The importance of the Khurais program for the final client, Saudi Aramco, was clear from the very beginning, when the program was promoted as “the world greatest oil production increment in the history” (1,200,000 barrels per day). As Main Contractor for the two biggest EPC packages - the Utilities Package (KUC – Khurais Utilities Contract) and the Crude Package (KCC –Khurais Crude Contract) - Saipem’s involvement in this program demanded a serious commitment. The award of the contracts came at a very special moment in Saipem’s history, i.e. the acquisition of Snamprogetti, and thus represented an opportunity to demonstrate how much the two cores of the new entity could effectively create synergies and value: the traditional construction competences of Saipem coupled with Snamprogetti’s engineering knowledge and experience of EPC Contract management. The main challenge of the project was the fast track schedule (33 and 34 months for the two packages) and the magnitude of the construction quantities involved (55,000 tons of piping overall). The construction and pre-commissioning strategy consisted in performing large part of the works using a “direct hire” approach. I believe that this solution was consistent with the strong focus on the schedule, permitting maximum promptness of reaction during construction and the flexibility to directly intervene and correct when sub-contractors were not able to guarantee the required performance. The project’s final success is the proof that this was the winning strategy for that specific context. I was the Project Manager of the Crude Package and I remember Khurais as one of my best professional experiences and an extraordinary opportunity to grow both in terms of technical competence and soft skills. I believe that the positive environment created at Khurais was unique and demonstrates how much the people and the team are key success factors for a project of this size.