Abstract: Significant changes to service contracting and execution are required to optimize the new environments for well construction. Valuable lessons from Russia.

Well construction challenges for Russian oil and gas producers can be broadly grouped into two categories. Firstly those fields in new frontiers ("NF") such as the arctic and offshore, in which risk management and technological solutions are paramount. And secondly, mature fields ("MF") in which cost management and efficiency are drivers. Drawn from experience of the re-emergence and transformation of the Russian oil and gas industry over the last 10 years, this paper reviews historic and current approaches, and recommends new models for partnership between operators and service companies to improve performance and encourage investment in technology.

Specifically, it is suggested how traditional Russian approaches, revised and revamped with new structures, processes and technologies, can provide a basis to exceed benchmark drilling efficiencies in mature fields. It also suggests how an improved approach to front end planning, engineering, and collaboration, can decrease project risks in "new frontiers". Some of the lessons learned are globally applicable.

Another key conclusion is that distinct organizational cultures are required in new frontiers compared with mature fields, and that these cultures are remarkably difficult to contain within one operational entity.

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