Shell U.K. Exploration and Production, Operator in the U.K. sector of the North Sea for Shell and Esso, has adopted a corporate strategy in line with the Drilling in the Nineties concept proposed by Shell Internationale Petroleum Maatschappij B.V. (SIPM) for all Shell Operating Companies. Within Shell Expro the Drilling in the Nineties concept has been broadened to incorporate the drilling, well services and equipment supply areas with the resultant name change to Well Engineering in the Nineties.

This strategy has now been implemented and has substantially changed the modus operandi between operator and contractor with a strong emphasis on long term partnership relations with lead contractors.

This paper summarises the strategy that has been developed, the implications of implementing this strategy; the implications to both a major operator and numerous contractor suppliers; the results to date; and the course of future partnership relations.

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