projects in
Iraq using semi-structured interviews............................................................. 44
2.4. Current situation of oil and gas construction projects in Iraq................... 49

2.5. Analysis of risk factors affecting oil and gas construction projects in Iraq
using questionnaire survey............................................................................ 65
2.5.1 Risk analysis method......................................................................... 65
2.5.2. Survey design and data collection..................................................... 66
2.5.3. Methods and processes of data analysis............................................. 68
2.6. Implementation risk responses and strategies to mitigate major risk factors in
oil and gas construction project in Iraq using informal interviews.................. 72
Chapter 3. Findings, discussion and recommendations..................................... 74
3.1. Results of analysis and discussion.......................................................... 74
3.1.1. General statistical analysis................................................................. 74
3.1.2. Analysis of respondent’s perceptions and ranking risk factors........... 80
3.1.3 Comparison analysis of respondent’s perceptions and test hypotheses .. 87
3.2. Suggestion risk responses and mitigation strategies for major risk factors in
OGC projects................................................................................................ 95
3.3. General recommendations.................................................................... 103
Conclusion.................................................................................................... 106
References...................................................................................................... 109
Appendix 1.................................................................................................... 114
Appendix 2 120
 
Introduction
In the recent decades, there has been a continuous increase in energy consumption and demand for oil and gas as a result of the continuous growth and development in the world and population growth. It is expected that the energy consumption and the demand for oil and gas will increase significantly in the future. Therefore, there is a great pressure on oil and gas sector in developing countries to increase the production capacity of oil and gas. The increase in production capacity is through the implementation of construction projects to expand and upgrade the existing facilities in oil fields and build new facilities in existing oil fields and newly explored fields. OGC projects require effective management at organizational and project levels to meet the desired result of these projects. One of the most important part of project management is the project risk management, which is concerned with exploiting opportunities and eliminating or mitigating threats in order to implement projects in the required time, budget and quality. The major standard processes in risk management are risk identification, risk assessment and deriving risk response. Any type of projects differs in terms of their characteristics from one industry to another. Therefore, the characteristics of oil and gas construction (OGC) projects are the integration of project characteristics in the oil & gas and construction industries. Among the most important characteristics of OGC projects that they are complex and large in nature, risky, technically difficult, contain many stakeholders, and existing in harsh financial environment. These characteristics cause a lot of risks that would adversely affect the results of OGC projects. In addition, previous studies indicate that many OGC projects suffer from time and cost overruns due to the presence of many risks in the construction and oil & gas industries and non-effective risk management.
As a result of the foregoing, there is a great interest in risk management in
OGC projects by organizations, practitioners and researchers. The characteristics 6
 
of the projects and the risks in them differ according to the country and type of industry. Therefore, there are attention to risk management processes in OGC projects in developing countries. From the literature, it can be noticed that there is a research gap in risk management of OGC project and investigation of risk management processes in Iraq. In addition, oil and gas sector is considering as the backbone of Iraqi economy, and oil and gas revenues are heavily relied upon to meet the country's financial needs. Furthermore, the political, security and economic situation in Iraq is volatile and unstable, which makes projects and their risks in Iraq differ from those in other stable developing countries. Therefore, there is an urgent need to study and investigate risk management in OGC projects in Iraq. The region devoted to this research is the republic of Iraq as a case study of developing countries to take advantage of the research results and findings in Iraq and in developing countries of a nature similar to the Iraqi nature in terms of risks, political system and overall country environment.
The overall aim of the research is to identify, analyze and derive responses of risk factors affecting oil and gas construction projects in Iraq and serves as a case study for developing countries. Accordingly, in order to achieve the overall aim and answer research questions, the following task are developed:
  1. Review of concept and importance of project management and project risk management.
  1. Review of risk and project risk management in construction industry and oil and gas industry and subsequently in OGC projects.
  1. Investigate the awareness of project management and project risk management in OGC projects in Iraq and examine the challenges that face these projects.
  1. Identify the potential risk factors associated with OGC projects in Iraq.
7
 
  1. Analyze risk factors in OGC projects in Iraq and rank them according to their criticality and determine the most important and critical factors.
  1. Compare the degree of importance of risk factors to OGC projects' practitioners in Iraq with different job title, educational level, work experience and company type.
  1. Derive responses of the most critical risk factors and develop recommendations for effective project risk management in OGC projects in Iraq.
The research object is oil and gas construction projects. The research subject is risk management in oil and gas construction projects.
The novelty of this research work is as follows:
  • Investigation the current situation of OGC projects and present the most challenges that face by these projects.
  • Introducing a list of potential risk factors associated in OGC projects.
  • Determining the criticality of each potential risk factor in OGC projects and addressing the most critical (major) risk factors.
  • Introducing strategies to mitigate the major risk factor affecting OGC projects.
The research novelty and finding in this research benefit the practitioners and organizations working in OGC projects in Iraq and in developing countries that possess nature similar to the Iraqi nature in terms of risks, political system and overall country environment.
The main research methods are expert judgment, informal and semi-structured interviews, questionnaire, statistical analysis (SPSS), risk criticality index, comparison.
According to the aim of the study, its object and subject, the structure of the research work consists of an introduction, three chapters, conclusion, appendices
8

and list of references. The first chapter discusses the theoretical aspect of project risk management and risk management processes and techniques, risk management in oil & gas and construction industries, and risk management in OGC projects in Iraq. The second chapter presents research design, methods used to conduct research, data analysis methods, identification of risk factors in OGC projects, and the current status of OGC projects in Iraq and their challenges. The third chapter contains of the results of the risk factors analysis in OGC projects, risk factors ranking, comparison analysis, discussion of all results and findings, suggestion of risk responses and mitigate strategies for the major risk factors, and general recommendations.
 
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