This paper describes ongoing work to tailor make an offshore intervention vessel for operations off the coast of Norway and in Svalbard waters. Operational requirements have been specified using subject matter experts from oil and shipping industries, equipment manufacturers and research organizations. A business case has been prepared for a vessel operating from a base in Northern Norway and serving two potential fields, one close to the coast of Finnmark (Goliat field) and the other one in the Olga Basin east of Svalbard. Available metocean and ice data have been collected and used for a parameter variation study of vessel characteristics. These data has also been used when selecting sea-state conditions to be used in the initial model test studies performed in MARINTEK's towing tank and ocean basin. The measured vessel response characteristics have been discussed with equipment manufacturers in an attempt to specify operational limits for key intervention tasks.
Several studies point to a future need to increased production of offshore oil and gas in the Arctic region. The newly agreed Russian - Norway delimitation line in the Barents Sea will open up for increased activities in the Norwegian part of the Barents Sea. Most of the Norwegian part of the Barents Sea has a year-around open sea condition, but in the north-eastern part there is seasonal ice up to 3–4 months of the year. Designing an intervention vessel for operating under these conditions is a challenge as it needs high operability in both open water and first year ice.
MARINTEK started work to describe a research and development project for an Arctic construction and intervention vessel in early 2008. A project proposal was approved by Research Council of Norway in June 2008 and the project started September that year. Project partners were:
STX Europe (now STX OSV Design)
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Aker Arctic Technology
As shown in Figure 1 there is a number of design considerations for an arctic construction and intervention vessel. It has to be a stable working platform during intervention work in open seas, have low operational emissions during transit and operation, have sheltered working spaces to allow operations in the winter season and must be able to perform specific intervention operations in first year ice with a thickness up to 0.7.