Abstract

Exploitation of the Arctic’s resources requires the mastery of the risks caused by extreme ice conditions. The design of offshore structures subjected to extreme ice conditions is a challenge for engineers since there are very few advanced numerical design tools available in the market. Especially those able to cope with any kind of structure geometry and a large variety of ice interaction & failure mechanisms.

For developments in arctic shallow water between 50m to 200m water depth it is not possible to use conventional drilling rigs as it is either too deep for fixed or too shallow for floating operations. The other possibility is to have drilling equipment on the platform such as on Prirazlomnaya but then, with a drilling campaign of 5 to 7 years this represents a significant CAPEX compared to the remaining operations time and could imperil the economics of the project.

A smart solution would be to use a MODU for full year operations in Arctic regions. Such a solution would not only place the rig into OPEX but also reduce the living quarters on the platform to the minimum strictly necessary for the operations of the platform, the drilling staff being housed on the MODU. Such a solution could reduce the weight of the platform by nearly 50%.

This paper presents how it is possible to use an Arctic class MODU such as Arcticheskaya for full year operations in ice infested water.

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