2018-MGT5PMT Project Management

Case Study details

Organisation Background

Your organisation is a large multinational oil company with multiple storage facilities located around Australia. They own and operate their tank farms in each state to supply the domestic market with automotive fuels. The Project Management Office (PMO) based in Melbourne determines which projects take priority, the scope, and goals for each project along with the terms and conditions for engaging contractors to complete the works.
The Revenue Division of the company has developed a business case for substantial repair works to be completed to reduce environmental fines and optimise availability and throughput of all locations. Throughput equals profit!

Your role:

You are the Project Manager, employed to plan and manage a project to bring the Western Australian storage facility up to the required standard, while normal operations continue.
You report to the clients Program Manager in the Project Management Office (PMO) in Melbourne


Currently 30% of the company’s unleaded petrol (ULP) storage capacity in Western Australia (WA) is bordering on collapse due to the age and condition of the tanks and associated infrastructure. The condition of the largest tank in WA is particularly bad due to the tank being over 50 years old and of a complex and outdated design. The company is currently paying $20,000/month in environmental fines due to detected leakage of petroleum products into the surrounding soil.
You are the third Project Manager to be appointed to this project due to performance and personal issues affecting prior appointments.  The Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Manager has worked with you before, but your relationship is tarnished from a disagreement with your in-house HSE Manager.
The Terminal Manager has taken over responsibility for operations in the last 4 months after a promotion and is still working through the logistical challenges of the site.  Operations must continue to provide revenue streams and continuity of supply to fuel outlets.
Fuel deliveries for the tanks under repair have been rescheduled to coincide with the planned completion of works as per the schedule.

Required works for the Western Australian site

Tank 1

Capacity: 1 million litres unleaded petrol (ULP)
4 Steel Patches averaging 2m2 in size.
4 Steel anchors required on top of tank for working at heights
Cleaning and repaint of outside of tank

Tank 2

Capacity: 3 million litres unleaded petrol (ULP)
7 Steel Patches averaging 3m2 in size.
4 Steel anchors required on top of tank for working at heights
Cleaning and repaint of outside of tank

Tank 3

Capacity: 7 million litres unleaded petrol (ULP)
6 Steel Patches averaging 1.5m2 in size.
4 Steel anchors required on top of tank for working at heights
Replacement of main supply valve. Size: 300mm Diameter, in Stainless Steel.
Cleaning and repaint of outside of tank

Site challenges

The site is a tapered triangular shape. The longest side is bounded by the loading docks. Another side has a dead-end road leading to the container terminal.
The final side is bounded by a small specialist oil distribution company. The site is on a rise with loading gantry site below the tanks. In order to work on the tanks you will need to use one large crane, one small crane and scaffolding.
When a tanker docks to deliver fuel, all works stops due to highly flammable vapours venting from tanks as they fill.
Time to fill each tank;
Tank 1:  4 to 6 hours
Tank 2:  8 to 10 hours
Tank 3:  18 to 20 hours
Site plan view showing restricted access and internal restrictions created by pipelines.