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We are a global management consultancy that delivers exceptional outcomes and sustainable change

Case Study

By improv­ing its oper­a­tions, an oil refin­ery achieved almost US$6 mil­lion in savings



Refin­ing is one of three main com­po­nents of the oil and gas indus­try. The most com­mon­ly made prod­uct from one bar­rel of crude oil is motor fuel. Once processed crude oil has a wide array of uses. Apart from being turned into trans­porta­tion fuels, it is also a major feed­stock in the petro­chem­i­cal indus­try and the build­ing block for plastics.

Our client owns and oper­ates one of the largest and most com­plex hydro­car­bon refiner­ies in Aus­tralia. They were hav­ing issues tied to project deliv­ery; projects were tak­ing too long to deliv­er and cost too much. This con­se­quent­ly affect­ed back­logs and quan­ti­ty of projects under­tak­en and completed.

As such, we were brought in to help the client iden­ti­fy oppor­tu­ni­ties to increase the effec­tive­ness and effi­cien­cy in plan­ning and exe­cut­ing projects.

Project Approach

Fol­low­ing the results of our analy­sis, we worked togeth­er with the client on a 25-week pro­gramme that addressed the fol­low­ing focus areas:

  1. Devel­op­ment of a projects depart­ment and third-party SLAs to estab­lish rec­i­p­ro­cal oblig­a­tions and cement work­ing relationships.
  2. Man­age­ment of the port­fo­lio under the project department’s con­trol, as well as project man­age­ment of indi­vid­ual projects.
  3. Clar­i­fy­ing ambi­gu­i­ty sur­round­ing oper­a­tional def­i­n­i­tions and over­hauled SOPs.
  4. Defined project dura­tion and project man hours invested.
  5. Devel­op­ment and instal­la­tion of an enhanced man­age­ment con­trol sys­tem (MCS) to con­trol and man­age vari­ance at the point of inception.
  6. Devel­op­ment of an inte­grat­ed man­age­ment infor­ma­tion sys­tem to col­lect data and inter­pret it into mean­ing­ful infor­ma­tion for use in the MCS.
  7. Enhanced work sched­ul­ing and plan­ning practices.

    “The real ben­e­fit of this project is that we can now see and man­age our per­for­mance with a fac­tu­al sys­tem and accu­rate­ly gen­er­at­ed data…”

    Project Man­ag­er

  8. Enhanced cul­ture of col­lab­o­ra­tion and cus­tomer focus.

Project Imple­men­ta­tion

The teams involved in this pro­gramme were charged with the respon­si­bil­i­ty of ensur­ing the pro­gramme devel­oped sus­tain­able solu­tions that can deliv­er a $5.8 mil­lion improve­ment in the deliv­ery of the project’s port­fo­lio for that fis­cal year.

The project analysed a total of 64 projects at var­i­ous stages of deliv­ery over a three-year peri­od and devel­oped a com­pre­hen­sive data set of base infor­ma­tion. The total val­ue of this sam­ple pool was in excess of $100 mil­lion. This base­line data was assessed against the find­ings of our analy­sis to deter­mine the root cause.

From there, we devel­oped solu­tions to address defi­cien­cies in the areas of man­age­ment con­trol, infor­ma­tion man­age­ment, report­ing, stan­dard­ised process­es, man­age­ment behav­iours, skills capa­bil­i­ty and account­abil­i­ty, vis­i­ble per­for­mance sys­tems, and sched­ul­ing and plan­ning standards.

These solu­tions were devel­oped and installed with the exten­sive col­lab­o­ra­tion of the client-side experts, and exten­sive­ly sup­port­ed dur­ing the imple­men­ta­tion phase.



Reduc­tion of rework 


Increase in productivityn 


Increase in efficiency 


Reduc­tion of scope changes 

US$5.8 million 

Cost benefitn 

Inte­grat­ed data trans­paren­cy in project managementn 

The client now prac­tices a cul­ture of data-driven effi­cien­cy and trans­paren­cy, unique­ly posi­tion­ing them to effec­tive­ly respond to the rapid­ly chang­ing nature of the oil and gas industry.

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