Subsea Solutions for Arctic and Extreme Weather Environments
09 March, 2011
Subsea Solutions for Arctic in Extreme Weather Environments
9 March 2011 Aberdeen Branch Evening Meeting
Chairman Adrian Phillips
Excitement continues to grow around the prospects of major exploration and development in and around the arctic continental shelf. Russian gas giant Gazprom is voicing optimism about the prospects for a final investment decision this year in favour of the landmark Shtokman gas and liquefied natural gas development in the Barents Sea. The Shtokman offshore field is a joint project controlled by Gazprom with France’s Total and Norway’s Statoil as minority shareholders. The other major Russian player Rosneft is already talking to "global players" about exploration ventures in Russia’s Barents Sea and the Asian part of Russia’s Arctic waters. This follows major joint ventures signed last month to explore in the Arctic’s South Kara Sea with BP and in the Black Sea with ExxonMobil.
Glenn Lanan, Intecsea
Hydrocarbon transportation is one of the controlling requirements for offshore Arctic field development and pipelines are often required for intrafield flowlines, export to shore-based facilities or for tanker loading systems. The offshore Arctic environmental and loading conditions provide unique challenges for conventional subsea pipeline technology. INTECSEA summarised the increasing industry experience with pipeline design, construction and operation in ice covered waters and highlighted some of the remaining challenges such as optimised design for ice loadings and subsea leak detection.
Richard Carter, Aker Solutions
Following Statoil’s pioneering and record breaking subsea project, Snohvit, the next major subsea development in the same area is ENI’s Goliat. Statoil opted for a 140km "long offset", whilst ENI have chosen for an FPSO. Aker Solutions provided some insights on the reason for the decision whilst offering a perspective on the engineering challenges of the subsea solution.
Nicholas Walker, eOsphere
Satellite remote sensing can provide useful information for operators working in ice infested waters, including information about ice extent, ice type, ice motion and icebergs. Recent advances in satellite SAR technology allow additional information to be extracted for successful ice monitoring. These new capabilities include improved resolutions, improved polarimetric and radar frequency options.