Project Management

Managing Projects in a Desert Environment During the Summer Period

Olusegun Akinniyi, PMP

Olusegun Akinniyi is an accomplished construction and project management practitioner with more than 27 years’ experience in the oil and gas sector. He holds a master’s degree in civil engineering and has extensive international experience managing major oil and gas projects. He earned his Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification in 2010.

Abstract
Managing projects in a desert environment during the hot summer period presents unique challenges. This article describes the author’s experience and lessons learned from three major oil and gas projects in the Middle East during the hottest summer months. Tips for managing projects in a similar environment are presented to assist other project managers.

Introduction    
This article describes the author’s experience and lessons learned from three major oil and gas projects in the Middle East during the hottest summer months. Between 2010 and 2011, the author managed a major pipelines and cables construction project in Saudi Arabia. He also managed a major cross-country pipelines project between 2017 and 2018 and a United Nations-sponsored oil field environmental remediation project between 2018 and 2019 in Kuwait. These time periods encompassed five summer periods, each of which presented a unique set of challenges.

This article focuses on key project risks, how they were mitigated, and what project managers on their first project in a similar environment can do to help ensure project success.  

Summer Period in the Middle East
Summer period in the Middle East spans from May to November, with June, July, and August as the three hottest months. The average maximum temperature is above 45 degrees Celsius during the …


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