Engineer’s role in resolving disputes in offshore projects

Siu Yung Alan Ma

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Offshore construction and supply projects involve complex contractual arrangements regulating the relationships of operators, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers. Although every effort is made to prevent the occurrence of disputes when parties enter into contract, it is a fact of life that disputes do arise. This paper explains the role of engineers in the dispute resolution process. It highlights the features of disputes which arise out of the offshore construction and supply industry by way of inclusion of a description of: the life cycle of a typical offshore development; a typical engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning project; the engineer’s involvement in the contractual process; types of frequently occurring disputes; and the role of engineers in dispute avoidance. By way of introducing the various methods of disputes resolution, including litigation, arbitration, adjudication, expert determination, mediation, the engineers’ functions in these processes are highlighted.’The paper concludes that engineers are indeed important if not crucial to every stage of an oil and gas construction project. They have every opportunity to assist in dispute avoidance by being more aware of the contractual relationship between various parties and the project procedure. They can be factual witnesses to set out the chain of events that happened, expert witnesses to assist the court or tribunal in understanding the technical issues, and they are also well placed to judge the rights and wrongs of the parties given their technical backgrounds in understanding the day-to-day running of a project.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)191-196
    Number of pages7
    JournalProceedings of Institution of Civil Engineers: Management, Procurement and Law
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 1 Nov 2009


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