3 Key Challenges Impacting Oil & Gas Commissioning Performance on Megaprojects

For the oil and gas industry, the commissioning phase stands as a pivotal moment in the lifecycle of any project. Commissioning activities serve as the final checkpoint in ensuring that all equipment, processes, and systems are operating seamlessly. This means that for each and every component, it must be verified that all design and safety specifications have been accurately implemented.   

This task is demanding for projects of any size, but for megaprojects, commissioning becomes a labyrinth of intricacies and potential hurdles. Various challenges occur during the complex transition from construction to commissioning. In this article, we’ll identify and discuss three pervasive challenges that emerge during the commissioning of oil and gas megaprojects. 

1. Mishandling Stored Energy Systems

Commissioning presents a unique set of risks, and one of the most common problems is surrounding the storage of energy. Various components are involved in this critical function, ranging from pressure vessels to electrical systems, and everything must work together seamlessly to ensure that energy is handled safely. 

Human error is the biggest risk posed to stored energy systems. When a worker inadvertently disturbs a component, this can trigger the release of stored energy—a major safety and sustainability concern. 

The complex and dynamic nature of megaprojects increases the likelihood of this concern. Unlike smaller projects, where components are more easily tracked and managed, megaprojects sprawl across a vast area, making the logistics of preventing disturbances even more difficult.  

A meticulous system that accounts for stringent safety protocols is needed to mitigate this risk, protect the safety of the workforce, and ensure the overall success of the project. 

  1. Document Control During the Handover Process

The construction phase of an oil and gas megaproject generates an immense volume of critical documents, ranging from equipment manuals to safety certifications. These documents are more than just “paperwork” — they represent the collective knowledge and meticulous planning invested in the project. Commissioning, acting as the crucial bridge between construction and operations, shoulders the responsibility of auditing and transferring these documents. 

However, managing this intermediary role can become a daunting task. The sheer magnitude of documents involved can lead to mismanagement, delays, and even document loss, jeopardizing the commissioning process and impeding the project’s overall progress. In an era where digitalization has transformed industries, relying on traditional document management systems is no longer sufficient. 

Implementing a robust digital ecosystem ensures efficient tracking, verification, and secure storage of crucial documents. This not only reduces the risk of document mismanagement but also enhances transparency and accountability throughout the commissioning phase. 

  1. Sensitive Leak Checks

Leak checks are a pivotal aspect of commissioning, ensuring the integrity of the facility’s piping and storage systems. Traditionally, this process is manual, requiring rigorous record-keeping. Any error in this process can jeopardize the facility’s operation and safety. 

Leak checks are an integral aspect of commissioning in the oil and gas industry. These checks play a pivotal role in guaranteeing the integrity of the facility’s piping and storage systems, preventing potential leaks that could lead to environmental hazards or compromise safety. Traditionally, this process is performed manually and demands rigorous record-keeping to ensure accuracy. 

In megaprojects, where the scale and complexity of piping systems can be staggering, manual leak checks become a Herculean task. The risk of human error looms large, and any oversight can have far-reaching consequences, jeopardizing both facility operation and safety. To address this challenge, the industry must embrace a proactive approach is needed, that strives to prevent leaks before they occur.  


There’s no denying that the commissioning phase of an oil and gas megaproject is an exceptionally challenging endeavor. The massive scale and unique risks associated with megaprojects demand innovative solutions to overcome these challenges. By adopting the right technology that addresses stored energy concerns, streamlines the handover process, and prioritizes leak prevention, the industry can usher in a new era of safety and efficiency. 

To delve deeper into the solutions and strategies for conquering these challenges in the world of oil and gas megaprojects, we invite you to download our info sheet. In doing so, you will gain invaluable insights that can shape the future of commissioning in this dynamic industry. Together, we can ensure the success and sustainability of these monumental endeavors. 

Cumulus for Commissioning