Deep Sea Drilling & Stakeholder Management

I am a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) Dunedin Sub-Branch and each month we have a project related presentation.

In November we had Alan Seay from Anadarko New Zealand present in regard to stakeholder management and off shore drilling.

We asked Alan to present because his subject is topical especially as Anadarko are now drilling off the coast of Otago and it was a great chance to hear from the company actually doing the work rather than other sources.

Below is an excerpt from the meeting notes I took, the full article appears on the PMI New Zealand web

Alan Seay from Anadarko Petroleum Company presented Stakeholder Engagement. Alan has experience as a journalist and communications directorate at Meridian Energy before joining Anadarko.

Anadarko NZ Logo

Alan gave a good concise overview about what Anadarko do in terms of discovery and sale of oil and gas. Other companies refine the resources that Anadarko discover.

Anadarko has vast experience in the exploration and supply of oil and gas and also deep sea drilling. Their strategy is proven and they have a deep portfolio including frontier areas. Safety first is the approach with a commitment to the environment including air, land, life and water.

The Noble Bob Douglas drill ship will drill an exploratory well in the Canterbury Basin 60km off the Otago coast. Natural gas is the most likely resource to be found and if in enough commercial quantities may be piped ashore. A processing platform is not required as the ship has the capabilities required for extraction. Anadarko are planning to support the operation from Port Chalmers and note Dunedin’s excellent engineering cluster.Noble Bob Douglas

We had a good insight into what a potential find could mean for New Zealand and Mozambique was used as an example.

The Canterbury Basin exploration is one of three Anadarko have planned for New Zealand over the coming month as below:

NZ Exploritory Position

Off shore drilling is a relatively new event for Otago compared to the likes of Taranaki. This means that people who are interested in what Anadarko are doing often require a lot of background information about the energy industry.

Some people are concerned that something could go wrong with the well as in the Gulf of Mexico. Alan’s experience has been that most people are keen to know how exploration and possible extraction is done and also the plans for managing risk.

The level of detail in terms of planning is very impressive, taking into consideration the likes of the type of aircraft required to transport equipment, the preferred route from the airport and if the bridges on the route are up to the task. And there is always a “plan B”.

The levels of stakeholders engaged in the process so far include local government, central government, chambers of commerce, hospitals and Iwi.

In terms of communication Alan has learnt a lot about what is effective and what is not. The mainstream media, social media and press releases are not his preferred approach. What works best is meeting people, providing them with the facts and listening to them and answering there questions directly.

In project management terms there was a lot to glean from Alan’s talk particularly in the areas of planning, risk management and communication.

The question and answer session at the end of the talk was excellent and we all learnt something new about the energy industry.


2 responses to “Deep Sea Drilling & Stakeholder Management

  1. Hi Bill,

    How are you able to manage those many stakeholders in one project? Clearly, your stakeholders are in the hundreds (because they include the government, the local government, large companies, etc…). What do you do to ensure that all the stakeholders’s interests are being met.

    • Hello

      It would be best in this case to go to Anadarko for the detail on what they actually do in regard to your question.
      From memory Anadarko have been proactively communicating about what they are doing and going to do and engaging with a the many different stakeholders and the appropriate levels. The methods used were direct communication and responding to media queries. Press releases were not effective as they were not as easy to control the message as some media organisations tend to change the meaning of the communication. The direct approach worked best with communities as Anadarko can address any queries first hand.
      Alan is very approachable hence presenting at our meeting. Official communication with the government etc. have their own required standards.
      Hope this helps.

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