The paper proves the conditions for the transition to a new paradigm for the development of the Russian oil and gas complex. At present time, the structure of the resources base of oil and gas in Russia is fundamentally changing. This creates important conditions for the directions of innovative development. In the 21st century, the main new objects for exploration and production of oil and gas fields are: shelf in the Arctic Ocean; new undeveloped areas (Eastern Siberia and the Far East), unconventional sources of hydrocarbon (Bazhenov formation); environmental requirements and restriction. All these issues require a significant development of innovative technologies, scientific and educational base, related industries (engineering, electronics, construction, etc.). In line with the 2020 strategy, Europe has identified the main directions for sustainable development based on smart specialization, including innovation, resource efficient, greener and competitive economy. Taking into account the European experience, the paper identifies key areas of innovative development for the Russian oil and gas industry. A new paradigm should also take into account the sustainable development of oil and gas resource regions, especially enclave regions. The article uses the methods of comparative and expert analysis. Combined approach of macro-forecasting methods and the associated institutional effects was applied to justify the parameters of the paradigm shift.