Feasibility study of exploration drilling options on the license area located on the Russian Arctic shelf. Development of a cost estimation mathematical model


The customer of our services is the Russian vertically integrated oil company focused as upstream as downstream. The company is the first one that started oil production in the Russian part of the Arctic shelf, and it is a holder of several offshore field development rights.

The customer posed a challenge to ensure optimal decision making under the exploration drilling on the license area located on the Russian Arctic shelf considering technical risks and economic efficiency.



The main objective for the Nafta Expert specialists was to develop the mathematical model and perform the feasibility study of the exploration drilling options on the shallow-water license area.

The following tasks were determined:

  • Estimation of capabilities and restrictions of the exploration drilling;

  • Performing analysis, alignment, and efficiency estimation of the considering technical solutions for the exploration drilling;

  • Development of the mathematical model allowing to compare different options of the exploration drilling;

  • Performing the exploration drilling options feasibility study.


  • Defining the critical parameters of the application of the technical solutions based on the developed system of the exploration drilling restrictions;

  • Defining the exploration drilling expenses list for the 5 chosen fields located on the license area;

  • Development of the exploration drilling mathematical model, substantiation of the applied methods and algorithms;

  • Nafta Expert specialists took part in the development of the shallow-water parametric exploration drilling model in terms of the advisory services, development of reference tables, and unified methods of using parameters calculation.

Based on the aforementioned exploration drilling mathematical and parametric models, the feasibility study of drilling exploration different options was performed with taking into account the following:

  • Scopes and expenditures allocation in years;

  • Time duration of drilling exploration preparation considering the mandatory approvals securing;

  • Technological risks impact (as part of the sensitivity analysis);

  • Logistics cost and specificity;

  • Potential of the new technologies scalability;

  • Other factors with impact the exploration drilling commercial efficiency.

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Based on the exploration drilling expenditures estimation and feasibility studies, the following results were achieved:

  • Comparison of the exploration drilling options considering different technologies application;

  • Definition of the optimal solution for each field on the specified license area.