The oil resource potential in the Arctic/sub-Arctic regions is estimated to be as high as that 25% of the world’s yet-to-be-found. Nevertheless, operating in above-mentioned regions is more complicated and expensive than the ones in the North Sea. One of the most important aspects to consider in operating in these Arctic regions is the presence of polar lows and arctic fronts and storms. These extreme events and implications of them on the marine operations were the main focus of this study.
While the maximum polar low-sourced wind speeds for 10-, 20- and 100-year return periods are estimated to be 55.37, 60.93 and 73.52 knots, the maximum polar low-sourced wave heights for 10-, 20- and 100-year return periods are calculated as 5.71, 6.66 and 8.82 meters, respectively.
It is found out that polar lows weather conditions do not normally represent design values (survival conditions); however, they represent operational limitations.
• We conclude that operations lasting longer than 72 hours shall be designed for a rougher weather than the polar lows lead to (survival mode).
• For operations of duration less than 72 hours, the weather forecast is crucial and it must also be possible to abort the operation within a short period if one is close to a polar weather front as a polar low may appear very quickly.