Since the oil price crashed in 2014 the industry has been scrambling to reduce capex and increase operational efficiency, and that has been achieved through renegotiated contracts, innovative working practices and applying new technology. This improved performance has not happened overnight but has been a gradual step change in the way projects are delivered and operated.

For evidence of this incremental approach there is no better example than Shell’s operations in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). The way Shell’s own renaissance has taken hold since the oil price drop can be seen in four deepwater projects. It all began with a one-of-a-kind project that was already well underway when the oil price fell, which meant that the company was limited in its approach, through to the latest project where it effectively had a blank piece of paper and could redesign it entirely.

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