Russia's petroleum resources include 72% of the 130 billion barrels of oil and 91% of the 1,500 trillion cubic feet of gas believed to exist north of the Arctic Circle1. The environmental conditions in which future fields are located will bring challenges to stretch the capabilities of the global E&P industry. Exploring and developing Russia's Arctic resources calls for a new breed of regional petroleum professional, able to blend generations of domestic well construction and reservoir know-how with innovative technologies, unfamiliar processes and new skills involving partners from other countries and cultures.

This paper considers three broad areas of professional capability that will underpin marine E&P operations at Russia's northern frontier: Project Management, Petroleum Engineering, and offshore-specific operations in Arctic conditions. Based on experience within major Russian operators and service providers since 1999, it reviews progress towards developing capability in each area in the context of future Arctic activity.

In particular, the paper reviews Master's degree programs established since 2001 between universities in Russia and Europe to address specific petroleum industry needs, how future partnerships can support offshore Arctic E&P, and how their graduates can be deployed, mentored and certified as professionals.

Finally, the paper provides a case study of an international educational initiative, launched in 2011 to train and develop professionals specifically for Russia's offshore E&P sector. This non-commercial Sochi-based Academy offers an approach new to the region, based on international best practice. Its strategy, programs and governance model are presented as examples for an Arctic industry on which much will depend.

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