The Technip Group has conducted several subsea harsh environment projects over the last fourteen years, from Terra Nova and White Rose on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland in Eastern Canada to SnØhvit in Northern Norway and is preparing for future projects such as Goliat, also Northern Norway. These projects can be considered as true stepping stones towards oil and gas development in the Arctic region.

This paper, based primarily on operational experience, will provide an overview of the challenges faced working off the coast of Eastern Canada in the Jeanne D'Arc Basin, offshore Sakhalin Island and in Northern Norway, with specific reference to experience gained on the following projects: Terra Nova; White Rose; White Rose North Amethyst Extension; Sakhalin II and SnØhvit. The lessons learned from operations in harsh environments in relatively remote locations can be used to better prepare for any future operations undertaken in the Arctic.

The Terra Nova Project, conducted during the period 1997 through 2001 was the first sub-arctic subsea mega project. It was the first to use large scale open glory hole construction for iceberg protection and the first to deploy a disconnectable riser system in a harsh environment. Following on from Terra Nova, the White Rose project was built with strong reference to lessons learned from Terra Nova. Most recently, the White Rose North Amethyst extension project has expanded the knowledge base further. Offshore Sakhalin construction operations were successfully conducted with significant sea ice coverage. Construction offshore northern Norway brings its own challenges and lessons learned, particularly with respect to project planning and logistics.

It is not necessarily the individual challenges offered by the various environmental elements that make working in such areas so demanding, but the combination of wave, current, wind, fog, ice, soils and short season make the subarctic and arctic a very unique area of the world to undertake offshore operations. In addition to the environmental challenges, Northern Norway, Eastern Canada and Sakhalin offer excellent examples of working in remote areas with a lack of significant infrastructure and a reduced supply chain to call on.

This paper provides a point of reference for both operators and contractors looking to understand possible challenges associated with producing oil and gas in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions including: logistics, equipment specifications, installation planning, wellhead protection and the associated construction challenges and operations management within an environmental sensitive area.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.