Fridtjof Nansen Institute
Arctic resource development
News from DNV to the maritime, oil and gas industries
No 01 2013
Fridtjof Nansen Institute
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www.dnv.com Bringing independent knowledge to the Arctic agenda.................................................................. 4 Ten years of research into the effects of discharges from the petroleum industry.............. 8 Students develop oil spill contingency concept for the Arctic.............................................. 12 BARENTS 2020 ................................................................... 14 Ulstein and Polarcus: Designing for Arctic exploration.......................... 16 DNV enhances its oil spill services.......................... 20 Arctic resource development: Risks and responsible management........................................... 23 The effect on marine design and ice‑structure interaction................................ 26
Arctic resource development
arctic update We welcome your thoughts! Arctic Update is published by DNV Maritime and Oil & Gas, Market Communications. Please direct any enquiries to DNVUpdates@dnv.com Editorial committee: Per Olav Moslet, Program Director, Arctic Technology Magne A. Røe, Editor Svein Inge Leirgulen, Associate Editor Design and layout: Coormedia.com 1302-060 Print: Coormedia.com, 300/03-2013 Cover photo: ©Getty Images ISSN: 1891-9669 Online edition of Arctic Update: www.dnv.com/arcticupdate
DNV launches a design framework for floating structures in ice........................................ 28
DNV (Det Norske Veritas AS) NO-1322 Høvik, Norway Tel: +47 67 57 99 00 Fax: +47 67 57 99 11
Strong business case for research investments in the Arctic.......................................... 30
© Det Norske Veritas AS www.dnv.com
The Arctic at a Crossroads: North Meets East.... 32
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The Arctic – a region of opportunity and interest
ice sheet and thinner ice are resulting in eas‑ ier access to the Arctic Ocean and coastal areas. Achieving safe opera‑ tions in the Arctic is more demanding than in, for example, the North Sea, where oil and gas have been pro‑ duced since the 1970s in some of the world’s most challenging conditions. In the Arctic, the condi‑ tions vary significantly from region to region. Some parts of the Arctic are extremely tough. Low temperatures and long periods of darkness
create a demanding working environment for personnel and also affect the material prop‑ erties and operation of equipment. These harsh conditions can reduce the functionality and availability of safety bar‑ riers unless properly managed. The increase in activ‑ ity levels expected in the decades ahead calls for international coop‑ eration to reduce the likelihood of accidents, further strengthen the capacity and ability to execute effective search
and rescue operations and further mitigate the effects of oil spills. At DNV, we want to take an active role to ensure that an increase in industrial activity has a strong focus on safe‑ guarding life, property and the environment. Harmonised regulations and standards along with continuous development of competence and tech‑ nologies adapted to the varying Arctic conditions are the way forward to achieve acceptable risk levels and agreement to operate in the Arctic in the long term.
Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen DNV COO Knut.Orbeck-Nilssen@dnv.com
The Arctic may contain 20% of the world’s undiscovered hydro‑ carbon resources. Of these resources, 84% are believed to be off‑ shore, mostly in waters less than 500 metres deep. Although yet undiscovered, these resources drive a sig‑ nificant interest in more industrial activity in the Arctic. Other industries see opportunities too, extracting rare earth minerals, harvesting the rich fish resources and accommodating the growing tourism business. The shrinking
Glacier lagoon at Vatnajøkull national park, Iceland
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Fridtjof Nansen Institute
The Fridtjof Nansen Institute:
Bringing independent knowledge to the Arctic agenda What a place to have an international and highly influential research institution focusing on the Arctic and High North. The Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI), which is located in beautiful surroundings at Polhøgda on the outskirts of Oslo, was the home and place of work of famous Norwegian explorer and scientist Fridtjof Nansen from 1901 to 1930. Text: Aage Enghaug, DNV
The property is not intended to be a museum, but is to be used for the good of mankind as a place for work and stud‑ ies, preferably on issues close to Fridtjof Nansen’s heart, such as oceanography, polar studies and research of importance to international cooperation. His old study in the tower building has been left as it was when he was alive. “It is with respect for his life and work that we as a research institution are trying to keep Polhøgda in such a condition as to make it a worthy memorial to Fridtjof Nansen’s name, life and contributions to society,” explains Leiv Lunde, Director of the Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI). The Fridtjof Nansen Institute The institute has for decades been engaged in research on the management of resources in an international perspec‑ tive and international environmental cooperation. Management of the oceans, including governance and legal aspects, is a highly topical area where FNI also claims authority and expertise. Dilemma creates a new dynamic The Arctic dilemma is global warming and meltdown on the one hand and the oppor‑ tunities of easier access and energy on
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the other. This dilemma creates not only a new dynamic, but also the potential for conflicts as well as protracted and ineffec‑ tive political and industrial dialogues. Envi‑ ronmental management is probably the most challenging area. The environment is vulnerable, and oil and gas operations represent substantial risk management challenges that will have to be addressed as part of the necessary social licence to operate. The melting Arctic also reminds the world of the need to address the threat of global warming more vigorously than before. New at the helm Leiv Lunde is new at the helm of the FNI, but he is not alone. More than forty people work at the institute, among them about thirty researchers, all dedicated to the legacy of Fridtjof Nansen as well as the challenges of modern geo-politics. Lunde has returned to the place where his career began when he wrote his master’s thesis as a young student. In addition to his research back‑ ground, he has hands-on experience from international politics as Norway’s Deputy Foreign Minister from 1997 to 2000. Pride and enthusiasm He demon‑ strates both pride and enthusiasm as we
walk around the premises. Our discussion is about knowledge and the significance of research and knowledge as a basis for policy-making. “I feel inspired and moti‑ vated to provide independent analysis and knowledge and thus contribute to decision-making frameworks for governments, industry and other stakeholders,” he says. FNI and DNV Our visit to Polhøgda is triggered by the fact that the Fridtjof Nans‑ en Institute and DNV have joined forces to write a report entitled ‘Arctic Resource Development: Risks and Responsible Management’. The report was published during the ONS Summit: Geopolitics of Energy in Stavanger and should represent an excellent basis for discussion, dialogue and hopefully decision-making. As a research institution, FNI brings to this cooperation a long tradition of stud‑ ies into the management of resources in the Arctic, including a broad and diversi‑ fied network within the climate change, Russia studies and foreign policy areas. DNV, on its part, provides technology, risk management and relevant industry experi‑ ence from its operations, supported by global market positions in the maritime and oil and gas industries. As a team, they
FrIDtjoF NANseN INstItute
“there are many incentives for cooperation, which make the conflict potential manageable.” leiv lunde, Director of the fridtjof Nansen institute
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Fridtjof Nansen Institute
represent complementary expertise when navigating issues related to risk, the envi‑ ronment and politics in the Arctic. “We’re close enough to be able to work effectively together, and at the same time genuinely interested and dependent on each other,” says Lunde. A region of great promise and paradox The report provides structured and analytical information on important areas, and points to some principles and arguments for how to move forward and what should be developed and studied more closely. There is a need to establish a social and environmental licence to
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operate in the Arctic and also to involve and engage the maritime and oil and gas industries. This is an ongoing process, but it will hopefully be more focused on and vitalised in the years to come. “When it comes to the Arctic, we need to understand and acknowledge the complex‑ ity that it represents and not make easy gen‑ eralisations. As it says in the FNI and DNV report, the Arctic is a region of great prom‑ ise and great paradox,” explains Lunde. Exploding interest Interest in the Arctic has exploded over the past five years, driven by business and economic scenarios as well as climate change. The
Arctic is perceived as an important source of future hydrocarbon supplies and at the same time there is an interest in finding new sea routes between the east and west. The geopolitical interest in the region, as one of the world’s last frontiers, is building up, not only from the EU, but also from China, Japan, Korea and India, mainly due to the economic growth of Asian countries. Their interest in Arc‑ tic resources and transport routes is an extension of their rapid integration in the global economy. This interest is welcome to members of the Arctic Council too, as long as the new players acknowledge the rules laid down in international law.
FrIDtjoF NANseN INstItute
The arcTic couNcil – aN imPorTaNT Vehicle Potential conflicts in the Arctic may be spillovers from other areas, explains lunde. “There are many incen‑ tives for cooperation, which make the con‑ flict potential manageable,” he says. “The Arctic council is an important vehicle for policy‑making and dialogues among the member countries, and proactive initiatives to involve observers and other stakeholders will be instrumental in the successful and responsible management of the Arctic and its resources.” iNTeresTiNg commoNaliTies in a broader perspective, there are some
interesting commonalities between Fridtjof nansen as an explorer and humanitarian and the nature of the current Arctic dia‑ logues and discussions. while Fridtjof nansen was driven by the quest to explore the nature of the Arctic and high north, countries and industries are today explor‑ ing opportunities to secure the energy supply as well as finding and establishing new methods of sustainable transportation along the northeast Passage.
fridtjof Nansen’s workplace
“when it comes to the arctic, we need to understand and acknowledge the complexity that it represents and not make easy generalisations.”
to the Arctic agenda should ensure that policy‑making as well as strategies and decisions are founded on independent and reliable knowledge. There is a strong interdependence among the different players and progress will have to be a very cooperative venture, balancing the needs of business and society, with scientific and technological developments as key input.
eNgaged aNd oPTimisTic in spite of the dilemmas and complexities involved, Fni director leiv lunde is optimistic. The scientific and analytical contributions
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Ten years of research into the effects of discharges from the petroleum industry The Research Council of Norway (RCN) PROOF programme, later the PROOFNY sub-programme under the Oceans and Coastal Areas programme, has shown that current petroleum discharges have a range of negative biological effects on individual marine fish and invertebrates. The main impression is that the effects are local and short term, and that there is little risk of severe long-term environmental harm. It has not yet been possible to empirically link effects on individuals to effects on populations and ecosystems. The most promising tool for predicting whether or not the discharges are likely to have long-term impacts seems to be risk assessment in combination with numerical modelling and environmental monitoring. Text: Torgeir Bakke (NIVA), Jarle Klungsøyr (IMR), Steinar Sanni (IRIS)
In 2002, the Research Council of Norway (RCN) initiated a research programme entitled ‘Long-term effects of discharges to sea from petroleum-related activities’ (PROOF) to clarify whether operational and unintended discharges from petrole‑ um-related activity resulted in long-term, negative impacts on the marine ecosystem. PROOF was later continued as an RCNNorwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF) funded sub-programme (PROOFNY) under the RCN Oceans and Coastal Areas programme. Over these ten years, more than 65 projects have been established, resulting so far in 110 publications and reports. These have been summarised in a review article now prepared for publication.
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The main focus of PROOF/PROOFNY has been on the effects of operational discharges, primarily of produced water, which are today the main source of oil and other contaminants from the offshore industry in the shelf ecosystem. PROOF/ PROOFNY has shown that produced water can cause a number of negative effects that may have consequences for the health, functions and reproduction of individual fish and invertebrates. Among these are effects on survival, reproduction capacity, growth, tissue and cell damage, genetic disturbance, oxidative stress, and disrupted patterns of tissue proteins, lipids and other molecular groups. The research has also provided new and improved methods for measuring and monitoring biological
responses. One continuing challenge is that the ecological significance of the effects seen in single organisms remains unclear since such effects cannot yet with confidence be linked to consequences for populations and communities. The main impression from PROOF/PROOFNY is nonetheless that the risk of long-term envi‑ ronmental harm as a result of produced water discharges is moderate. The sensitivity of sediment fauna to contaminants dispersed from older, oilpolluted drill cuttings deposited on the sea floor around offshore installations has also been studied. The no-effect limits of key contaminants of the sediment-living fauna have been estimated and seem to be
Winter sunset from the beach at Utakliev in Lofoten Islands, Arctic Norway
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in line with the quality standards currently used by the Norwegian oil industry. Sedi‑ ment monitoring has reduced the concern about long-term and widespread effects of older piles of cuttings. Sublethal effects that can be linked to discharges have been found in haddock near older oilfields in the North Sea, but it is not clear whether this is due to contact with cuttings or to produced water. Studies on the present discharges of more benign waste from water-based drilling have shown that these may also have nega‑ tive effects on sediment conditions and exposed individual bottom organisms, but the effects seem strongly limited in time and space. This agrees with the results of the environmental monitoring. Recently initiated PROOFNY projects are con‑ cerned with the possible effects of drilling on coral reefs and sponge communities in colder and deeper waters, but few results have been reported so far. It has been shown that deep-water corals can tolerate smothering to a certain extent and do in fact grow on the legs of drilling platforms, whereas we know very little about the effects on sponges. Petroleum development in the Arctic region is in its infancy, but PROOFNY has improved our knowledge about how discharges from the industry may affect Arctic marine organisms. There is no indi‑ cation that Arctic organisms are generally more vulnerable to petrogenic toxicants than organisms elsewhere on the conti‑ nental shelf. However, the sensitivity of individual species is only one of the fac‑ tors that determine whether the Arctic ecosystem will react to discharges in the
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same way as temperate ecosystems. Spe‑ cies sensitivity may be overshadowed by other factors that determine ecological consequences, e.g. discharge conditions, ecosystem structure, seasonal variation, dis‑ tribution of populations in time and space, and climate change. Numerical models aimed at predicting the significance of these factors in modulating the effects of the discharges are being developed under PROOF/PROOFNY, but it is still too early to assess how reliable and useful they are for predicting potential ecological effects on the Arctic environment. There is clearly a potential for the models to be used as comparative risk assessment tools in offshore chemicals and discharge man‑ agement. They should improve our under‑ standing of how improved operational practices may minimise the risk to the Arctic ecosystems and optimise the industry’s preparedness for undesirable incidents.
Ten years of research After ten years of research under PROOF/ PROOFNY, there is still uncertainty about whether or not the documented effects on single individuals and communities close to operational discharges have, or will have, ripple effects on populations and communities in larger areas, and whether such effects are persistent enough to cause significant ecological damage. In principle, it can never be proved that subtle, long-term, ecological effects will not arise. Probability-based risk analysis in combination with ecosystem modelling and environmental monitoring therefore still appears to have the greatest potential for assessing with sufficient confidence whether or not the petroleum industry discharges may have wider ecological consequences.
PROOF/PROOFNY «Long-term effects of discharges from petroleum activities» PROOF: Research Council of Norway programme 2002-2005. Objective: to increase knowledge about the long-term effects of discharges to the sea from petroleum-related activities. Continued as PROOFNY from 2006. PROOFNY: Sub-programme in the Research Council of Norway’s programme entitled Oceans and Coastal Areas Common issues: • The long-term effects of operational discharges from production and drilling operations • Arctic organisms’ sensitivity to discharges of oil and chemicals from the petroleum industry, with particular emphasis on ice-covered waters • The development of new and improved methods for environmental monitoring and providing early warning of effects • The effects of acute discharges of oil, with particular emphasis on the water column, shore zone and ice-filled waters PROOF and PROOFNY included 65 projects in total during the 2002-2011 period. In addition, some projects started at the end of this period are still running. PROOF/PROOFNY is funded by the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF), the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and the Ministry of the Environment.
Fishing village Henningsvær, Lofoten, Norway
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Students develop oil spill contingency concept for the Arctic DNV’s summer students recently presented the results of seven weeks of intense and targeted work to develop a realistic and suitable concept for a year-round Arctic oil spill response system, including requirements for people, vessels and equipment. Text: Eva Halvorsen, DNV
DNV’s summer project is an annual pro‑ gramme organised during the summer months for students in their final year of a master’s degree programme. This year, ten students with varied cultural and academic backgrounds worked intensely on their project for seven weeks. The focus has been on developing an Arctic oil spill response system. “We know that the world needs more energy. And we know that much of this energy is located in unfriendly and vulnerable areas of the world. Adequate oil spill response systems are therefore of vital importance. These are complex issues that the world’s leading scientists, researchers and engineers spend considerable time and resources on. So I am impressed by what these ten students have been able to process and produce during seven short summer weeks,” says DNV’s CEO Henrik O. Madsen. Realistic and innovative Research shows that about 22–25% of the world’s undiscovered petroleum resources are located in the Arctic. However, there are many complex challenges related to
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drilling in this region. One of these is to have a system in place should an accident occur. “We presented a realistic, innova‑ tive Arctic oil spill response system we have called the AURORA – Arctic United
Three oil spill response levels The AURORA is divided into three oil spill response levels. The first response is conducted by on-site vessels. The sec‑ ond is conducted by vessels arriving from
“We presented a realistic, innovative Arctic oil spill response system we have called the AURORA – Arctic United Response Operation and Recovery Agreement – combining new ideas and fresh insight.” Project manager Martin Andestad
Response Operation and Recovery Agree‑ ment – combining new ideas and fresh insight,” explains project manager Martin Andestad. The main purpose of an oil spill response system is to limit the conse‑ quences of an oil spill, and the methods are divided into three categories; mechani‑ cal recovery, non-mechanical recovery and manual recovery.
the closest cold or warm hub. The third, which includes beach clean-up, is a large mobilisation by all hubs. The hub loca‑ tions are chosen based on the existing infrastructure along the Northern Sea Route. Warm hubs contain all the equip‑ ment included in the AURORA, while cold hubs function as extensions of the warm hubs.
The cornerstone of the concept is a multifunctional concept vessel – the Boreast – capable of performing oil spill response tasks in the Arctic.
Ten students with varied cultural and academic backgrounds worked intensely for seven weeks this summer: The men, from left: Preben Østevold, Tero Tervahartiala, Sondre Henningsgård, Peter Lindersen, Viktor Ogeman, Martin Andestad, Andreas Størdal. The women, from left: Tina Sætrum, Josefin Svensson, Melissa Denbaum.
Multifunctional concept vessel The AURORA’s cornerstone is a multi‑ functional concept vessel – the Boreast – capable of performing oil spill response tasks in the Arctic. This vessel has a num‑ ber of innovative solutions on board; an unmanned aerial vehicle, remote in-situ burning, an autonomous underwater vehi‑ cle, towable storage bladders and an ice
cleaning conveyor belt to mention a few. The AURORA further combines efficient logistics, appropriate vessels, a wide range of equipment and human expertise to create an oil spill response system with high performance and low cost. The stu‑ dents presented the concept in two sce‑ narios; a drilling rig blow-out and a cargo ship grounding. But as they said: “The
AURORA states a high level of preparation, but this might not be enough to ensure safe operations in the future. In the Arctic, there is no room for a weak link.”
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– a four year project on harmonisation of HSE standards for the Barents Sea now moves out into a Circumpolar setting. For offshore projects in the Arctic, existing regulations and technical standards are not fully prepared or updated to address the special Arctic conditions. Recognised international technical standards can be used in cold climate areas, but with significantly increased reliance on field specific functional requirements by individual operators and down the supply chain. In order to achieve an acceptable level of safety against new or expanded HSE challenges due to Arctic challenges, existing technical standards must be supplemented. Text: Leif Nesheim, DNV
With regard to maritime transportation and marine operations the Classification Societies today have complete sets of rules and notations for ships. For Arctic areas, harmonized rules are under discussion in the International Association of Classifica‑ tion Societies (IACS). The Barents 2020 project took as a basic assumption that protection of the environ‑ ment and the resources in the Barents Sea is a shared responsibility between Norway and Russia. Development of offshore oil and gas fields in the Barents Sea represents major financial and technical undertakings which require international cooperation and risk sharing between several partners. A com‑ mon set of internationally recognised safety standards adapted to Barents Sea conditions, which all parties can agree to, was and is, seen as a prerequisite for such projects to be developed. The results of this Barents 2020 project can be summarized as follows: Through identification of areas for harmo‑ nisation of HSE standards for use in Nor‑ wegian and Russian parts of the Barents Sea, the project has recommended: ■ an acceptable and uniform safety level in the oil and gas activity in the Barents Sea
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predictable HSE framework for oil and gas companies and contractors inde‑ pendent of nationality ■ an improved basis for cooperation for all involved parties in the future ■ Further, the project has identified areas where there is a need to: ■ update existing key industry standards to take into account the additional chal‑ lenges related to Arctic conditions, and ■ contribute to creating a dialogue, and share knowledge, between r elevant Norwegian, Russian and other international parties. The results of phase one of the project were documented in five “position papers”. The position papers created the basis for discussions which resulted in the special topics selected for further study in expert working groups. The position papers covered: ■ Ice and Metocean conditions in the Bar‑ ents sea, ■ Environmental Baseline for the Barents Sea, ■ Safety Baseline, Offshore, ■ Baseline on HSE Standards and ■ Baseline Maritime Transport and Operations.
The position papers provided the basis for further work in phase two, resulting in the special topics prioritised for further study in expert working groups in phase three. The Barents 2020 project in phase three has focused on potential improve‑ ments which will help prevent incidents or accidents from occurring, e.g. to reduce the probability of incidents hap‑ pening, rather than to mitigate conse‑ quences of incidents. The seven selected topics which were addressed in phase three are: 1. Recommend the basic list of interna‑ tionally recognized standards for use in the Barents Sea. 2. Recommend standards for design of stationary offshore units against ice loads in the Barents Sea. 3. Recommend standards for Risk Man‑ agement of major Hazards, such as Fires, Explosions and Blow-outs on off‑ shore drilling, production and storage units in the Barents Sea. 4. Recommend standards for evacuation and rescue of people from ships and offshore units, including standards for rescue equipment. 5. Recommend standards for working environment and safety related to
A long cold and dark Arctic winter brightened in by Northern lights. Tourists travel from all over the world to experience this.
human performance and decision mak‑ ing (Human factors) for operations in the Barents Sea. 6. Recommend safe standards for loading, unloading and ship transportation of oil in the Barents Sea – to minimize risk of accidental oil spills. 7. Recommend standards for operational emissions and discharges to air and water in the Barents Sea. The results from phase three were present‑ ed in a separate report issued in March 2010. The report provides the findings and recommendations from these seven selected topics (each topic was assigned an appointed expert group). The agreed list of 130 standards covers most aspects related to safeguarding per‑ sonnel, environment, and asset values in connection with offshore operations in the
Barents Sea. 66 can be used as is and 64 need special considerations/amendment for Barents Sea use. In phase four the project provided concrete guidance for the industry within selected priority topics. It further for‑ mally became international and included French, American, and Dutch specialists in addition to the Norwegian and Russian specialists. All in all approximately 100 specialists from 40 organizations and com‑ panies participated. The working groups from phase three were kept intact, and continued the work with renewed tasks and mandates. Their recommendations have been submitted to the relevant standardization bodies – pri‑ marily – ISO TC 67’s 19906 standard, and to the new TC67 Subcommittee 08, “Arctic Operations”. Electronic and paper copies of the
phase three and phase four reports (in English) are available on www.dnv.com/ resources/reports/barents2020.asp In phase four it was recognized by all the participants that the lessons and expe‑ riences from the work should be shared, and a Circumpolar Knowledge Sharing project was launched financially supported by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry. Tech‑ nical topics and project lessons will be shared and discussed with operators and safety regulators in all the coastal states in the far North. The first seminar already took place in Stavanger 31st May this year, while semi‑ nars in Russia and Canada are planned for the next year. Circumpolar knowledge sharing seminars are also planned later to take place in the US and in Greenland, when the national safety regulatory author‑ ity finds that the time is right.
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Ulstein and Polarcus
Ulstein and Polarcus: Designing for Arctic exploration With increased shipping and offshore activity in Arctic waters, Ulstein is leveraging its experience to design and shipbuilding to construct two ice-capable, 3D seismic vessels, both of which were delivered to Polarcus earlier this year. Text: Damien Devlin
The combination of high commodity pric‑ es, retreating ice and improved technology is driving a rise energy exploration in the Arctic. And with initial estimates by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) of around 22 percent of the world’s hydrocar‑ bons lying north of the Arctic Circle, the payoff could be big. According to Rolf Rønningen, CEO of marine geophysical company Polarcus, the region represents a significant growth opportunity for the company, despite extremely challenging conditions. “We are confident that there will be a lot of 3D seismic survey activity on both sides of the border in the years ahead,” he proclaims. Armed with this conviction and its motto of “right size, right design, right plan,” Polarcus approached Ulstein to design and build two next-generation seis‑ mic research vessels – Polarcus Adira and Amani – with ice-going capability, based on its SX124 design. It was a challenge Ulstein was prepared to accept. Lead designer for the vessels, Torill Muren, says the SX124 was a good starting point. “The basic design of the SX124 is sound and it provided the perfect basis to build on Polarcus’ vision of an ice-going vessel with environmentally sound fea‑ tures,” she says. “Balancing these two pro‑ files was the key to the project.”
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Bigger, greener and Arctic bound At 92 metres long and 21 metres wide, the SX134 is larger than its predeces‑ sor. It carries the ICE-1A* and Winterized Basic notations from DNV, and can oper‑ ate in first-year ice of up to one metre thickness without the assistance of ice‑ breakers. Muren explains that using ‘more steel’ is the key to meeting the require‑ ments of ICE-1A*. “The entire vessel is ice-reinforced with thicker ribs and skin plates and intermedi‑ ate frames,” she notes. “It also has de-icing and ice-preventing systems at critical tanks and pipelines, and the propellers, gears and thrusters are dimensioned for with‑ standing operations in ice. The escape corridors and rescue equipment are also protected against icing during Arctic operations.” Although the vessel does not actually perform seismic research in icy waters, being ice-capable enables it to take shorter transit routes, which reduces time and cuts costs. Polarcus, for example, can take the SX134s through the Northern Sea Route (NSR). It also extends the operational win‑ dow in spring and autumn. The vessel’s double hull and its bilge water cleaning system and ballast water treatment system minimise its emissions to water. It runs on marine gas oil (MGO)
with low-sulphur content and has highspecification exhaust catalysts, which clean the exhaust before it is released. The ves‑ sels are also equipped with a diesel electric propulsion system and carry the Clean Design notation from DNV. Ulstein’s celebrated X-BOW® hull design reduces fuel consumption and therefore emissions to air. In addition to its green advantages, Muren claims that Ulstein has found that the X-BOW® is highly effective on seismic vessels due to its stabilizing effect. “The X-BOW® stabilizes the foreship, which decreases the drag and pull on the seismic cables in the aft. Less movement also reduces the noise produced by the seismic equipment,” she says. Polarcus, it would seem, agrees. Each of the vessels in its seismic fleet (eight vessels) are equipped with the X-BOW® hull line design. Heavy workload In addition to the complex list of requirements for arctic shipping, the SX134 is a seismic vessel, which Muren says presents its own set of challenges. “Seismic vessels have a very demanding operational profile,” she explains. “While most other types of vessels spend much of their time in transit, seis‑ mic vessels operate at near full capacity for around 70 percent of the time.”
Ulstein and Polarcus
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Ulstein and Polarcus
The propulsion system is optimized for the heavy workload, with shaft lines and conventional propellers. This also had the added benefit of improving the vessel’s fuel efficiency. Class exemptions Due to ice class being based on the requirements of com‑ mercial vessels, Ulstein sought DNV’s assistance early in the project to apply for exemptions and get clarification on rules. “For example, there is a requirement for an ice sea chest in the cooling system,” says Muren. “We had to get exemptions from such rules because of the higher
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power of the engines. Having a single point of contact at DNV made everything go more smoothly.” Previously, hull designs were approved through DNV’s headquarters in Høvik, but since 2007, Ålesund has its own approval centre. According to DNV District Man‑ ager Fredrik Hessen, this has improved communication between DNV and its customers in the Sunnmøre region, where Ulstein is located. “The yards in Sunnmøre know the cost of waiting and so really appreciate quick service. The new approval centre has helped cut response times and improved communication with our customers
through closer contact with them. Our staff works closely with designers at an early stage in the development process so that any problems can be solved before it is too late,” he says. Collaborative, innovative, creative Designers and technical experts from Ulstein and Polarcus worked closely throughout the design phase. As CEO of Ulstein Group, Tore Ulstein, explains collaborating with the people who will operate the end product is central to the company’s shipbuilding philosophy. “If you gain insight into the operating
Ulstein and Polarcus
challenges the vessel will face, then you can produce vessels and equipment that deliver real value. Very few companies can match the level of collaboration we enjoy with our customers,” he claims. Back in 1999, Ulstein had produc‑ tion capacity but realized they needed to develop their own designs, so they began Ulstein Design. Muren says that Ulstein’s strong culture and flat organizational structure creates an environment where designers flourish. “If you have a good idea, you can openly discuss it with the management and if they like it, you can pursue it. As a designer, this gives you the space to voice ideas freely,” she says.
SX134: Next-generation design The SX134 is a 3D, 12-14-streamer seismic research vessel designed for Arctic operations. The vessel has two workboats and a MOB boat on board. The seismic operation room is located mid-ship over two decks, close to the seismic winches in the work area. It is equipped with a helideck for added safety and to ensure an efficient crew change, and is built according to IMO code of safety for Special Purpose Ships (SPS), enabling it to operate worldwide.
The ship has a towing pull of 82 tons in seismic operations and a maximum speed of 17 knots. There is permanent space for 60 persons in 32 single and 14 double cabins. Other facilities include a mess room which seats 43, day rooms, Internet café, gym and sauna, as well as a hospital, offices and a conference room. Ulstein implemented switchboards and the communication and information system ULSTEIN COM® on the vessel.
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NorWegian petro services
DNV enhances its oil spill services Both the industry and society focus heavily on reducing the environmental effects of operations in Arctic areas such as the Barents Sea. “DNV wants to contribute to this, and the acquisition of NPS in 2012 was an important strategic move in that sense. We have now combined DNV’s environmental risk and oil spill preparedness analyses with their specialist expertise in planning and organising oilspill preparedness,” says Ørbeck-Nilssen, the COO of DNV’s Division Norway, Russia and Finland.
Text: Stein ThorbjørnsEN, DNV
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NorWegian petro services
Oil and gas operations in the northern areas introduce several new risk elements; the distances are greater, the climate is cold, it is dark for a lot of the year and there may be no infrastructure. It is impor‑ tant that the safety level here is at least as good as in the conventional areas. There‑ fore, the Arctic conditions will require improved technology and new knowledge to reduce the likelihood of an accidental oil spill. In addition, efficient oil-spill pre‑ paredness solutions that reduce the conse‑ quences of a potential accident must also be put in place. “The acquisition of Norwegian Petro Services (NPS) in Norway and its
recognised expertise plays an important role in our activities in this field,” says Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen. “The former NPS is now established as a new DNV’s office in Harstad in the north of Norway with operational exper‑ tise that is important to the oil companies when planning and training for oil-spill preparedness. In addition to the portfolio of oil-spill preparedness advisory services, we provide advisory and verification ser‑ vices to the oil and gas industry. The new office also supplements our existing mari‑ time industry activities in Harstad,” says Ørbeck-Nilssen. Stein Thorbjørnsen, head of DNV’s
new Harstad office, established NPS in in 2006. “We’ve found a niche in the coastal and shoreline preparedness sector and have specialist expertise in planning and organising preparedness in addition to strategy and technology development. Our group of experts has also developed methods for analysing needs and creating user-friendly operational emergency plans. These are used by many of the Norwegian and international oil and gas operators,” he explains.
DNV’s Oil Spill Preparedness and Response services • Environmental risk analyses • Dimensioning of oil spill preparedness • Mapping of infrastructure and logistical resources • Preparing of oil spill preparedness emergency plans • Planning and carrying out exercises and skills upgrading measures
• Development and implementation of oil spill preparedness solutions • Verification of oil spill preparedness • Advisory services related to oil spill preparedness and response • Technical assistance and performance of research and development activities
Contact Stein Thorbjørnsen Head of Section Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Tel: +47 913 99 727 E-mail: Stein.Thorbjornsen@dnv.com
arctic UPDATE NO. 1 2013 |
Arctic Resource Development
22 | arctic UPDATE NO. 1 2013
Arctic Resource Development
Arctic resource development: Risks and responsible management Executive Summary
Interest in the Arctic is growing rapidly, fuelled by melting sea ice, promises of rich energy and mineral resources, prospects for shortened shipping routes and trust that enhanced scientific knowledge and maturing governance processes will ensure Arctic peace and predictability. Text: Fridtjof Nansen Institute and dnv Presented at Offshore Northern Seas, ONS, 2012, the Geopolitics of Energy.
But it is a highly diverse region that defies simple and clear-cut definitions. Variations within the Arctic are often larger than between the Arctic and bordering regions. Its four million inhabitants are spread unevenly across the region and the same goes for the extent of proven and cur‑ rently accessible natural resources, as well as environmental vulnerabilities and other resource constraints. Perceptions about promises and risk in the global domain are polarized as never before: the Arctic as an un-spoilt nature’s last frontier under acute need for protection from modern civili‑ zation’s onslaught versus the great new energy frontier that can provide energy security, fortunes and job opportunities along Arctic coasts. The Arctic is, thus, simultaneously, a region of great promise and of great paradox. The paradox is epitomized by the contradicting climate change mes‑ sage coming out of the region: Scientific results in the Arctic visualize better than anywhere else the serious nature of the threat of climate change. At the same time it is the very climate change that, by virtue of melting sea ice, opens up the Arctic for serious business. And whereas economic activities in the Arctic cause emissions of
greenhouse gases, there is, with the excep‑ tion of some elements of the black carbon phenomenon, no climate science argu‑ ment specific to the Arctic against opening up the region to economic development. The diversity and paradoxes of Arctic futures call for comprehensive but also
“The Arctic is, simultaneously, a region of great promise and of great paradox.”
well-tailored and differentiated policy responses. Some Arctic regions, like the coast off northern Norway, are already fair‑ ly mature in terms of economic develop‑ ment as well as governmental regulation, while large areas towards the North Pole remain challenges in terms of regulatory frameworks for search, rescue, evacuation, environmental clean-up, and liability for oil spill damages.
High north – low tension Despite the frozen and inaccessible nature of the bulk of Arctic land and sea, the Arctic is not an unchartered and unregulated region as implied in some requests for a new binding Arctic Ocean Treaty. On the contrary, the binding rules of the Law of the Sea and an extensive set of governance institutions weave their Arctic web year by year – and the bulk of Arctic resources are clearly and unambiguously under national jurisdictions of the Arctic five: Russia, Norway, USA, Canada and Denmark/ Greenland. The Cold War heritage of military sabre-rattling, the presence of virgin stra‑ tegic resources and a number of unsettled territorial boundaries have fuelled the notion of a potentially destabilizing race to the Arctic. However, the dominant inter‑ est of all major Arctic players is peace, stability, and the rule of law based on modern Law of the Sea principles. Pow‑ ers such as China, Japan and Korea have legitimate interests in access to shipping and high-seas water-column resources, but can be accommodated as observers in the Arctic Council and position themselves on commercial terms in shipping, energy extraction, fisheries, research and tourism.
arctic UPDATE NO. 1 2013 |
Arctic Resource Development
The main threat of military escalation lies in potential conflict overflow from other regions. This is not considered a realistic scenario at present. All animals are equal, but in the Arctic Russia is more equal than others. Russia is the largest and most important player in the Arctic, in terms of Arctic-coast length, population, resources and relevant infra‑ structure and technological equipment (icebreakers etc.). Russia participates actively in all relevant institutions dealing with Arctic issues. Its interest in stable and predictable Arctic governance was demonstrated by the 2010 delimitation deal with Norway. That agreement points the way towards feasible solutions to the remaining five territorial disputes in Arctic waters. Institutional architecture The basic governance framework for man‑ aging Arctic risk is in place, but substantive rules and means for cross-sector coordina‑ tion must keep pace with economic and technological developments in the Arctic. The UN Law of the Sea Convention codi‑ fies customary international law as regards use of the oceans and provides the basic legal framework for managing all marine activities in the Arctic. It lays down sub‑ stantive principles of management and allocates regulatory competence differently among coastal states, flag states and port states, depending on the sector in question and distance from the coast. Alongside such legally binding means for governance, a circumpolar soft-law institution, the Arctic Council, has achieved rising prominence as a highlevel forum for dealing with a range of circumpolar matters, including sustainable development and environmental protec‑ tion. Among its distinctive features is the involvement of transnational indigenous peoples’ associations as permanent par‑ ticipants entitled to full consultation with respect to Council activities. The main decision-making mechanism is a bi-annual ministerial meeting which produces nonbinding declarations that provide direction for future work.
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Environmental challenges The risk of accidents involving wide dis‑ persion of hydrocarbons is the gravest environmental concern. Among possible impacts are habitat fragmentation, intro‑ duction of invasive species, and discharges of black carbon. Should an offshore acci‑ dent occur, climate and weather condi‑ tions as well as long distances are likely to hamper response action and restoration efforts. Currently available technolo‑ gies for recovery of oil from the surface perform poorly in high waves and rough weather conditions. Oil spills in and under the ice constitute a special challenge. The threat of major oil spills is also the gravest threat posed by Arctic shipping, including vessel-based tourism. The damage from oil spills hinges criti‑ cally on location and timing. Knowledge of impacts has been scant but is improving. Recent research points to small differences in the vulnerability of marine organisms to oil spills in the Arctic compared to other parts of the Norwegian continental shelf.
the dominant player. Natural conditions have improved with less ice and Russia is now providing better economic terms and greater flexibility. In terms of tonnage, destinational shipping is still most impor‑ tant; transit shipping will continue to be very small compared to the traffic that goes via Suez. The global shipping regime is sensitive to the special needs that certain vulner‑ able marine regions may have. Interrelationships between regional bodies and the IMO are crucial for obtaining global endorsement of risk-reducing standards that reflect Arctic needs, and for effective compliance measures. The Arctic Council has recently stepped up its activities in support of infrastructure development for reducing navigational risks in the Arctic and for dealing with emergencies and acci‑ dents. The Arctic states adopted in 2011 a legally binding Arctic Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Agreement. This is the first legally binding instrument to be negotiated under the Arctic Council.
Fishery resources and regulations Around ten percent of the global fisheries catch is taken in Arctic waters, including the Northeast and the Central North Atlantic. Arctic waters are thus already bountiful sources of food for Arctic and non-Arctic people alike. As pressures mount on fisheries and food sources at lower latitudes, the need for these resourc‑ es from the relatively untouched Arctic habitat is also likely to grow. Regional fisheries management bod‑ ies have developed advanced means for reducing the risks of over-exploitation. As regards fisheries compliance measures, coastal states enjoy sovereign rights of enforcement over all vessels within their EEZs. On the high seas the flag state still enjoys a near-monopoly on enforcement activities. International agreements, how‑ ever, are gradually expanding the role of other states as well.
Petroleum activities and regulations The petroleum industry has explored and produced oil and gas in Arc‑ tic areas for more than 50 years, onshore and offshore. Factors such as high energy prices, unrest in the Middle East, demand growth in Asia and the Russia–Norway delimitation agreement have led to signifi‑ cant increases in industry interest across the Arctic region. UNCLOS, the basic legal framework for offshore petroleum activities in the Arctic, grants the coastal states exclusive rights on their continental shelves, reflecting the sovereignty principle. In terms of hard law it is up to the coastal states to regulate activities, but they are obliged to protect and preserve the marine environment and take into account international standards established by competent international organizations, like the IMO. There are already numerous interna‑ tional rules and guidelines aimed at miti‑ gating the risks of Arctic petroleum opera‑ tions. The likelihood and effectiveness of detailed international regulations can
Shipping activities and regulations Trans-Arctic shipping has been limited, but is increasing rapidly. Russia is
Arctic Resource Development
“The global shipping regime is sensitive to the special needs that certain vulnerable marine regions may have.”
be questioned. Company self-regulation and cooperative ventures between govern‑ ments, industry, insurance and other stake‑ holders may become important supple‑ ments to formal governmental guidelines. Managing Arctic risk Exploring and utilizing Arctic resources would not be pos‑ sible if the requirement is that they must represent no risk. The Arctic region is, however, not uniform with respect to haz‑ ards and risks. The discourse about Arctic risks illustrates the significance of percep‑ tions and subjective judgment regarding risk, risk criteria and risk levels. Societal perceptions of risk may differ from those of industry. In general, communicating probabilities is more complicated than
describing potential consequences. The goal must be to attain sufficient knowledge so that all relevant stakeholders are able to make their decisions, weighting the downside risk against the benefit of the activities in question. Thus, more and bet‑ ter knowledge and improved communica‑ tion among stakeholders are important to bridge risk perception gaps. Enhanced harmonization and multilateral coopera‑ tion on risk-acceptance criteria is needed. For the Arctic, a performance-based system seems to be the most promising model for a well-functioning safety regime. This calls for proper knowledge and understanding of the risk factors involved, the undertaking of risk assessments, and, where appropriate, identification
of preventive and mitigating means. The operators will then have a relatively high degree of freedom to develop their own solutions, as long as proper risk manage‑ ment is ensured. Important remaining challenges require strong focus on technology development. Oil spills in ice and escape, evacuation and rescue of personnel are not managed suf‑ ficiently today, calling for a major effort to reduce the probability of incidents, to prevent accidents from happening, but also to develop systems that can handle emergencies.
arctic UPDATE NO. 1 2013 |
safe and sustainable operations
The effect on marine design and ice‑structure interaction Offshore and marine activities in the Arctic are expected to increase over the next decade. The amount of summer sea ice is shrinking, and increasing oil and gas prices are expected as a consequence of the world’s increasing energy demands. The shrinking amount of summer sea ice presents previously unexplored opportunities for transportation of goods from Europe to Asia through the Northeast Passage along Russia’s northern coastline. Text: Per Olav Moslet, DNV
Although oil and gas exploration in the Arctic is not new, the expected trends of increasing energy demand and increasing oil and gas prices have already led to a revamped focus on the remaining but sub‑ stantial hydrocarbon reserves in the Arctic. Some of these reserves have previously been considered as commercially unre‑ coverable, but there are now efforts made towards the development of new technol‑ ogy for safe and sustainable operations in the Arctic. DNV has made a strategic deci‑ sion to be part of this development, and the Arctic Research Programme has been set up to develop the necessary compe‑ tence, methods and tools through research and innovation. The Arctic environment presents chal‑ lenges for marine and offshore operations that require innovative thinking on the design of Arctic vessels and offshore struc‑ tures. The operational capabilities of tra‑ ditional vessels and offshore structures do not meet the requirements for operating in Arctic conditions. These are conditions in which the working environment can be particularly harsh: there is prolonged darkness, snow precipitation, freezing tem‑ peratures, sea ice in different forms, and ice accumulation (or icing) from sea spray droplets impacting on the structure.
26 | arctic UPDATE NO. 1 2013
With relevance to the latter issue, one of our projects aims to provide engineer‑ ing tools for predicting marine icing, as well as to consider possible mitigation measures against it. As another example, one of our projects aims to develop guide‑ lines on estimating characteristic ice loads on offshore structures. In general, there is a need for regulations and guidelines on the design and winterization of Arctic ves‑ sels and offshore structures, and our pro‑ jects are aimed at preparing DNV for the ability to provide relevant Arctic services in the very near future. As mentioned above, oil and gas explo‑ ration in the Arctic is not a new activity, and both fixed and moored floating structures have been used previously. For example, moored floating structures have been used for oil field development and production in the Beaufort Sea and off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. It is expected that floating systems concepts will also be important in future Arctic oil and gas exploration and production activities. Moored floating structures in particu‑ lar present additional design challenges over those associated with fixed structures, due to the difficulties in predicting the dynamic response under the complicated
ice-structure interaction processes. The responses of interest are not only the ves‑ sel offset due to the incoming drifting ice but also the load effects in the mooring system and in the riser system. The load effects occur due to impacts from ice features of different sizes and due to the dynamic response of the vessel/structure during the complicated ice-structure inter‑ action process. The incoming sea ice fails in completely different ways depending on the configuration of the structure, and the ice loads can be substantial. Large ice features, such as ice ridges, rubble fields, multiyear ice and icebergs present major challenges for the design of appropriate station keeping systems. Despite previous experiences with the operation of moored floating structures in ice, there is still limited knowledge about the physics of the ice-structure interaction processes and about how to formulate effective computational tools for predicting the associated vessel/struc‑ ture response and load effects. One of our projects aims to investigate suitable mathematical models for capturing the behaviour of moored floating structures in ice, with a view towards the development of predictive tools for response and load effect assessment services.
safe and sustainable operations
Oil rig, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
About us: The purpose of the Arctic Programme is twofold: 1. to support current DNV business units in dealing with Arctic issues, 2. to develop methodologies and tools for future DNV Arctic services. Our competence development is achieved through research and innovation, sponsored not only by internal funding but also by external joint industry projects in
cooperation with some of DNV’s key customers. At present, our work is concentrated on the topics of 1. understanding, predicting and mitigating marine icing of Arctic vessels and offshore structures operating in Arctic conditions, 2. predicting the response of floating structures in ice, 3. developing guidelines for the design of Arctic offshore structures in compliance with the new ISO 19906 standard.
Our group is also in the process of completing strategic research projects within the field of advanced computational mechanics, where the aim has been to explore novel ways of solving future numerical design problems.
arctic UPDATE NO. 1 2013 |
New framework design in ice
DNV launches a design framework for floating structures in ice The oil and gas industry has lacked adequate and transparent design practices for floating structures in ice-covered Arctic waters. Now, DNV and key industry players have developed an enhanced design framework for such structures, adapted from existing and established design practices used for open waters in other harsh areas. The approach represents a shift in Arctic design philosophy.
In order to ensure a common, transparent and documented approach to achieving acceptable safety levels for offshore struc‑ tures in cold-climate regions, a DNV-led joint industry project (JIP), ICESTRUCT, has since 2009 worked to develop a design‑ er-friendly and reliable framework based on the ISO 19906 Arctic Offshore Struc‑ ture standard. Per Olav Moslet, Arctic technology research programme director at DNV explains that “The governing design loads for offshore structures in Arctic areas are usually based on interaction with ice, and it is very important that these loads and their effects are treated consistently. Due to the lack of a common industry approach for floating structures in ice, it has previously been difficult for designers to establish the appropriate design loads effects.” “Because of its nature, ice can gener‑ ate considerable loads, and structures designed for Arctic operations may look different to structures in open seas. How‑ ever, ice loads and associated load effects should be treated in the same way as any other environmental load when designing a structure since, in principle, an Arctic offshore structure is no different from any other offshore structure when it comes to
28 | arctic UPDATE NO. 1 2013
Text: Svein Inge Leirgulen, dnv
Per Olav Moslet, Programme Director, Arctic Technology
assessing adequate structural strength,” he says. This has JIP has developed a method‑ ology for determining ice load effects. Rather than having a specific custommade Arctic design practice for ice loads, the methodology developed in the JIP is consistent with existing methods for deter‑ mining other environmental load effects. Consequently, the existing offshore design practice that has been used for several dec‑ ades in the North Sea and elsewhere can
be used for the design of offshore floating structures in ice. “The advantage of the new DNV frame‑ work is that the same design practice can be used irrespective of the type of struc‑ ture and environment – Arctic or open sea. That said, the nature and variability of the ice and its complex interaction with structures need to be taken into account,” Moslet says. Further advantages are: ■ A recognisable approach for offshore designers who are familiar with conven‑ tional open water design practice. ■ The designer of an Arctic offshore struc‑ ture who has no specialised knowledge of ice mechanics is provided with a basis for determining characteristic ice load effects. ■ Adaptable to all structure types. ■ The designer is not required to actually perform probabilistic analyses, since the framework provides simplified determin‑ istic solutions that take uncertainty into account. Broad industry cooperation Since 2009, the ICESTRUCT JIP has focused on developing designer-friendly methods for determining characteristic loads and load effects on fixed and floating offshore
Photo: Hans Strand
New framework design in ice
structures in conformance with the ISO 19906 standard. However, the ISO 19906 standard does not provide any guidance on the design of floating structures in ice, so the results of this JIP are considered to be a contribution to the further development of design standards and best practices in the Arctic offshore design community. The JIP has received wide industry sup‑ port and sponsorship from oil companies, yards and engineering companies, includ‑ ing Transocean, Shell, Statoil, ENI, Rep‑ sol, SBM Offshore, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Multiconsult, Keppel Offshore and Marine, Marin, Huisman Equipment and Dr. techn. Olav Olsen. In addition, valuable work-in-kind contribution have been provided by several key international universities and companies such as Prof. Ove T. Gudmestad, Prof. Karl Shkhinek, Aker Arctic and the Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA). The project ends in Decem‑ ber 2012.
Fundamental principles: Environmental design contours The frame‑ work is based on the use of environmental design contours that define a set of ice states. The designer must determine the maximum load effect arising from the con‑ tour ice states. Predetermined, tabulated factors can then be used to scale from the maximum load effect to the characteristic load effect. This is a conventional meth‑ odology used for other offshore designs, and its introduction to Arctic offshore design practices simply represents a shift in Arctic design philosophy in line with that of the rest of the offshore engineering community. Standard offshore structure design prac‑ tices build on the concepts of a character‑ istic load effect and a characteristic struc‑ tural resistance (or capacity) separated by a safety margin using safety factors, which ensure that the specific design achieves the required structural reliability. The charac‑ teristic load effect should not be exceeded
more than once during a reference period, often called the return period. The design equation takes uncertainties into account, based on results from probabilistic models of the environmental conditions and inter‑ action processes. Hence, the uncertainties are taken into account in a systematic and well-proven way, leading to a design with the desired reliability. These concepts have previously not been applied properly to the design of floating structures in ice. This is mainly because no systematic probabilistic model‑ ling has been carried out for these struc‑ tures. This is also the reason why there are few references in standards and best practices to “characteristic load effects” for floating structures in ice. Until now, there has been no industry guideline on how the designer should determine relevant charac‑ teristic ice load effects.
arctic UPDATE NO. 1 2013 |
Strong business case for research investments in the Arctic Research and innovation have played a major role in the successful development of the offshore industry on the Norwegian continental shelf, with SINTEF as a national research hub. SINTEF has traditionally operated out of Norway, but its international activities are increasing. As an example, SINTEF signed a research and development agreement with Petrobras in 2010, but has performed contract research in Brazil for more than 20 years through its subsidiary MARINTEK. Text: Aage Enghaug, dnv
SINTEF is a broad-based, multidisciplinary research institution organised within a corporate structure and with international top-level expertise in technology, medicine and the social sciences. Its ambition is to be acknowledged as the leading inde‑ pendent contract research institution in Europe. SINTEF has clients in about 60 different countries and employs a staff of 2,100 from 68 nations. More than 7,000 research projects SINTEF’s turnover in 2011 was NOK 2.8 billion, more than 90% of which came from winning open competitions for contracts for industry and the public sector and from project grants from the Research Council of Norway. About 40 per cent of the international turnover comes from the EU’s research programmes, in which SINTEF is a leading participant. Every year, SINTEF carries out more than 7,000 research projects for some 2,300 clients. “The history of the offshore industry has been one of technological break‑ throughs and step-changes, and in SIN‑ TEF we’re proud to have been part of this industrial development since the very beginning,” says Unni Steinsmo, the CEO of SINTEF since 2004. She was until recently Deputy Chair of the Research Council of Norway and a member of the European Advisory Research Board and holds a master’s degree in physical
30 | arctic UPDATE NO. 1 2013
chemistry and a PhD in materials tech‑ nology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim. Working at the edge of technological change As a research institu‑ tion, SINTEF works at the edge of techno‑ logical change and maintains a dominant position in many technological areas, such as flow assurance technology, which facili‑ tates the transportation of both oil and gas in the same pipeline, while safety and reli‑ ability, energy, materials and mechanical technology, offshore and marine structures and oil-spill response represent other areas of research and development excellence. During the past few years, the focus has been on sub-sea technology, supporting not only Statoil and the oil majors, but also a constantly growing oil service and sup‑ plier industry. A complex and demanding risk scenario The Arctic is the new frontier, representing a complex and demanding risk scenario for all involved. “One of the greatest challenges in the Arctic from a research point of view is the willingness of the government to invest in technology development and innovation,” explains Steinsmo. “The business case for such investments should be strong, when we consider the strength and financial impact
of the offshore industry that has developed in Norway during the past 40 years.” Oil spill recovery technologies are an example of an area in need of investments and new approaches. State-of-the-art prac‑ tices were demonstrated following the Macondo accident in the Gulf of Mexico, but these operations took place in a friendly climate and close to the shore and necessary resources and capacities. “We have continuously experienced advanced technology developments and break‑ throughs in the offshore industry, but in this perspective oil spill response is lagging behind. Investments have basically been funded by the industry,” says Steinsmo. Lack of investment in oil spill response “The lack of public investment is difficult to understand when confronted with the risk scenarios of oil and gas explo‑ ration in the High North. There is a need to demonstrate advanced oil spill response systems and technologies in order to meet society’s new requirements for safe and responsible operations in the High North,” says the CEO of SINTEF. MOU between SINTEF and DNV The need for more research and innova‑ tion when it comes to oil spill response is reflected in a new MOU between SINTEF and DNV. The idea is to join forces in order to enhance technology development
Iceberg beneath a stormy Antarctic sky
and capabilities in the field of oil spill response, bringing these to a new level to meet the challenges industry and govern‑ ments will face in the Arctic. Invitations to participate in joint industry projects in order to share and collaborate will be one of the mechanisms in this initiative from SINTEF and DNV. There is a long tradition of coopera‑ tion between these two organisations in the marine technology area, but this cooperation has been extended to include other areas, such as oil and gas opera‑ tions. DNV was instrumental as one of the owners when the SINTEF subsidiary MARINTEK was established in 1984. This dates back to 1939, when the Ship Model Tank in Trondheim was officially opened. MARINTEK is a research company in the SINTEF Group, delivering marine technol‑ ogy research and development services. Showcase for the sharing of knowledge and open innovation “The development of the offshore
industry in the North Sea during the past 40 years demonstrates the importance of applied research and innovation as well as of strong collaboration and networks with industries and governments,” explains Steinsmo. The history of the offshore industry in Norway is a showcase for the sharing of knowledge and open innova‑ tion. The model used and applied in Nor‑ way has been instrumental in the country’s successful development into one of the largest producers of oil and natural gas outside the Middle East, with an acknowl‑ edged global position in offshore technol‑ ogy and services, especially in deep waters and harsh environments. The Arctic represents challenges and opportunities in both a political and busi‑ ness context. “From this perspective, it’s important that we face challenges togeth‑ er. There’s a need for more dialogue and attention on many levels in the years to come. This will be the key to success as exploration and operations in the High North escalate,” continues Steinsmo.
common research agendas will have to be developed Technology for the Arctic will increasingly become more expensive and challenging, and this will require more funding and investments from governments as well as the industry. Common research agendas with interna‑ tional research institutions will have to be developed, and there will be a need for more projects and common efforts in the future, like the cooperation and sharing of knowledge between SINTEF and DNV. In her profession, Unni Steinsmo is not a believer in eureka experiences. Success is more about hard work and dedicated efforts. After the Arctic, the next fron‑ tier – which is already part of the SINTEF research agenda – is how to safely and responsibly manage unexploited ocean resources.
arctic UPDATE NO. 1 2013 |
The Arctic at a Crossroads: North Meets East In the summer of 2012 the 5th Chinese National Arctic Research Expedition (CHINARE 5) took place. From July to September, China’s sole icebreaker, R/V Xuelong, voyaged from China to Iceland covering approximately 34.545 km. Text: Egill Thor Nielsson
After departing from Qingdao, the scien‑ tists on-board Xuelong undertook com‑ prehensive environmental investigations in the Arctic and assessed Arctic shipping conditions. CHINARE 5 differed from China’s earlier Arctic expeditions (con‑ ducted in 1999, 2003, 2008 and 2010) as it marked the first time Xuelong entered and conducted scientific investigations in the Atlantic sector of the Arctic Ocean. Furthermore, it was Xuelong’s first official visit to an Arctic state (Iceland) and the first time a Chinese vessel passed through a full Arctic shipping route – sailing both the Northeast Passage (NEP – a.k.a the Northern Sea Route) and the Transpolar Passage (TPP). The scientific investigations conducted during CHINARE 5 researched the follow‑ ing: (1) physical oceanography (includ‑ ing sea ice and marine meteorology), (2) marine geology, (3) atmospheric and marine chemistry, and (4) marine biology and ecosystem – with most of the research focused on climate change. China, which is a non-Arctic state and far from the Ant‑ arctic, has in recent years identified an increased need for comprehensive scientif‑ ic investigations in the polar regions. The research has had a stronger on the Antarc‑ tic, with the first expedition taking place in 1984 and the 29th Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition currently taking place. Under the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), the Polar Research
32 | arctic UPDATE NO. 1 2013
Institute of China (PRIC) was founded in 1989 to accommodate China’s scientific engagement in the Polar areas. The insti‑ tute is located in Shanghai and operates R/V Xuelong, as well as research stations in Svalbard and in Antarctica. Among PRIC’s roles are to be the hub for China’s polar research community and provide logistic support to CHINARE (China’s National Arctic and Antarctic Research Expeditions) The Icelandic connection and cooperative efforts Egill Thor Nielsson participated in the first part of CHINARE 5 between China and Iceland. He was registered as an Icelandic par‑ ticipant, receiving sponsorships from the Icelandic Centre for Research, the Icelan‑ dic Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Climate Research Fund. During the expe‑ dition he assessed Arctic Shipping coop‑ eration possibilities between China and Iceland, produced news releases for www. chinare5.com and assisted Dr. Yang Hui‑ gen, the expedition leader of CHINARE 5 and director of PRIC, and his staff with the coordination of Xuelong’s visit to Iceland. Dr. Ingibjorg Jonsdottir, a sea-ice expert from the University of Iceland, participat‑ ed in the Iceland to China expedition. On the invitation of the Icelandic Presi‑ dent, H.E Dr. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, and government, Xuelong visited Iceland between 16th and 20th of August. During
the stay, Arctic symposiums with Icelandic scientists were held and two memoran‑ dums of understandings (MoUs) were signed between PRIC and its scientific partners in Iceland. Furthermore, open days of Xuelong were held in both Rey‑ kjavik and Akureyri attracting around 1700 visitors. The President of Iceland was invited on-board and the participants of CHINARE 5 visited Bessastadir, the presi‑ dential residence. Xuelong’s visit to Iceland took place after Chinese Premier H.E Wen Jiabao’s official visit to Iceland in April 2012, dur‑ ing which the countries’ governments signed a bilateral framework agreement on Arctic cooperation and an MoU in the field of marine and polar science and tech‑ nology. The visit underscored possibilities for Arctic and non-Arctic countries to cooperate on a wider basis, while reaffirm‑ ing a relationship the Icelandic President has hailed as an excellent example of how large and small states can work together – citing Xuelong’s voyage to Iceland as a symbol of friendship and cooperation between the two countries and a new pillar for bilateral cooperation. Natural science has been, and remains, the main focus of China’s Polar studies. However, more social issues have recently been identified as important Arctic research topics. One of the outcomes of Xuelong’s visit was an MoU between PRIC and the Icelandic Centre for Research
R/V Xuelong in the East Siberian Sea during CHINARE 5.
concerning research cooperation on Arctic issues, identifying themes such as (1) adap‑ tion to climate change and sustainable development; (2) economic cooperation between Asian and Nordic countries; (3) Arctic strategy, policy and legislation. It can prove interesting to put such focus in context with the Arctic’s predicted future importance and immediate opportunities in fields such as Arctic shipping. The Arctic’s rising importance and Arctic Shipping The Arctic’s potential future importance is well concep‑ tualized in Professor Laurence C. Smith’s book, The World in 2050, built on prin‑ ciples already being put in use by Arctic investors such as Mr. Heidar Gudjonsson. Smith predicts that the Northern rim will be the main “beneficiary” of what he
calls the four forces shaping civilization’s Northern future: (1) natural resources, (2) climate change, (3) globalization and (4) demography. These forces can already be seen in examples like climate change and technological advances that increase the accessibility to vast amounts of Arctic resources and facilitate more global trade opportunities in a region of low popula‑ tion density. One of the most relevant factors today has to do with the prospects of increased commercial Arctic shipping. The NEP along Russia’s vast Arctic coastline current‑ ly shows the most promise in this respect, while the North West Passage (NWP) and the TPP are still more problematic. The rising importance of the NEP can clearly be seen when analysing the quantity of transits going through the route. Between
2010 and 2011 the transits increased from 4 to 34 vessels, with 46 voyages in 2012. Cargo increased from 111,000 tonnes in 2010 to 820,000 in 2011 and up to 1,261,545 tonnes in 2012, according to the Centre for High North Logistics. In these last few years liquid cargo and iron ore have taken up the majority of the total tonnage transported, carried by highly ice-classed ships escorted by Russian ice‑ breakers. Noticeable landmarks have been reached in the past couple of years in the NEP. In 2011 the NEP received its largest vessel ever – the Vladimir Tikhonov – a 162,000 dwt Suezmax loaded with 120,000 mt of gas condensate. In 2012 the NEP made way for the first LNG transit from N-Europe to Asia. Despite the recent increase in Arctic shipping figures are still far from the Suez Canal statistics with
arctic UPDATE NO. 1 2013 |
President of Iceland, H.E Dr. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, and the first lady, Mrs Dorrit Moussaieff, visit R/V Xuelong in Reykjavik.
17,799 ships passing through in 2011 car‑ rying a total of 928.9 million tonnes of cargo. When assessing Arctic shipping’s feasibility it is also imperative to compare it with other logistical options such as railways. North meets East What makes Arctic shipping very interesting is the potential to connect the world’s largest economies in a more comprehensive way than ever before. It could prove extremely fruitful for those operating in ports within the Northern hemisphere to consider Arctic shipping, or at least how it can affect the shipping busi‑ ness. Arctic shipping can promise the pos‑ sibility of what might be called a “true blue ocean”, based on the blue ocean strategy. Lowering cost, saving time and decreas‑ ing CO2 emissions whilst adding value by
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opening a new market space. This would make way for a promising niche for some shipping companies as Arctic shipping could eventually transform all transporta‑ tion between the “West” and the “East”. It makes good sense for China to be interested in Arctic shipping, as the Arctic routes can shorten the length between East-Asia and Northern-Europe by around forty to sixty per cent compared to tradi‑ tional shipping routes. A Chinese research project shows that the NEP provides an estimated savings of 3,126 nautical miles on shipping between Shanghai and Rey‑ kjavik, compared to the traditional route through the Suez Canal. Xuelong’s voyage proved that Arctic shipping prospects are rising for China and consequently inter‑ est is growing worldwide. Arctic shipping cooperation opportunities are no longer
a distant future but rather presently being revealed, as the Arctic Ocean ice cap reached its new record low since measure‑ ment started. Shrinking down to 3,41 mil‑ lion sq. km. on the 16th of September in 2012 and the shipping season lasted until December in 2012. The Arctic’s future prospects Looking at the future, the world’s econom‑ ic opportunities largely point towards the North and East. Building, amongst other things, on a potential marriage of resource utilisation in the North and rising buying power in the East. This is why it is of high importance to increase understanding between the two regions and facilitate con‑ structive cooperative efforts, as they have potential to create many mutually benefi‑ cial situations. With an underlying goal of
Mr. Egill Thor Nielsson discusses Arctic Shipping with specialists at DNV’s Shanghai branch.
improving the world’s future energy, food and water security, while never forgetting the importance of respecting the natural environment we as human beings build our, and future generations, livelihood on. This is to be done under the govern‑ ance of international bodies and frame‑ works such as the Arctic Council, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), as well as on regional, national and local levels – including indigenous participation. There is however still a dire need for increased contingency planning requirements for a new age of Arctic transportation, as Alaska Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell pointed out in his presentation at the 2013 Arctic Frontiers conference held last Janu‑ ary in Tromsø.
If done properly opportunities such as Arctic shipping can offer shorter, faster, cheaper and more environmentally friendly routes between the world’s largest economies with some of the most valuable commodities available. The incentives are there, both in the form of economic gain and improvement of living standards, but in order to realize opportunities and han‑ dle challenges harmonized cooperative execution will be key.
Egill Thor Nielsson is a visiting scholar at the Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC), conducting his research within the Strategic Studies Division. He has a M.Sc. degree in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics and Politics and a M.Sc. in International Business and Marketing from the University of Iceland. Before joining PRIC in 2011, he taught at the Junior College of Akureyri and was research assistant to Professor Gisli Palsson during his undergraduate studies in Anthropology at the University of Iceland.
arctic UPDATE NO. 1 2013 |
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