Building a business case for project sanction is, in most cases, an extremely lengthy and stressful period for all stakeholders involved.
The criteria that an operator must meet before drilling can begin is extensive and in some cases, impossible. Common criteria includes:
Being able to demonstrate that production targets can be met
Assurance that the project will stay within budget
Compliance with legislation, such as single relief well contingency
Plans to mitigate risk
Compliance with company policy
Demonstration of an integrity plan to assure safety and production
The business case must be bullet proof, failure to meet even one of these elements will mean that the project case is rejected.