Salym Petroleum Development (SPD), a 50/50 joint venture between Shell Salym Development and Evikhon, has been developing the Salym group of oilfields in the heartlands of Western Siberia since September 2003.

Before drilling operations started in April 2004, the Russian well construction practices, materials and drilling equipment were studied. The study lasted for about one year and involved frequent site visits to Siberia. Based on the findings a well construction strategy was developed, that is based largely on Russian well construction materials, top end Russian drilling equipment, such as the Uralmash BU 3900 and 4500 drilling rigs, and Russian Oil field services, and combines them with those Western services and equipment that offer a clear advantage on overall drilling performance. Examples are utilization of Western topdrives, solids control equipment and performance downhole motors and MWD systems.

The rigs are operating on day rate contracts, with the SPD well engineering department driving the operational and HSE performance through the strict application of the Shell Trademarked "Drilling the Limit" performance process.

After 2 years of drilling it has become clear that this carefully selected well construction strategy brought SPD best in class drilling and HSE performance.

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