Optimal Design and Planning of Flexible Supply Chains under Uncertain Conditions: Application to the Sustainable Development of the Uncoventionals’ Supply Chain in Argentina

Agustín Francisco Montagna

Carnegie Mellon University

The main goal of this research project is to contribute to the sustainable development of the unconventional oil and gas industry through the application of advanced computational tools that support the strategic design of the supply chain network, with minimal environmental impact. On the one hand, we seek for the development of a novel approach for the optimal design of SCNs, including all componentes commonly found in modern supply chains. The main novelties planned to be contributed by this project are: (1) the ability to capture the economies of scale of storage facilities and transportation through non-linear equations, (2) the relaxation of the echelons’ structures, (3) the consideration of uncertainties in different parameters of the problem, from both endogenous and exogenous sources, and (4) the assess of the responsiveness of the SCN to serve the operations and product demands. On the other hand, we plan to implement the resulting model and the solution approach to the optimization of the unconventionals’s SCN design, while minimizing the environmental impact of shale gas/oil development projects. This includes the modeling of particular features of the oil and gas industry and a proper assessment of the sustainable use of natural resources. The central impact associated with the project will be a contribution of high strategic value for the country’s energy development. The benefits associated with the production of shale gas/oil in the USA could also be achieved in Argentina, although it will be essential the proper plan and development of the utilization of these resources, without neglecting the environmental issues affected, mainly as regards water management.