A total of 65 per cent of the region’s megaprojects are destined to fail, in terms of budget and schedule overruns, according to research by the US-headquartered consultancy Independent Project Analysis (IPA).

According to the research, this figure has not decreased in the past 70 years.

The major challenges for megaprojects in the oil, gas and petrochemicals industries in the Middle East were identified as project complexity, labour risks and a focus on speed.

Speaking at the Middle East Process Engineering Conference (Mepec) in Bahrain, Badar Alam, director of operational excellence for the US-based chemical conglomerate DuPont, said: “Most large projects underperform and in the Middle East it is issues such as complex environments, availability of skilled labour and access to materials that play a major role in this.”

He quoted IPA data that suggested project owners that take a more active role in their respective megaprojects are more likely to avoid budget and schedule overruns. IPA states that 60 per cent of projects with more active owners were brought in on time and on budget.