An integrated framework for decision making on liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects
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The decision-making process is an individual activity. However most of decisions that need to be made in the modern industry must consider multiple decision makers. It is widely accepted that industrial projects have become more complex than ever before. In complex projects, the coordination and integration of multiple disciplines and knowledge areas must be handled. Therefore, the success of a complex project depends on the ability of establishing coordination and interactions among decisionmakers as well as multiple criteria. This is the typical situation in the large and complex oil and gas projects, in particular the projects related to liquefied natural gas (LNG). LNG projects are characterized by having large investments and capital return in the long term and requiring intensive energy consumption (large operating costs). In this context, the principal goal in this dissertation is to establish a framework to integrate multi-criteria and levels of responsibility of the decision makers based on the foundations of game theory. The dissertation has been addressed focusing on improving the efficiency (reducing of power consumption) and effectiveness (reducing of costs and times) of LNG projects. Three different applications of increasing complexity are considered. The development of a decoupled decision-making approach is established where the decision makers can improve the efficiency of an LNG project by the optimization of precooling stage. The resulting decoupled approach comprises a systematic way for the understanding of decision-based technical information and offers the advantage of adapting to available LNG technologies for specific scenarios. A coupled decision-making framework is developed allowing the evaluation of the interaction and coordination between decision makers and criteria at the same level of responsibility which represents an improvement of the effectiveness of an LNG project. The development of an integrated framework (multi-criteria, multi-level and multiple decision makers) for decision making at different levels of a decision-making structure is reached which allows to obtain more realistic outcomes for a given complex project improving its effectiveness.