Page 1


BARENTS SEA In production



sigma 6 from Rutter


Spill RECOVERY Testing time for SORS

Alaska’s NORTH SLOPE National Park search

AURORA Concept New thinking on clean up










Summer 2012

IN THIS ISSUE Features 06 ICE DETECTION Rutter Inc is a St John’s, Newfoundlandbased technology company whose sigma6 radar technology is increasingly being used to detect small icebergs in seas that might affect shipping or oil and gas operations

08 OIL SPILL US Coast Guard and Department of Defense On the cover The view of an offshore support vessel entering the Narrows of St John’s harbour from Signal Hill in Newfoundland Canada. St John’s is becoming a centre of excellence for Arctic and icetechnology

crews have successfully completed and tested oil spill recovery equipment during an annual exercise off the coast of Barrow, Alaska

10 PUMPING Wärtsilä Hamworthy’s Danish-based offshore deepwell pump business, which specialises in electrically-driven solutions, has made further in-roads in this market, particularly in the FPSO sector

12 BARENTS SEA Gas production from the Statoil-operated Snøhvit started some five years ago and oil production is online to start within the next two years from the ENI-operated Goliat field. With increasing amounts of seismic being undertaken in the area, the Barents Sea is a frontier region on the up

Cover Photo: Shutterstock

14 NORTH SLOPE US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has thrashed out a proposed plan that will allow for additional access for oil and gas development in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska

16 AURORA CONCPEPT SYSTEMS Graduate students in Norway have spent the summer working with top engineers from Norwegian classification society DNV on finding solutions to the threat of oil spills in Arctic seas

19 ICE HEATS UP International technology company PPE has developed a series of seals especially for harsh, cold weather environments

Regulars 04 NEWS At the Sakhalin III project, Russia’s gas giant Gazprom has launched construction of the production wells in the Kirinskoye gas and condensate field; the US has pumped $5m into the Arctic Council to spend on environmental projects; Italy’s ENI continues it Barents Sea adventure with a new spud; Seismic group TGS working ahead of the upcoming Greenland Licensing Round

20 EVENTS Frontier Energy’s comprehensive events listings highlights the industry’s key upstream, shipping, scientific and research conferences, to help you plan your calendar of exhibitions and events

22 CULTURE White words are used to describe the many and varied types of snow and ice by the commercial world and academia. Here we offer a brief introduction into many different terms used to describe ice and snow

24 INSIGHT With gas the current dominant hydrocarbon discovered under Arctic waters, Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director the International energy Agency, spoke at the recent World Gas conference in Kuala Lumpur providing a valuable perspective on the global gas market SUMMER 2012 01

With over 1,200 applications for cold climate projects, our experience makes the difference.

Contact us to find out more.



“As the Northwest and Northeast passages become increasingly navigable, it’s clear that the far north has changed, is changing and will change.” Editor Bruce McMichael

elcome to your second issue of Frontier Energy magazine, published at a time when curiosity for scientific knowledge for the Arctic is being added to daily by direct engineering and operational experience. Seismic data is being gathered at an increasing rate in the Barents Sea, offshore Alaska and Greenland while Shell negotiates with technology, legislators, environmentalists and the weather to begin drilling in the Arctic north of Alaska. The move from land-based Arctic exploration and production to offshore will increasingly happen at a faster rate. The oil industry is not the only business seeking out new opportunities in the far north. A significant supply of minerals are already mined in the far north including zinc in Alaska, gold in Canada, iron ore in Sweden and nickel from Russia. Geologists report that there is far more yet to be discovered, and a warming tundra will see farmers and agriculturists becoming active. Military exercises are frequently undertaken and countries as diverse as China, Belgium and India are sending scientific research vessels into the region. As the Northwest and Northeast passages become increasingly navigable, it’s clear that the far north has changed, is changing and will change. In this issue we include a look at the developments in the Barents Sea with the focus on Snöhvit and Goliat. We’ll also look at how radar is being utilised in the vital work of spotting icebergs, growlers or bergy bits that could seriously damage offshore supply vessels, seismic vessels or drill ships if they collided. Also in our Culture section, we have a brief introduction into the different words used to describe snow and ice and the bits of ice commonly known as icebergs, ice floes, or in the language of Greenland – Siku, sea ice. To keep up with the news, subscribe to our popular weekly eNewsletter (see the advertisement on page 5) or on Twitter at #frontierenergy.

Arctic Technology Conference Frontier Energy is pleased to announce that we are an official supporting publication for this year’s OTC’s prestigious Arctic Technology Conference (ATC). Held in December in Houston, Texas this highly focused, international event will address the latest technologies and innovative practices needed for exploration and production in the Arctic. Created to keep energy professionals on the cutting edge of exploring and producing in the world’s harshest climate, ATC will convene 3-5 December in at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston with chair John Hogg, MGM Energy Corporation. Conference organizers have announced an addition to the plenary session line up including Jostein Mykletun, Consul General of Norway, who will present on The Norwegian Arctic: Outlook and Perspectives. Mykletun joins an already impressive line-up of plenary session speakers that includes Michael Borrell, SVP Continental Europe and Central Asia, Total
E&P, speaking on ‘The Total Adventure in the Arctic’ and Robert Blaauw, Senior Advisor Global Arctic Theme, Shell who will consider the topic of ‘2012 — A Pivotal Year for Arctic Oil and Gas’. We look forward to meeting many of you in Houston this December for the 2012 Arctic Technology Conference. For further information about the ATC event visit

Publisher Stephen Habermel Design & Layout In The Shed Ltd © 2012 All material strictly copyright, all rights to editorial content are reserved. Reproduction without permission from the publisher is prohibited. The views expressed in Frontier Energy do not always represent those of the publishers. Every care is taken in compiling the contents, but the publishers assume no responsibility for any damage, loss. The publisher, Renaissance Media, assumes no responsibility, or liability for unsolicited material, nor responsibility for the content of any advertisement, particularly infringements of copyrights, trademarks, intellectual property rights and patents, nor liability for misrepresentations, false or misleading statements and illustrations. These are the sole responsibility of the advertiser.

Bruce McMichael, Editor

Subscriptions are free to qualified individuals or companies. For all others, contact Frontier Energy at Printed in the UK. ISSN 2047-3702 Printer Circle Services Group Published by Renaissance Media Ltd, c/o Eagle House, 25 Severn Street, Welshpool, Powys SY21 7AD Registered in England & Wales. Company number 5850675.


Fram is not only the Norwegian word for ‘Forward’, it is also the name of the one of the first ice-strengthened and most famous polar exploration vessels of the late 1800s and early twentieth century. It was captained by Norwegian explorer, Fridtjof Nansen, a Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Sharing his polar travel experiences with fellow adventurers and scientists, his technology innovations in equipment and clothing influenced a generation of subsequent Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. The word encapsulates what we aim to bring you with the magazine – a forward looking guide to the future of oil, gas and shipping activities in the Arctic and other ice-affected regions while keeping environmental protection and safety at the heart of operations.

Get connected!

Follow us at for the latest news and comment SUMMER 2012 03


Gazprom in Kirinskoye field

IN NUMBERS Danish estimates suggest



s part of the Sakhalin III project, Russia’s gas giant Gazprom has launched construction of the production wells in the Kirinskoye gas and condensate field located on the Sakhalin Island shelf, in the country’s far east. To date, one exploratory well is being switched to the production regime, while a new production well is planned for later this year. The Polyarnaya Zvezda (Polar Star) semi-submerged drilling rig is contracted for this work. Kirinskoye is Gazprom’s top development priority offshore Sakhalin and will serve as a gas source for consumers in Russia’s far eastern regions. For the first time ever natural gas will be produced from the Russian continental shelf by a subsea production system. Elsewhere, construction of the onshore processing facility (OPF) for gas treatment is underway. Construction and installation operations have been completed and hydro tests have started at a 139 kilometer pipeline running from the OPF to the Sakhalin main compressor station at the Sakhalin – Khabarovsk – Vladivostok gas transmission system (GTS). The OPF and the GTS are designed to receive gas not only from the Kirinskoye field, but from other fields developed as part of the Sakhalin III project.

of Arctic mineral resources lies within agreed national boundaries


islands in Canada’s

Arctic archipelago

ENI spuds in Barents Italian oil company ENI has spudded well 7220/10-1 in PL533 on the Salina prospect (formerly referred to as Pulk) in the Barents Sea. 

The well is located 54 km to the south west and on geological trend with the Skrugard and Havis discoveries. The main objective of the well is to prove the presence of hydrocarbons in the reservoir, said the partner Lundin Petroleum. Eni Norge is the operator of the prospect with a 40% stake, with partners Lundin Petroleum of Sweden which holds a 20% stake, Det Norske Oljeselskap with 20% and RWE Dea Norge (20%).

US funds Arctic Council The US has allocated up to $5million to the Arctic Council’s environmental projects. The funds will be allocated to the Arctic Council’s Project Support Instrument (PSI), which is administered by NEFCO (Nordic Environment Finance Corp). The deposit of the contributions from the United States and previously from Russia will make the fund operational. The PSI is a financial initiative that focuses on preventing pollution including abatement and elimination of release of hazardous substance such as persistent organic pollutants, mercury and mitigation of climate change. The Arctic Council includes permanent member states of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Island, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the US; permanent representations of the arctic indigenous people and observers such as France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Polyarnaya Zvezda (Polar Star) semi-submerged drilling rig

China win for Aker Arctic Finland’s Aker Arctic has been selected for conceptual and basic design of a new Polar research vessel for China. Following an order from the Canadian coast guard earlier this year for a polar icebreaker design, Aker Arctic says this is proof of the increasing interest in the Arctic areas and the need for reliable and efficient vessels. The contract value exceeds Euros 5 million ($6.2m). The polar research icebreaker will be designed to accommodate a total of 90 people and will have a length over all of about 120

Gas sales for Yamal province

meters, a maximum breadth of 22.3 m and draught of 8.5 m. The vessel will have the ability to break through 1,5 m of level ice at 2 to 3 knots speed, including multi-year ice. The vessel will be fitted with twin azimuthing propeller drives. Ice class will be PC3 and the vessel will have dual classification from China Classification Society (CCS) and Lloyds Register of Shipping (LR). The design is expected to take seven months to complete.

04 SUMMER 2012

Russian energy companies Rosneft and ITERA Group agreed a joint venture on to produce and sell gas from a northern Russia province. Rosneft got 51% in the joint venture in exchange for a 100% stake in the charter capital of Kynsko-Chaselskoye Neftegaz (which owns the license for the Kynsko-Chaselsk license block) and a cash consideration of $173.4 million. Kynsko-Chaselsk is a license block in the Krasnoselkupsk region of the Yamalo-Nenets autonomous district. The joint venture’s consolidated proved and probable (2P) reserves under international classification will total 372.4 billion cubic metres of gas and 15.7 million tonnes of liquid hydrocarbons. The JV’s forecast gas output in 2013 is approximately 13 billion cubic metres.






USING THE NSR would cut shipping distance between Rotterdam & Shanghai by Shell has spent


on its Alaska operation before drilling a well


17 different whale species There are

(including dolphins & porpoises) in the ARCTIC including the narwhal, beluga, humpback & gray

The USA paid RUSSIA $7.2m to buy ALASKA in 1867

The Arctic is named for the north polar constellation “Arktos”—Greek for “bear.” It is 14.5 million square km (5.5 million square miles)— almost exactly the same size as Antarctica – humans have lived there for 20,000 years Source: Polar Discovery; WWF: The Economist, Frontier Energy

Wave piercing contract Rolls-Royce, the international engineering giant, has signed a £10 million ($15.7m) contract with Norway’s Simon Møkster Shipping to work on wave piercing offshore vessel design and equipment package for a vessel that will go into service for oil giant Statoil in the Arctic region. The vessel is a platform supply vessel based on Ulstein’s UT776 WP design. The vessel is designed to pierce through the waves under harsh weather conditions, making it possible to keep a more constant speed, reduce the use of fuel and increase on board safety. The vessel, which will be built by Spanish shipyard Astilleros Gondan, is developed specifically for missions in the Arctic region and will be equipped to undertake oil spill recovery duties. Delivery is set for summer, 2014. Artists impression of wave piercing vessel

TGS in north-east Greenland International seismic company TGS has started an expansion project of a 2D multi-client survey covering 3,000 km in north-east Greenland in partnership with Fugro. The survey, NEG12, will enable customers to prepare for the announced Greenland Licensing Round in 2012/2013 and will be a significant addition to a data set that TGS and Fugro have been growing since 2008. With this year’s data acquisition, TGS will be able to offer approximately 7,500 km of multi-client 2D data, a large volume of reprocessed multiclient 2D data and full coverage of aeromagnetic/gravity data over

and adjacent to the basins that are included in the announced licensing round. The seismic data is being acquired by the M/V Akademik Shatskiy supported by the ice breaker M/V Viking Balder. A helicopter will monitor ice density monitoring. The survey is scheduled to complete during Q3 2012. Data processing will be performed by TGS and data will be available to clients before the 15 December application deadline of the first licensing round in these waters. 

The survey is supported by industry funding.

Juniper sails north The east coast-based US Coast Guard Cutter Juniper has sailed to the Arctic to work on safety and security issues with the Canadian navy and coast guard and Danish navy. During the deployment, Juniper will participate in various elements of Operation Nanook. The operation is in the northernmost region of the high Arctic around Baffin Island and areas off Greenland’s west coast, approximately 2,300 miles northeast of Juniper’s homeport. The exercise was being led by Canada’s Joint Task Force North, to test the ways and means in which the different services respond to incidents in the harsh Arctic environment. (See Oil Spill, page 8)


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After the huge Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 that saw hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude leak flow into Alaska’s Prince William Sound, industry was tasked with improving quick detection of oil and tracking spills and slicks. “A major problem is that as soon as a vessel approaches or enters a slick the oil disperses, making tracking and clean up difficult,” says Fraser Edison, President and CEO of Rutter Inc, a St John’s, Newfoundland-based technology company. Today, as commercial shipping ventures further north into Arctic waters in the wake of global warming, finding, tracking and cleaning up oil spills is becoming a key issue for oil and shipping companies and environmentalists. At the core of this enhanced radar capability is a proprietary radar processing and imaging technology developed by Rutter. Its sigma S6 range is a Windowsbased hardware and software product that processes and distributes radar video and 06 SUMMER 2012

Sophisticated radar can pick out small icebergs and moving objects

track data. Using multi-layered processing, sigma S6 strips out weather and other forms of clutter that can constrain conventional radar, while enhancing the radar’s ability to track very small targets and multiple objects moving at differing speeds. sigma S6’s superior target detection and tracking capabilities make it ideal for many different applications.

Make and market Rutter manufactures and markets a range of radar processing technology adapted from the well-established oil spill detection market. sigma 6 technology works to detect and manage oil sills and slicks in all weather conditions, assessing area of contamination and speed of drift. The company’s sigma S6 Ice Navigator™ is used by the oil and gas and maritime markets in all the major oil provinces and has a long-standing relationship with operators on east Canada Grand Bank’s

to spot and track potentially dangerous icebergs. “Our sigma radar products interface well with other technologies onboard vessels and in control room environments,” says Fraser. This new generation of radar is used to detect small targets in the water, which could be a man overboard, oil slick or a fast approaching pirate vessels which plague the east coast of Africa, for example. With a tracking capability of up to 1,000 targets, the sigma S6 Tracker dual-track mode can simultaneously detect and track very small, slow-speed targets and high-speed targets. This is achieved by optimising plot extraction signal processing on separate channels, thereby providing uncompromised target detection and tracking.

Floating market As the melting of the Greenland glaciers and Arctic sea ice increases, there are

Photo: iStock

The Products division division of Canada’s Rutter Inc is a fast growing part of a major Canadian corporation with multiple lines of business in high-tech sectors. Rutter Inc evolved from being the world’s largest supplier of Voyage Data Recorders (VDRs) into supplying fully integrated radar based systems under the heading sigma 6 for oil and gas exploration and production as well as security and surveillance applications, said Fraser Edison, chief executive. The company is now a key player in the growing field of oil spill detection and management using radar technology

Image: Rutter


greater numbers of icebergs and chunks of ice floating in paths of commercial shipping, seismic vessels and approaching the huge oil production platforms offshore, for example off the eastern Canada coast on the Grand Banks. Rutter’s integrated dual polarised ice navigation and detection radar will help operators distinguish between the much harder multi-year ice and first-year ice, a major challenge for vessels operating in iceinfested waters. Operating commercial vessels, or an FPSO for example, in such environments requires them to be safely navigated through treacherous waters and mariners must have access to technology that enables them to detect and differentiate between these features. Research has shown that multi-year ice responds differently to radar signals from first-year ice and the radar enhancement gives the operator the ability to make immediate and informed decisions on navigation. “With increasing commercial, marine, and oil and gas activities offshore Canada and in Arctic regions, significant benefits can be gained from improved sea ice characterization, tracking and management,” says Fraser. “Our goal with this research is to help make navigation through ice-infested waters safer and easier for the end user.” Indeed, earlier this year Rutter was awarded C$1.4 million ($1.41m) in funding from Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador under its Arctic & Harsh Environments strategic plan. The funds will be used to build and test an advanced radar system that is capable of providing enhanced ice navigation and detection. Tackling oil spills is notoriously difficult, with detection hampered by the oil being battered by wind, currents and the depth

of water. As night falls, or with the Arctic in darkness or semi-darkness for many months of the year, visual contact can quickly be lost and movement projections are difficult to get right, while satellites can only keep watch on spills for a limited time each day. Hence, the useful need to use radar technology, says Des Smith, manager, product development at Rutter. While all shipping and energy companies active in Arctic waters strive to meet no spill targets, some spillage is sadly inevitable. Operating in harsh, ice affected regions brings a whole new set of challenges. Radars need to be able to identify between the softer first-year ice and older ice, which having been through several freeze-and-melt cycles is much tougher to push an icebreaker through.

Ice navigation Rutter’s sigma 6 product line includes an ice navigation tool that enhances imaging of sea ice conditions close to a vessel, improving the ability to navigate efficiently and safely irrespective of weather conditions, and is highly effective in heavy ice conditions. The key to success for radar is processing raw data signals, with the processing algorithms written to allow the radar operator to detect and track the clutter on the sea surface including the small bits of icebergs known colloquially as ‘bergy bits’ or ‘growlers’ which can be as small as 2-3 metres in length and as up to two miles away. Sufficient detail is displayed to allow for optimised routing, enabling the ship to manoeuvre around difficult areas, saving both time and fuel while minimizing the potential for ice damage, says Des. The sigma 6 Oil Spill Detection system allows users to detect oil water using microwave radar, which is proven to be effective in detecting oil on water. sigma6 radar is currently applied on monitoring duties on installations including Canada’s east coast fields Hibernia and Terra Nova, says Des. To date, Rutter is one of only two companies in the world having met the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies (NOFO, www. compliance standard for oil spill radar detection requirements.

Oil slicks defined on Rutter sigma S6 Oil Spill Detection radar screen

X-band radar Rutter’s sigma S6 Ice Navigator™ system is designed for vessels and oil and gas exploration platforms operating in seas plagued by icebergs and sea ice which creates clutter and causes confusing results to be displayed on the radar chart. In effect, the Ice Navigator™ connects the X-band radar on the vessel in parallel to the radar display but operates separately and, if connected to the main navigational radar does not affect compliance with IMO standards. Microwave radar has been proven effective in the detection of oil on water. Detection is accomplished by distinguishing a reduced signal return where the wind-generated capillary waves on the ocean’s surface are suppressed due to the presence of oil. Based upon Rutter’s core sigma S6 radar processing and display technology, the sigma S6 Oil Spill Detection (OSD) system can identify potential oil on water slicks in poor visibility across a wide range of sea and weather conditions. The system is capable of performing a real-time moving window process over a large number of consecutive radar scans with full vessel motion compensation. This level of processing results in a welldefined area of the oil slick where there is no or very little sea clutter return. During vessel clean-up operations requiring slick delineation, the ability to detect oil slicks while moving provides significant benefit. Rutter’s OSD radar automatically detects oil slicks over a large area of operation, and is capable of auto-outlining suspected oil spills, alerting the operator with visual and audible alarms, automatically tracking oil slicks, predicting their trajectories and area of coverage. It provides continuous real-time local surveillance and can be installed either on-board a vessel or on a fixed platform. SUMMER 2012 07


Coast Guard personnel aboard Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore prepare the DESMI “Polar Bear” skimmer for an oil recovery exercise in the Arctic Ocean off the coast of Barrow, Alaska. The skimmer was deployed during the third day of the exercise, the first exercise of its kind to be held in the Arctic Ocean

US Coast Guard and Department of Defense crews have successfully completed and tested oil spill recovery equipment during an annual exercise off the coast of Barrow, Alaska


he three-day joint oil spill recovery operation was the first of its kind to be held in the Arctic Ocean and so far north. A Coast Guard Cutter named Sycamore served as the exercise platform, operating with crews from the 17th Coast Guard District Response Advisory Team, Coast Guard Pacific Strike Team, Coast Guard Research and Development Center, Navy Supervisor of Salvage, and US Northern Command. On the first day of the exercise, crewmembers aboard the cutter Sycamore deployed their onboard spilled oil recovery system. The skimming system has four main steps: concentrate the oil; skim the oil; pump oil skimmed from the water’s surface; and contain the skimmed 08 SUMMER 2012

oil in a tank. The crew of the Sycamore is required to maintain proficiency in operating the SORS (spilled oil recovery system) equipment through an annual training exercise. The second day consisted of deploying a Navy SUPSALV NOFI Current Buster 600 boom system. The system was deployed from aboard the Sycamore to evaluate the suitability of a Coast Guard buoy tender as a platform to deploy the boom. Crews deployed the DESMI “Polar Bear” skimmer on the third day of the exercise. The system is specifically designed to recover oil in pockets of

The Coast Guard chose Barrow due to its extremely remote location and limited infrastructure water trapped by ice. The Coast Guard has deployed this system previously on the Great Lakes, but this was the fist time the

pocket skimmer was deployed in the icecovered Arctic Ocean waters off Alaska. The Coast Guard chose Barrow for the exercise due to its extremely remote location and limited infrastructure. Normally oil spill equipment used aboard a Coast Guard buoy tender would be staged while the ship is moored to a pier. With the nearest pier capable of supporting the 225-foot Coast Guard cutter nearly 600 miles away, a tug and barge were dispatched from Prudhoe Bay to Barrow to serve as a staging platform for the oil spill recovery equipment. The exercise was planned to evaluate the suitability of new equipment for use in Arctic waters and to help the Coast Guard and Department of Defense understand the logistical complexities of operating successfully in remote areas of the Arctic. “This has been an outstanding opportunity to evaluate our capabilities and see how critical our coordination with federal, state, local and tribal partners will be for success in event of an actual incident,” said Lt. Cmdr. Michael

Photo: US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kelly Parker

Remote test for SORS


Two Kodiak-based MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters have recently relocated to a Barrow Airport, Alaska hangar ready to respond to any maritime search and rescue emergency. The two helicopters with supporting air, ground and communications crews were moved more than 900-miles north from Kodiak to Barrow to reduce response time in the event of an incident in the Chukchi or Beaufort Seas

Photo: U.S. Coast guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Kip Wadlow

Sarnowski, commanding officer of the Sycamore. Oil spill response operations and exercises highlight the unique capabilities of Coast

The nearest pier capable of supporting the 225-foot Coast Guard cutter was nearly 600 miles away Guard cutters and their important role in protecting maritime interests in the Arctic region. With the reduction of sea ice, and the increase in human activity in the region, cutters like Sycamore are critical to fulfilling the Coast Guard’s legal requirements in the Arctic.


FPSOs are a key market for deepwell pumps

Wärtsilä Hamworthy’s Danish-based offshore deep well pump business, which specialises in electricallydriven solutions, has made further in-roads in this market, particularly in the FPSO sector


n January, 2012 pump manufacturer Hamworthy was acquired by the industrial giant Wärtsilä Corporation, giving it access to greater R&D and service centre opportunities. Now working under the name Wärtsilä Hamworthy, the company is developing a range of deep well pump solutions to suit the demanding needs of offshore operators, including FPSO boosted by access to extra R&D and global service outlets, through its Hamworthy Svanehøj operation. These cover cargo, slop/ skimming, ballast, process, seawater lift and fire water pumping operations. Hamworthy Svanehøj’s pump systems are designed to meet the needs of various types of offshore facilities, including FPSO newbuildings and conversions, FSO/FSU and FLNG projects, fixed platforms and semi-submersible production units. “Joining with Wärtsilä has given us a number of advantages including having a service presence around the world,” says Lars Fischer, Hamworthy Svanehøj’s Offshore sales director. “We are closer to customers and can be involved in the design process from an early stage.” Electrically-driven pumping systems such as those produced by Hamworthy 10 SUMMER 2012

Svanehøj are proving increasingly popular with FPSO owners and operators. The ability to secure reduced maintenance costs and more environmentally friendly operations are amongst the factors that are driving this trend. As Lars says: “There are many advantages of using deepwell pumps with a dry installed electric motor, including critically long intervals between maintenance and having most parts of the pump that are likely to require maintenance above sea level. Furthermore, there is no risk of oil leaking into the sea, or sea water finding its way into the motor.” In cold climates, water freezing in a pump can increase in volume by up to 9%, potentially cracking the pump casing or split connecting pipes. Recent pump contracts for FPSOs for Hamworthy Svanehøj for delivery in 2013-14 have included cargo pumps for a series of four Petrobras FPSOs; an FPSO for Brazil’s OSX, with an option for seven more; and an FPSO for Dana Petroleum which is underway at SHI. In addition Hamworthy Svanehøj is to deliver seawater lift pumps for a Fred Olsen FPSO and methanol pumps for an FPSO for Italian energy company ENI. Furthermore, the company will deliver both cargo and sea water lift pumps for an FSU being built for Norwegian oil giant Statoil at Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea. The key issues for designing and using offloading pumps in the cold environments is keeping electric motors running and keeping the oil, perhaps

by selective heating, at a temperature at which is flows readily. High winds buffeting an FPSO and rough seas also impact upon the efficiency of pumps. Hamworthy Svanehøj’s offshore process and cargo pumps (OCPs) are based on its CKL and DL units, which have been upgraded to meet the specific requirements of the offshore industry. They feature an explosion proof electric motor on deck; oil lubricated transmission shaft and bearings, with oil circulation and filtration and a double mechanical seal with a liquid-filled cofferdam. An API 682 standard seal is available as an option, says the company. The pump range is suitable for liquids containing solids, abrasive liquids or aggressive chemicals and has a Mean Time Before Repair (MTBR) of 25,000 hours. Also, the company’s latest OCP units are designed to meet American Petroleum Institute (API) 610 standards. The sea water lift and fire water pumps offered to the offshore market can also be delivered to API 610 standards, and similarly offer a long MTBR of 25,000 hours. These pumps have been optimised in terms of efficiency by using radial designed impellers for smaller capacities and a semi-radial design for larger capacities. Like the cargo and process pumps, these pumps also have an explosion-proof deck motor, and feature an oil-lubricated thrust bearing arrangement as well as a wide range of sealing arrangements.

Photo: Anne-Mette Fjærli - Statoil

FPSOs pump up demand


Hammerfest LNG on the island of Melkøya

A northern

ADVENTURE With the Snøhvit project, Statoil created Europe’s first facility for liquefied natural gas (LNG), the first development in the Barents Sea, and the first major development on the Norwegian Continental Shelf with no surface installations. Production began in 2006, and the next 30 years, the Snøhvit area will deliver 5.67 billion standard cubic meters of LNG and as much as 250,000 tons of liquefied petroleum gases each year. Swiss-based industrial giant ABB is the plant’s top technology supplier


nøhvit is the first offshore over-trawable. A total of 20 wells are development in the Barents Sea, due to produce gas from the Snøhvit, and is operated by Norwegian Askeladd and Albatross fields. This energy giant Statoil. The Barents Sea output is transported to land through is the scene of increasing amounts of the 143-kilometre pipeline to landfall seismic research and exploration. No at Hammerfest. fixed or floating production units are A total of nine wells are planned currently working in the Barents Sea, on Snøhvit alone, including eight for with the huge Goliat field due on stream production and one for injecting carbon within the next three years set to be the dioxide back below ground. first (see separate story). Six of the producers and the carbon Without surface installations, Snøhvit dioxide injector were drilled during involves bringing natural gas to land 2004-05, with the remaining two for liquefaction following in 2011. and export from The Snøhvit and the first plant of Albatross wells The Snøhvit project sets its kind in Europe came on stream and the world’s in 2007. The a record for piping northernmost Askeladd part of unprocessed well stream safely liquefied natural the development over long distances gas facility. Gas is not due to come is piped to the on stream until Statoil-operated 2014-15. Hammerfest LNG plant, in the northern Construction of a planned second LNG Norwegian town of Hammerfest. train has recently been postponed due to Snøhvit’s subsea production facilities volatile market conditions and depressed stand on the seabed, in water depths of gas prices in the US. Production at the 250-345 metres, and are designed to be Hammerfest LNG plant was halted

Goliat startup delayed Operator Eni Norge has decided to postpone production start-up at Goliat field until the third quarter of 2014, as construction delays involving the production platform become apparent. The Sevan Marine-designed floating production system is being built at Hyundai Heavy Industries yard in South Korea. Goliat is expected to be the first oil field to come on stream in the Barents Sea. The Goliat field development is based on large turnkey contracts (EPC) for the supply of subsea production systems, flowlines and risers, production facility, power cable to shore, modification of the power grid in the Hammerfest area of northern Norway and a state of the art offshore production facility, including the use of innovative technologies. The estimated start-up of the Goliat field is now

12 SUMMER 2012

set to the end of 2013, around one year later than predicted in the original development and operation (PDO) plan. Most key project areas are progressing as planned, says ENI Norge. However, the development of the production facility has met challenges and increased complexity. These are mainly associated with technological innovations of the production facility. A submarine cable will bring power from the mainland to the Goliat platform, which will then be the longest of its kind in the world.
ABB is currently manufacturing the cable, to be installed in 2013. The progress of the other main activities for the development of Goliat will be maintained despite the delay of the production facility. The expected cost increase, due to the postponing of the production start-up, is

estimated to be Nok 2.5 billion ($500 million) as a result of the delay. Eni Norge has previously informed the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy of an increase of investment cost of Nok 3.7 bn. This is mainly linked to an increase in marked prices, longer delivery time for several equipment packages and increased process for raw materials due to heavy pressure in the supplier industry. The investment cost for the Goliat development is now estimated to be Nok 36.7bn. The original development cost was estimated to Nok30.5bn 2012. Eni Norge is the field operator (65%) with Statoil as its partner (35%). According to plan, Goliat will produce 170 million barrels of oil over of 15 years.


for several weeks during the summer following water ingression in the natural gas dryers.

ABB installations For the Hammerfest LNG plant, ABB provided an Industrial IT Safety and Automation System (SAS), power distribution control system, electrical and drive systems, and field instrumentation, integrated through a Profibus interface. Snøhvit is the largest subsea production to be remotely operated from a land facility-in large part, says the company. “Competitiveness is a matter of keeping your price at the most competitive level, but also demonstrating the capacity and skill set, competence, and solutions to provide us with a professional delivery,” says a Statoil executive. “We felt comfortable with ABB’s ability to meet our standards for a professional execution of the job.” In addition to its other achievements, the Snøhvit project sets a record for piping unprocessed well stream safely over long distances. The well stream flows through a 143km multi-phase pipeline from the Snøhvit Area to Melkøya island, just offshore the town of Hammerfest, where receiving, processing, storage, and shipping facilities are located. The well stream is separated and the gas cooled down to liquid form before it is shipped out in special carriers to markets in Europe and the United States. The subsea installation is remotely monitored and controlled via fibre-optic cables from the control centre at the LNG plant on Melkøya island. ABB supplied, installed, and commissioned the Safety and Automation System, which includes process and

subsea control; generator, turbine, and compressor control; process shutdown and emergency shutdown systems; a high integrity pressure protection system (HIPPS); fire and gas instruments and protection system; and the information management system. To meet the power demand, the Snøhvit plant contains a 1.65 TWh power plant with five gas turbine-driven generators of about 50 MW each. These power the large refrigeration compressors of up to 65 MW, driven by variable-speed electrical motor, that are required to liquefy gases. The hot exhaust gases from the gas turbines are used to provide heat for other parts of the process. This set-up saves energy and provides about ten additional up-time days per year due to the much higher availability of electrical drivers (as compared to gas turbine drivers). No system is more critical to the processing plant than the combined safety and automation system. The number of signals running through the Snøhvit process is enormous; the Process Control and Data Acquisition (PCDA) system has to handle more than 30,000 signals simultaneously. An unscheduled halt in production is extremely expensive. Therefore, ABB’s control systems are constructed and tested to provide the highest level of security and minimal downtime. The philosophy of process plant owners in general, and Statoil in particular, is to provide its operators with a “single window” into the plant. ABB’s 800xA Extended Automation system provides this facility and was selected for the Snøhvit project, said the company.

Photos: ABB

The Arctic Princess loading at the Melkøya facility. The quayside is currently being extended to allow two vessels to load simultaneously

Inside the control room at Hammerfest LNG

Øivind Nilsen. Vice President Snøhvit

Skrugard/Havis discovered Earlier this year, Statoil confirmed major oil and gas discoveries at Skrugard and Havis fields discovery in the Barents Sea, just north of the Snøhvit and Goliat. Drilling earlier this year confirmed total resource estimate for the Skrugard and Havis structures in the range of 400-600 million barrels of recoverable oil. Skrugard/Havis will be the northernmost field development on the Norwegian continental shelf so far. “We are very satisfied with the results of the first appraisal well on Skrugard. All findings are in line with our expectations. We are now evaluating further exploration drilling in the area,” says Knut Harald Nygård, vice president exploration Skrugard area. The discoveries are currently being appraised by Statoil and field partners Eni Norge and Petoro in Skrugard. Sevan Marine is conducting a study into whether a Sevan FPSO is suitable for the development and Aker Solutions is performing a concept study. SUMMER 2012 13




14 SUMMER 2012

Barrow, Alaska is the most northern town in the US

Reserve production There have been recent oil discoveries in the north-eastern section of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A), the area closest to existing oilfield infrastructure. ConocoPhillips and partner Anadarko Petroleum are planning development of a field called CD-5 that would provide the first-ever commercial production of oil from the reserve The preferred alternative does not specify a leasing schedule. However, at the direction of President Obama, the Bureau of Land Management last year launched a program of annual lease sales in the north-eastern portion of the reserve, considered the most feasible for development in the near future. Last year’s lease sale drew $3.6 million, much of that from ConocoPhillips, which has been the most active company in the reserve. The BLM plans another lease sale in November, 2012.

and insect relief areas for the Western Arctic Caribou Herd, Alaska’s largest herd at roughly 325,000 animals, and the 55,000 Teshekpuk Caribou herd. These herds can support over 40 northern and western Alaska Native villages. The preferred alternative allows for the possibility of pipelines and related infrastructure to be built in the park to accommodate potential future offshore oil and gas production in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The plan does not predetermine whether pipelines and infrastructure can or should be built, and any such proposal would be the subject of a comprehensive environmental analysis and a separate decision-making process, as required by law.

Photo: iStock


fter receiving more than from this remote 400,000 public comments and location, while following two days of meetings also protecting and visits with North Slope, Alaska wildlife and leaders, US Secretary of the Interior Ken subsistence Salazar has thrashed out a proposed plan rights of Alaska Natives,” Salazar said. that will allow for additional access for The 11.8 million acres that would oil and gas development in the National be available for leasing under the Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A) preferred alternative – which makes the while also protecting world-class caribou vast majority of projected oil resources herds, migratory bird habitat, uplands, in the NPR-A available for leasing – and sensitive coastal resources that are are estimated to hold approximately central to the culture and subsistence 549 million barrels of discovered and lifestyle of Alaska Natives and our undiscovered economically recoverable nation’s conservation heritage. The plan is oil and approximately 8.7 trillion cubic now being closely analysed by the public feet of discovered and undiscovered and industry. economically recoverable natural gas. “What we want to do is make sure that we don’t mess it up,” Interior Secretary Winning bids Ken Salazar said during an Anchorage Following President Obama’s order news conference. in May, 2011 that annual oil and gas Selection of a preferred alternative lease sales be conducted in the NPR-A, comes nearly four months after the BLM offered 3 million acres in a lease Bureau of Land sale last December Management that generated (BLM) issued a The plan is now being 17 winning bids draft management covering more than closely analysed by plan for the 140,000 acres. The petroleum reserve. the public and industry agency will conduct The draft plan another lease sale was the first in the NPR-A in document issued November of this year. To date, only by any government agency to outline a exploratory drilling has occurred within management strategy for the entire 23 the NPR-A, although last year, with the million acre reserve, Salazar said. A final assistance of the President’s Interagency plan is expected to be issued later this Working Group on Coordination of year, he said. Domestic Energy Development and Permitting in Alaska, permits were issued Harnessing potential to ConocoPhillips to allow for future The reserve was established by US production of oil and gas resources within president Warren Harding in 1923. It the NPR-A. was intended as a source of petroleum for The NPR-A is one of the Arctic’s the nation’s military forces. Exploration greatest migratory bird nesting and efforts there date back to the 1940s, but moulting areas and is the summer home there has never been any commercial for hundreds of thousands of waterfowl production from the vast area. and shorebirds, including critical “To harness the oil and gas potential of moulting areas for up to 30% of the the NPR-A, we need a plan that will help entire population of Pacific Flyway Brant the industry bring energy safely to market goose. The NPR-A provides calving areas


sc Fo FK V ou r 1 A IP nt 0% 22 C q 84 od uo FE e: te A D

IBC Energy proudly presents the

Exploring opportunities and developing innovative solutions for safe Arctic operations Conference - Thursday 4th & Friday 5th October 2012 • Seminar – Wednesday 3rd October 2012 Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Oslo, Norway

Join some of the sector’s leading experts in oil & gas exploration and development in Arctic regions: Johan Petter Barlindhaug Chairman of the Board North Energy

Stig-Morten Knutson Exploration Manager Nunaoil

Mikhail Gregoriev Director GECON

Jarand Rystad Managing Partner Rystad Energy

Dr Malin Torsæter Research Scientist SINTEF Petroleum Research

Henrik Hannus Vice President, Deepwater and Arctic Solutions Aker Solutions

Hans Christian Krarup Country Manager Golder Associates

Igor Kopsov SURF Russia Technip Norge

Nils Andreas Masvie VP Russia and Kazakhstan DNV

Brian Rogers Engineering Manager Subsea 7

Arctic Oil & Gas 2012 at a glance • North Energy will review the logistics challenges in the Barents Sea • Nunaoil will outline current and planned oil and gas activity offshore Greenland • Rystad Energy will present their recent research on development in the Arctic • GECON will provide an insight into development of the Russian Arctic shelf • Hear from Golder Associates on the importance and challenges of using local expertise • The National Research Council of Canada will identify the key issues relating to EER • The Centre for Marine Simulation will provide the latest research into dynamic positioning in ice • Well integrity in Arctic environments will be discussed by SINTEF Petroleum

A comprehensive one-day seminar on

Ice Management for Offshore Operations - Wednesday 3rd October



Managing sea ice and ice-bergs is one of the most challenging aspects of offshore operation in the Arctic. This highly topical seminar will address: • What are the challenges? • What must you take into consideration when managing ice?

• What advances have there been in ice management technologies and techniques? • Operational ice management in the Arctic

Organised by:

Arctic Oil & Gas Series



Scan with smartphone QR Reader App:

Registration Hotline: +44 (0)20 7017 5518 Email: For the latest programme or to register visit:




-CORE of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador on the east coast of Canada has been providing iceberg detection service for round-the-world yacht races since 2003, relying on satellitebased Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images. This method was proving to be both time-consuming and expensive, particularly when covering massive areas of ocean. A typical area where iceberg detection is required is south of Africa, between Australia and South America in the southern Indian Ocean. “That’s a horrendously large area,” exclaims Desmond Power, C-CORE’s vice president of remote sensing. “It takes hundreds of images to survey properly, and many weeks to capture and analyse the data.” A significant number of icebergs have been sighted in that region over the years, making it an area of prime interest to racers. “They want to sail as far south as possible in the Pacific,” says Power, “but they want to sail north of the icebergs.” In the fall of 2011, Power was talking to Marcel van Triest, a consultant helping to determine the Maxi Banque Populaire V’s route. “He was looking for a lowercost service”, Power recalls, which put the use of altimeter data on C-CORE’s “radar”, as Power and his colleagues were familiar with papers that had been published about this potential application. Using altimeter data to detect icebergs had been the subject of research papers for several years, dating back to a 2008 paper written by Jean Tournadre of the French Research Institute for Exploration of the Sea in Plouzane, France. 16 SUMMER 2012

Around the same time, Dr. Igor Zakharov, a senior research scientist and engineer, joined LOOKNorth, an initiative of C-CORE aimed at applying remote sensing technologies to support safe, sustainable resource development in Northern environments. His initial focus was on applying remote sensing techniques to the detection, drift, deterioration, and threat assessment of large ice masses. “We were looking at what was available for detecting icebergs,” recalls LOOKNorth Executive Director Paul Adlakha, adding that in Antarctica it can be extremely expensive to do this using satellite radar. “We were looking at what else we could use that would provide very cost-effective data.” They identified the free altimeter data from Jason- 1 and -2, which was the second impetus to develop altimeter data analysis capability.

Signature detection With support from C-CORE’s Remote Sensing team, Dr. Zakharov developed algorithms and data processing methods to detect iceberg signatures (differentiating icebergs from background noise) and to analyse data (eliminating false detections) for reliable output of results. Within a month the Altimeter Iceberg Detector (AID) had been developed and also validated using C-CORE’s extensive iceberg database. C-CORE implemented AID by midDecember, in time to monitor icebergs for the Maxi Banque Populaire V. The AID detected between 2,000 and 3,000

Icebergs mapped in Arctic from altimeter data

icebergs per month, in addition to those detected by SAR. The altimeter is a radar pulse directed straight down from a satellite, which measures the height of the sea surface and detects anomalies. The Jason-1, Jason-2, and Cryosat satellites produce a continuous stream of altimeter data, which provides information that is used to model ocean circulation and to record, and monitor sea level changes and climate change over time. This data is free, compared to a cost of $5,000 per image (500 sq. km.) for SAR data. The altimeter detects large-scale sea surface anomalies and is not as precise as SAR imagery. It cannot see growlers (less than 5 meters long at the sea surface) or berg bits (less than 15 meters long at the sea surface); rather, the altimeter can detect large clusters (greater than 300 meters) of icebergs. Altimeter radar has now been proven to detect a 300-meter long iceberg, but Dr. Zakharov believes that further work on iceberg parameters could improve upon this. Unlike SAR, the altimeter cannot differentiate between an iceberg and a ship. The advantage of using altimeter data is that large areas can be monitored quickly and inexpensively. Areas of interest can then be further investigated with SAR. “It enables us to take a bird’s eye view, and then swoop down for a closer view with SAR,” says Power. “It allows us to be more focused.” For the Volvo Ocean Race, between the end of December 2011 and beginning of March 2012, C-CORE detected 8,000 icebergs in the Southern Ocean. Dr.

Image: C-CORE

In January, when the Maxi Banque Populaire V—an ocean racing trimaran—shattered the world record for circumnavigating the globe (surpassing the old record by more than two days and clocking an average speed of 26.5 knots), another “first” was quietly being celebrated behind the scenes. This was the first time that altimeter data was used operationally to detect icebergs, writes Andrew Safer, from St John’s, Newfoundland


Zakharov estimates that 80 to 90 per cent of the work involved the use of altimeter data, which was then confirmed and further delineated with SAR.

Surveillance The cost differential between the two methods is significant. For some races, SAR coverage costs between Euro 35,000 and 75,000 ($42,000 – 91,000), compared to E5,000 for altimeter coverage, reports Power, who is quick to add that in most cases, both methods are used in combination. “We use fewer SAR images, it’s less work, and a typical quote to the company might be 10 to 15 per cent of the cost (of 100 per cent SAR images).” He adds that in some cases the altimeter provides some information where there was none before, such as the Kerguelean Islands in the Indian Ocean where SAR data is provided directly to ship surveillance services and is not publicly available. Referring to use by the oil and gas industry, Power says “the altimeter is low-cost to them, and it can be used to help focus SAR acquisitions.” Between March and May 2012, C-CORE used altimeter data in support of drilling operations in the vicinity of the Falkland Islands. Power says this was a prime opportunity to use altimeter data because

it’s a very large area that would have been costly to cover with SAR. “The altimeter figures in very nicely there,” he says. “We can use that to focus where we want to do our SAR acquisitions. That’s a really effective solution.” Altimeter data isn’t being used on the Grand Banks, says Power, where there is established infrastructure, including an aerial monitoring and surveillance program, but he adds that it’s well suited for frontier areas where there is little infrastructure, a large coverage area, and the ready use of satellites. “The high Arctic and the North figure into this pretty nicely,” he says. LOOKNorth’s Adlakha sees altimeter

data benefitting the oil industry in a number of ways. “I see us being able to support the offshore better with early indications of icebergs, ” he says, by using the altimeter data when conducting iceberg population surveys in the eastern Arctic. “There is definitely a huge hit in terms of continuous monitoring of ice island features,” he adds. Adlakha also points to competition for SAR satellite resources on the east coast of Canada due primarily to the requirements of national ice centres, adding this option can help reduce conflicts in ordering data. In addition, there is the considerable costsavings from reduced usage of SAR.

Fukushima fallout Satellite photos from the European Space Agency show huge icebergs were created when the Japanese tsunami (cause of the failure of the Fukushima nuclear plant in March 2011) hit West Antarctica’s Sulzberger Ice Shelf. This caused 125 sq km of ice to break off - or calve - from a shelf front that has remained stable for the past 46 years. These findings, by a US based team of scientists from NASA, University of Chicago and Northwestern University, were recently published in the Journal of Glaciology. (Vol. 57, No. 205 2011, p785-788). The waves generated by the 9.0 magnitude earthquakes in Japan travelled about 13,000km across the Pacific Ocean before reaching the Sulzberger shelf, causing ice to break off and float into the sea. These activities were monitored in detail using a series of these 30m resolution geo-referenced images provided by the Polar View team, in which Canada’s C-Core is a lead contractor.

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The cornerstone of the concept is a multifunctional concept vessel with an Ulstein X_Bow, the Boreast, capable of performing oil spill response tasks in the Arctic


CONCEPT SYSTEMS Graduate students have spent the summer working with top engineers from Norwegian classification society DNV on finding solutions to the threat of oil spills in Arctic seas

what these ten students have been able to process and produce during seven short summer weeks”.

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 drilling in this region. One of these is to have a system in place should an accident occur.

In the Arctic, there is no room for a weak link “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,” explains project manager Martin Andestad. The main purpose of an oil spill response system is to limit the consequences of an oil spill, and the methods are divided into three categories; mechanical recovery, non-mechanical recovery and manual recovery.

Three oil spill response levels

Ten students with varied cultural and academic backgrounds worked intensely with DNV. Back row, from left: Preben Østevold, Tero Tervahartiala, Sondre Henningsgård, Peter Lindersen, Viktor Ogeman, Martin Andestad, Andreas Størdal. Front row, from left: Tina Sætrum, Josefin Svensson, Melissa Denbaum

18 SUMMER 2012

The AURORA is divided into three oil spill response levels. The first response is conducted by on-site vessels. The second is conducted by vessels arriving from the closest cold or warm hub. The third, which includes beach clean-up, is a large mobilisation by all hubs. The hub locations are chosen based on the existing infrastructure along the Northern

Artist’s impression of the Boreast, a multifunctional concept vessel

Sea Route. Warm hubs contain all the equipment included in the AURORA, while cold hubs function as extensions of the warm hubs.

Multifunctional concept vessel The AURORA’s cornerstone is a multifunctional concept vessel – the Boreast – capable of performing oil spill response tasks in the Arctic. This vessel has a number of innovative solutions on board; an unmanned aerial vehicle, remote in-situ burning, an autonomous underwater vehicle, 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 students presented the concept in two scenarios; 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.”

Photos: DNV


group of graduate students helped develop a realistic and suitable concept for a yearround Arctic oil spill response system, after working on an intense programme with DNV and focused on including requirements for people, vessels and equipment. Results of the work were published in August. DNV’s summer project is an annual programme 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. DNV’s chief executive Henrik O. Madsen, says: “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


ICE heats up for PPE


recision Polymer Engineering (PPE), a leading manufacturer of high performance moulded elastomer seals, has launched the latest addition to their harsh environment, extreme low temperature Perlast ICE range. Following industry takeup of Perlast ICE G75LT (a 75 durometer material launched in early 2012) PPE have developed Perlast ICE G90LT; a novel 90 durometer, low temperature, perfluoroelastomer compound with exceptional explosive decompression (ED) resistance for high-pressure environments. Both Perlast ICE materials offer the chemical resistance associated with perfluoroelastomers (FFKM) combined with extremely low temperature capabilities down to -46°C (-51°F) making

PPE’s O rings can withstand harsh conditions

them suitable for use in API 6A and 6D wellhead equipment and pipeline valves. Managing director of PPE, Paul Gillyon, says “the lastest Perlast ICE G90LT material represents a quantum jump in perfluoroelastomer seal provision to the oil and gas industry. This innovative material is set to meet the challenges customers face working in demanding sub-zero environments such as Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia and Russia.” During recent trials, Perlast ICE G90LT O-ring leak testing was carried out at a pressure of 1000 psi, demonstrating that the material could provide sealing down

to -60°C (-76°F) and at 5,000 psi the material sealed down to -70°C (-94°F). “The exceptional low temperature properties of Perlast ICE have been achieved by optimising the fundamental structure of the polymer which provides consistent, reliable performance. This is a much more robust approach than simply modifying materials properties using additives,” says Gillyon. Founded in 1975, and based in Blackburn, England PPE was bought by fluid and metering technologies company IDEX Corp in 2010.



eeping the wheels of exploration and production rolling in the Arctic and other similarly harsh environments will require specialised lubricants, says Catherine Macve, Aviation, Industrial, Marine and Energy (AIME) Technology Manager at Castrol Offshore. An analytical chemist by training, Catherine is now leading lubricant developer and marketer Castrol Offshore’s push into European and African markets. The company has an eye to the long-term opportunities for increasingly sophisticated lubes needed for ice-affected and harsh environments that can resist sustained periods of very

cold temperatures without losing their lubricating properties. Environmental safety is the priority for operators in the Arctic and will require a new generation of lubes. Norway and the UK have long led the technological drive against air- and sea-borne emissions from both maritime and offshore sectors. The OSPAR Convention is the current legal instrument guiding international cooperation on the protection of the marine environment of the NorthEast Atlantic, will likely be a key starting point for future, trans-national environmental legislation for future Arctic activity, says Catherine.

• Subsea Production Control (closed loop)


• Ring-main Systems • Drill Floor Hydraulics • Anchor Wires • Thrusters

• Surface Blow-Out Preventer Control

• Equipment within Enclosed Spaces (Workshops, Accommodation, Engine Rooms etc.)

• Motion Compensation and Tensioning Systems • Cranes and Blow-Out Preventer Equipment • Deck Winches

Low Discharge from system


• Subsea Production Control (closed loop) • Subsea Blow-Out Preventer Control


Source: Castrol


• Subsea Isolation Valves • Surface Production Control • Jacking Legs


Probability of entering marine environment


Risk to the environment driving legislation

Greenfield solution Castrol Greenfield is a bespoke environmental solution for surface production and drilling which covers guidance on legislation, handling, storage, usage and disposal which is led by tightening offshore legislation and corporate social responsibility are driving companies to be more environmentally aware. Having the right lubricants for the job is part of Castrol’s role, but ensuring the supply chain is in place is vital, says Catherine. In many parts of the world, security (anti-theft) is a key issue for the supply chain; in the Arctic it is safety, ensuring that no lube spills into the local environment. At the same time, Castrol and its Canadian distributor K&D Pratt have won contracts to supply the extension of Hibernia South field extension on the Grand Banks off Newfoundland and St John’s. The contract involves supplying topside and subsea fluids and lubricants. And in Alaska, a low temperature variant of Castrol Power’s Perfecto XPG will be introduced into fleet operations working the North Slope developments. The region’s extreme cold led one customer to specify a version of XPG that could be pumped and handled in temperatures of -33degF and below. The product is being introduced into Alaska in mid-2012. SUMMER 2012 19


28 – 31 August Stavanger, Norway ONS is one of the world’s leading meeting places for the global energy industry. For almost 40 years ONS has been a broad-based international energy event, and a unique meeting place for everyone involved in the entire energy sector. Since its launch in 1974, the biennial event has been staged in Stavanger, Norway. Speakers at this year’s event include Helge Lund. President & CEO, Statoil and Ola Borten Moe, Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy.

SMM 4 – 7 September Hamburg, Germany One of the world’s largest shipping conferences, SMM focuses on shipbuilding, machinery and marine technology. For its successful introduction last year, an Offshore Dialogue event has been organised which this year is being chaired by Arctic expert Dr. Walter Kühnlein, Managing Director, SEA2ICE. Oil Spill and Ice Management in Arctic Operations 12 - 14 September Amsterdam, Netherlands This event takes as its theme ‘Prevention is Better Than Cure; Managing the Realities and Risks of Exploration and Shipping in the Arctic’ and offers delegates an opportunity to discuss developing effective risk management plan to hedge against the affects of arctic oil spill, while reviewing the latest technological advances that allow for optimal operation in these new frontiers. What next for the Arctic? September 13 - 14 Hull University, UK Arctic Governance is the subject of much current debate. This debate will only gather momentum as further oil and mineral discoveries are made in the region, and is the subject of this conference. How will climate change affect energy extraction, trade routes, fisheries, tourism and security? What should governments be aware of when they are framing policy on this important region? The Keynote Speaker is Pen Hadow, global explorer and environmental advisor. Other participants include members of the Royal Navy, the British Antarctic Survey, Greenpeace, the International Maritime Organisation, the UK Hydrographic Office and academics from Royal Holloway, the US Naval War College and the University of Lapland Arctic Centre.

Icetech 2012 17 -20 September Banff, Canada Exhibition and conference themed around the ‘Performance of Ships and Structures in Ice’, including the hot topics of global warming, geopolitics, and future expectations for the Arctic. Kioge 2012 2 – 5 October Almaty, Kazakhstan This year sees the 20th annual Kioge show which regularly attracts over 800 delegates for an event which is all about the oil and gas opportunities in the Caspian Sea and Kazakhstan. The 2012 Arctic Futures Symposium 4 – 5 October Brussels, Belgium Organised by the International Polar Foundation. To register your interest, contact events@ Arctic Oil & Gas Conference 4 - 5 October Oslo, Norway A major event aimed at exploring opportunities and developing innovative solutions for safe Arctic operations. Also, on the second day of this event, the organisers are running a seminar on Ice Management for Offshore Operations which will review the main challenges and advances in ice management technologies and techniques including integrated ice management systems and ice forecasting and detection. SPE Russian Oil and Gas Exploration 16 – 18 October Moscow, Russia This important event aims to brings together senior executives, engineers and industry professionals with leading national

20 SUMMER 2012

and international E&P companies to the Russian market to debate and invest in transfer technology. Arctic Oil Spill 29 -30 October London, UK This event will look the important issue of at developing strategies to mitigate the environmental effects of operations in the Arctic. Delegates will be able to review the work being done to prevent oil spills on ice and in ice-covered waters and find out about new methods for containing and cleaning up oil spills. arcticoilspill Deep Offshore Technology International 27 - 29 November Perth, Australia DOT showcases the most innovative technologies in the deepwater oil and gas industry, and provides a forum to discuss the specific challenges associated with hostile and ultra deepwater environments. Arctic Technology Conference 3 – 5 December Houston, Texas OTC’s Arctic Technology Conference is returning to Houston for ATC 2012. This highly focused, international conference will address the latest technologies and innovative practices needed for exploration and production in the Arctic. 2nd Arctic Region Oil & Gas Conference 26 – 27 February, 2013 Stavanger, Norway The 2nd Arctic Region Oil & Gas (AROG) conference is an international forum that offers the industry’s perspectives on regional projects in the offshore Arctic. Delegates will gain insight into Arctic projects and opportunities in the oil, gas and hydrocarbons industry in the world’s harshest climates, including Russia, Norway, Canada and Greenland.

20th Caspian Oil & Gas 4 – 7 June, 2013 The event continues to grow in importance and size, and annually serves as a meeting place for regional and international oil and gas leaders and representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Energy of Azerbaijan, and Azeri national oil company SOCAR. SPE Arctic & Extreme Environments 15 – 17 October, 2013 Moscow, Russia The event will consist of an exclusive technical conference, organised by the SPE, featuring a plenary session, technical presentations and panel sessions. The conference content will focus on current onshore Arctic operations and future challenges Alongside the technical conference, a 3-day exhibition will provide an innovative showcase of industry leading companies demonstrating the latest technology and Arctic operations. 3P Arctic, Polar, Petroleum, Potential 15 – 18 October, 2013 Stavanger, Norway Every second year the 3P Arctic Exhibition provides a great opportunity for companies to meet with petroleum geoscientists working in the High North. An important aspect of the event is that it moves around the countries bordering the Arctic. The ‘science not politics’ mantra of the conference, encourages geoscientists to make 3P Arctic part of their plans, regardless of the country in which they are operating or the event is taking place, says the organisers. A call for papers is now out.

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FPSOs Offshore Support Vessels Project Focus Alaska Border disputes Ice technology Seismic

4 Industry leaders profiled 5 Key Arctic information and data 6 Linked to our exclusive eNewsletter!

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Frontier Energy is written for the fast growing international oil and gas industry market operating in harsh, ice-affected regions with a focus on the Arctic region. Published quarterly, with a weekly eNewsletter, our readers are kept up-to-date with the latest news and analysis around the technical, commercial, political and cultural aspects of operating in ice environments, many of which are only now opening up to exploration and the search for hydrocarbons. As the world’s first magazine to be focused on this sector, Frontier Energy is essential reading and will help to keep you ahead of your competitors, informed on strategic decisions, and up to date on the latest technical and R&D issues

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a very large mass of ice, on land found close to the sea or in high mountain ranges thata moves very slowly

ice cap/sheet

a large area of ice that covers the land and sea around the North and South poles

ice floe

a large area of ice floating on the surface of the sea

ice pack

an area of small pieces of ice floating in the sea

ice shelf

a large area of ice that floats on the sea and is attached to the land

pack ice

a large mass of ice that floats in the sea


When a piece of iceberg ice melts, it makes a fizzing sound called “Bergie Seltzer”. This sound is made when the water-ice interface reaches compressed air bubbles trapped in the ice. As this happens, each bubble bursts, making a popping sound. The bubbles contain air trapped in snow layers very early in the history of the ice, that eventually got buried to a given depth (up to several kilometers) and pressurized as it transformed into firn then to glacial ice

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a very large piece of freshwater ice that has broken off a glacier and is floating freely in the sea or open water with only a small amount of it above the surface of the water

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Icebergs and other masses of ice

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Source: International Ice Patrol; Wikipedia; Frontier Energy;


The study of ice is worthy of a lifetime of scientific research and endeavour. Here we offer a quick introduction into a handful of terms used by the scientific and technical communities to help them describe the many different types of ice and snow During the recent International Polar Year, researcher Igor Krupnik wrote a paper for The Canadian Geographer magazine entitled ‘How many Eskimo words for ice?’ Published by Wiley (www., the paper was described as follows: “Inuit knowledge of the sea ice environment has been praised by generations of early explorers, arctic travellers, natural scientists, anthropologists, and popular writers. Surprisingly little has been done to systematically document and analyze the richness of the Inuit sea ice nomenclatures until quite recently’ The article went onto to review the history of Inuit (Eskimo) sea ice terminology collection, including efforts undertaken in 2005–2009 for the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007–2008. “Altogether, a database of 35 indigenous ice nomenclatures from the Bering Sea to East Greenland has been created, displaying the richness of over 1,500 terms for sea ice in all Inuit/ Eskimo languages and most regional dialects, as well as in other indigenous northern languages (Chukchi, Dena’ina Athabascan, and Sámi)”.

Inuit words Just as there is no one, single Eskimo language there is no single culture that can be defined as Eskimo. The languages are often grouped together under the term Eskimo-Aleut and each has a varying

number of words for snow. There are reputed to be hundreds of words for ice from many indigenous cultures. Many academics dispute this assessment, believing there only to be handful and the reputedly high numbers due to a so-called urban myth. The table below shows Inuit words for ice which are officially recognised in the Danish / Greenlandic dictionary. Pronunciation is another. An early reference to the way the Inuit refer to snow can be found in the introduction to Handbook of American Indian languages (1911) by linguist and anthropologist Franz Boas. He writes: “To take again the example of English, we find that the idea of water is expressed in a great variety of forms: one term serves to express water as a liquid; another one, water in the form of a large expanse (lake); others, water as running in a large body or in a small body (river and brook); still other terms express water in the form of rain, dew, wave, and foam. It is perfectly conceivable that this variety of ideas, each of which is expressed by a single independent term in English, might be expressed in other languages by derivations from the same term. Another example of the same kind, the words for snow in Eskimo, may be given. Here we find one word, aput, expressing snow on the ground; another one, qana, falling snow; a third one, piqsirpoq, drifting snow and a fourth one, qimuqsuq, a snowdrift.”

International Ice Patrol The International Ice Patrol is a US-based organization focused on monitoring the presence and movement of icebergs in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans and reporting their movements for safety purposes. It is operated by the US Coast Guard, but is funded by the 13 nations interested in transAtlantic navigation. As of 2011 the governments contributing to the International Ice Patrol include Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Poland, Spain, Sweden, UK and the US. The IIP’s mission is to monitor the iceberg danger near the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and provide the iceberg limit to the maritime community. The tragic sinking of the luxury passenger liner RMS Titanic in 1912 prompted the maritime nations with ships transiting the north Atlantic to establish an iceberg patrol in the area. Since 1913, the US Coast Guard has been tasked with the management and operation of the IIP. Except for the years of the two World Wars, the Ice Patrol has been active each ice season since 1913. During this period, the Ice Patrol has amassed an enviable safety record. with no vessel that has heeded the Ice Patrol’s published iceberg limit has collided with an iceberg. Ice Patrol and the Canadian Ice Service (CIS) issue a daily iceberg analysis under the North American Ice Service (NAIS), a collaborative agreement to unify North American ice information and inform mariners.

Greenlandic / Kalaallit



Sea ice


Current formed sea ice


Sea ice, with no snow on it


Sea ice – thin ice


Uneven, pack ice


Sea ice connected with land


Ice on a lake


Thin ice formed in a closed crack


Ice berg

Sikup qaava

Ice expanse


Ice flake


Ice foot


A sea with no ice


Sea always covered with ice

Sinaaq, sikup sinaava

Ice edge


Lump of ice – from ice on land


Lump of ice (fresh water) – found in open water


Lumps of ice frozen together


Lumps of ice – which has been blown together by wind


A layer of ice


A sea covered by a layer of ice/ice crust



Sermeq atasuinnaq

Ice shield


Ice floe

Sermeq ingerlaartoq

Ice current


Small pieces of ice / small pieces of ice on a beach


Pieces of sea ice – which are broken


Small area of open water in the sea ice


Ice break up


Ice on the river swells up

Itsarsuaq sermip sinaata Uninngavigisimasai

Ice edge lines SUMMER 2012 23


Greenland snow

INSIGHT Natural gas is on the verge of a break-through moment


he coming quarter century will be marked by the rapidly increasing share of gas in the global energy system. According to our World Energy Outlook, while oil will remain the single largest energy source, gas will supply a third of the incremental energy needs of the world economy. Another third will be renewable energy, which has a natural partnership with gas. Oil, coal, and nuclear will share the last third. There are challenges ahead. A Golden Age of Gas could bode well for energy security and for sustainability, but its coming is not guaranteed. A major challenge is the capital intensity of gas infrastructure. For each dollar spent on upstream investments, only 3 cents are needed for transport infrastructure like pipelines and tankers. Oil investment is completely dominated by upstream. For gas that figure is 40 cents per dollar of upstream investment – a dollar which is worthless without sufficient transport capacity. The costliness and difficulty of transportation brings rigidity to gas and segments markets – singling out gas among major commodities for its lack of a global market. For gas to achieve its bright future worldwide, it will need a proper global market, with adequate infrastructure and efficient pricing. Even with these infrastructure investment needs, the majority of the value chain remains upstream. Until quite recently, we would not have pondered a “Golden Age of Gas”. With conventional gas production in North America and Europe in terminal decline, and with conventional production increasingly concentrated in the CIS countries and the Middle East, many energy security problems loomed for gas. It was the advent of unconventional gas which transformed the United States from an inevitable importer to an inevitable exporter, and made Australia a major LNG player. It is unconventional gas which has laid the foundations for a Golden Age. The most important obstacle to unconventional development in many regions, including North America, is public concern about the environmental and safety aspects of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The issue is addressed in a special report entitled “Golden Rules for a Golden Age of Gas”. I should start with the good news: the technology for safe shale gas production is tried and tested - we know how to do it, and with proper management and regulation there is no reason for unacceptable risks. But the industry should not be complacent. Policy makers and industry need to work together to ensure that unconventional 24 SUMMER 2012

development follows these golden rules. Because public concerns have the potential to end the non-conventional revolution. And as our analysis shows, a scenario marked by reduced nonconventional gas production is clearly detrimental in terms of climate change - three quarters of lost gas production is replaced by coal. Let me tell you about another report that highlights further prospects for gas, and the challenges to be overcome. The Medium Term Gas Market Report 2012 aims to contribute to market transparency through a comprehensive analysis of gas supply, demand, and trade over the next five years. (It was launched at the World Gas Conference). Like our previous research, it points toward a bright future for natural gas as we see gas demand increasing at 2.7% per year to 2017 to reach above 3900 billion cubic meter, faster than the 2.4% annual growth we predicted last year. That change comes from events in North America, where not only is production booming, but low prices are supporting a progressive switch from coal to gas in the power sector, and also support growing demand in industry. Another country of special focus is China. The unabated demand growth there will continue, and China emerges as a key global player, becoming the third largest importer of both LNG and pipeline gas by 2017. While Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2012 sees growth for natural gas in most regions, low economic growth, relatively high gas prices and strong growth of renewable energies will limit demand in Europe. The report identifies future sources of supply, with most incremental gas production coming from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and North America. But in the short term, LNG markets are set to progressively tighten, as the next wave of LNG export capacity is not expected to start production before the end of 2014. The most important message in the report is the prospect of market divergence. North America, where the unconventional revolution is in full swing, will enjoy the benefits of low gas prices. At the same time, in Europe and in parts of Asia will continue to import from high-cost projects, stunting the growth of gas demand - especially in the face of stiff competition from coal. Again, climate change mitigation would be the loser.

Photo: iStock

With gas the current dominant hydrocarbon discovered under Arctic waters, we report Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director the International Energy Agency spoke at the recent World Gas conference in Kuala Lumpur providing a valuable perspective on the global gas market

NEW FRONTIERS! NEW TECHNOLOGY! NEW CHALLENGES! Frontier Energy is the world’s first magazine dedicated to the oil & gas and shipping operations in the Arctic and other challenging ice-affected regions. Each issue will offer an exclusive insight into the technologies being used to overcome the challenges of this unique environment. Supported by a weekly e-newsletter, the magazine brings readers informative special reports and up-dates on all the latest developments. • • • • • •

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Frontier Energy is the world's only international magazine dedicated to oil, gas and shhipping in harsh, ice-affected regions and environmen...

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