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Simplifying pipeline construction for Shell

Simplifying pipeline construction for Shell, to be more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly.


Shell was planning to build a 500km pipeline in a very remote area. Due to the remoteness and difficult geological conditions, construction cost exceeded any economical feasibility of the project. A significant reduction in construction cost was critical to get the project through the next internal project review board.


We ran a counter-intuitive problem solving project with the project team. The process forces you to think about your available resources in a different way. Make us3 of what you already have instead of adding cost and complexity to the problem. In fact, someone once used the (non-existing) term „de-complexify“ when it comes to large problems. If you wish you can call the approach „MacGyver principle“, according to the 80’s TV hero who could solve any problem with only what he had at hand.


The concept the team developed and presented to management was as brilliant as it was simple: to reduce the amount of truck loads you need for the duration of the construction, just use the already-buildt pipeline for transportation of any material that fits into the 1,5m pipe. Logistic cost can be reduced significantly.