Abstract

Whilst there is, potentially, large volumes of hydrocarbons yet to find on the Arctic shelf, the exploration and production of Arctic oil and gas reserves can only be performed if operations are planned, approved and operated to the highest possible environmental standards.

Enabling offshore drilling and production will often require that the operation is protected from ice above the limits set for the operation. This is often referred to as "Ice Management".

The effectiveness of the "Ice Management" sets the limits of the offshore operation. The effectiveness of the "Ice Management" is also directly correlated to the environmental foot-print of the operation.

The ice conditions at the operation site, is provided by nature. It cannot be influenced. What can be influenced is how the operation is performed.

By timely breaking of only the required ice and by doing this in the most energy efficient way the objective of protection against dangerous ice and low environmental impact is achieved.

To do this requires software and hardware, software being people and the systems that supports their decisions and hardware being the icebreakers.

By operating "real-time" with "now-casting" of weather and ice conditions and using modern technology, it is possible to determine with reasonable accuracy which ice that need to be broken. With good communication and a good management structure the icebreaking resources can be directed to deal with the threatening ice.

By using vessels with efficient propulsion and icebreaking technology, ice can be efficiently broken and with as low environmental impact as possible.

Recent operations in the high Arctic, Greenland and the Beaufort Sea, has given valuable input on how this "Green Ice Management" can be achieved. By the use of modern simulation technology it possible to train, and illustrate, the efficiency ahead of the operation.

Environmental Impacts

When looking upon different impacts it is important to analyse from where they come.

Exhaust gas emissions

Exhaust gas emissions coming from a combustion process is a combination of different factors, the efficiency of the engine, the contents in the used fuel and the way the integrated systems are used by the operator.

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