The most typical framework for a project consists of numerous stages, all of which have engineering or design aspects, prior to being operational. Typically, these phases are referred to as Concept/Pre-FEED, FEED, and Engineering/Detail Design.
Concept is exactly what it sounds like: combining concepts to determine which may be optimal for a certain situation. For an offshore project, this may involve deciding whether to use an FPSO or whether to connect the new wells to an existing platform or pipeline infrastructure.
Once a concept has been selected, EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) firms will transform the functional needs and plans into something real. Typically, two or three such businesses will provide options in a competitive bidding procedure.
During the FEED phase, the designs will be produced and finalized, and the total project cost estimate will be submitted alongside the papers for the subsequent phases. Typically, the Final Investment Decision (FID) is made at this point, and the EPC phase begins.
Engineers will continue to monitor progress and develop components of the project throughout the EPC phase. Once a plant is constructed and generating hydrocarbons, it is the responsibility of engineers to monitor production. Ultimately, at the conclusion of the cycle, the decommissioning project will be planned.
Typical positions in engineering and design