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 ha,, 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.


Shell Expro are currently operating 13 Northern North Sea platform rigs and 10 mobile drilling rigs. It is expected that some 480 million will be spent during 1993 on the drilling, completion, testing, stimulation and workover of exploration, appraisal and development wells. This represents approximately 30% per annum of all Shell Expro's Capital and operating expenditures.


The Well Engineering organisation mission is to provide high quality wells for Exploration, Appraisal and Development of Shell Expro's hydrocarbon reserves. Wells that must reach their objective in a safe, environmentally conscious and optimum economical manner and continue to serve their purpose with minimum intervention.

The WIN 90's strategy required to meet this mission has the following key objectives:

To minimise the technical costs per BOE from existing fields and to allow the development of marginal fields.

by - a greater effectiveness, efficiency and profitability,

by - the Operator concentrating on core business,

and - developing Operator/Contractor cooperation,

and - achieving continuous quality improvement.

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