Offshore fields development is a challenge because of significant risks and uncertainties and presence of several issues. Among them we should highlight first of all: poor knowledge of the reservoir geology and very low reliability of hydrocarbon reserves at the initial stage of field development; limited opportunities for technological solutions on fields development by reason of limited number of "wells cluster"- production units (platforms, subsea units); and necessity to spend 80-90 % CAPEX before start of production.
This paper is devoted to solving the problem how to reduce the risks and uncertainties and accelerate offshore fields exploration and development. The methodology to assess the possibility to start offshore fields development by condition of limited geological information is presented. It is implemented as a workflow, the result of which is the conclusion about: types of production units, number of wells and their placement boundaries, required minimum reserves density to begin field development, as well as types of exploration work on fields. The application of the methodology and workflow are demonstrated on the examples of assessment of the potential of development of some Russian Arctic offshore fields.