Samotlor Services is an international joint venture formed by Canadian Fracmaster Ltd., PanCanadian Petroleum Ltd. and Samotlorneft (Russian operating company). The objective of the joint venture is production rehabilitation of a portion of the Samotlor field in the Western Siberian basin.

Operating in the international environment poses many technical problems that can be amplified by language differences and translation problems. There are also cultural considerations between staff that create obstacles for providing timely technical solutions. A common link for problem resolution and developing teamwork is the establishment of jointly shared information that can be understood by all staff.

Samotlor Services1 engineerig staff in association with Lowe & Associates developed a data system that allows simple and rapid access of well and operational data by both English and non-English speaking technical staff. The data system has saved time by allowing expeditious generation of routine reports in a dual language format thereby facilitating faster data analysis of operating problems.

An unforeseen benefit of the data system is that it has increased teamwork and synergism not only between the Canadians and the Russians, but also between the Russians because It allows data sharing by all technical staff. Additionally, engineers were able to take a proactive stance to problem resolution as opposed to the reactive process that previously existed.

This paper will discuss:

  • Operational considerations associated with the international environment,

  • Design and implementation of the data access and sharing system

  • The areas that were optimized as a result of the data system

  • Recommendations for international operations


With the globalization of today's marketplace, many companies are looking beyond domestic borders to expand their business opportunities. When operating in the international environment, there are many pitfalls and problems that staff can encounter. The technical tools and operating procedures that are taken for granted domestically are often not available, when operating internationally. This paper profiles from an engineering viewpoint, the design and implementation of a technical data system that operates in two languages in Western Siberia (Figure 1).

Typical operations in the Russian oil patch will be discussed. Of interest to technical staff is the resolution of operating problems specific to translation procedures and cultural considerations.

International joint ventures must deal with problems caused by cultural complications as well as language differences. These factors in conjunction with the logistical concerns can create a difficult business environment. Consolidation of information in a format that both cultures that can access and understand will resolve many problems associated with international joint ventures.

The use of micro-computers can be used to resolve the data exchange problems in manner that was previously thought to be difficult or impossible. The use of a properly designed system can enable rapid collection of field data and divestment of this data as formal reports. A proper interface ith technical analysis programs will enable rapid analysis of data required for project optimization. Further, incorporation of query mode will enable the technical staff to analyze data in a format that is suitable for the engineer's objective.

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