The purpose of this paper is to introduce various offshore platform conceptsthat can be employed in ice infested waters, particularly shallow waters, depths varying from 65 ft to 500 ft. The paper illustrates five innovativeplatform concepts that for arctic drilling. The proposed platform conceptswould have ability to withstand extreme ice, wind, wave and temperatureconditions to extend the drilling seasons either near to winter sever storm orfor round the year operation. The platforms are designed to operate indifferent water depths in different part of the arctic by accommodating thedrilling structures and equipment on the deck. The emphasis is on theefficient of breaking, moving ice sheets around the structure and withholdingthe topside loads. Some of the platform concepts are fixed and others aredeveloped from the floating solution and the technical details are presented inthis paper.
Arctic is one of the frontier regions with rich oil and gas resources thatcould be unlocked with innovative and reliable technology. The developedtechnology should ensure minimum and or no damages to the environmental andsocial impacts. The developed technology should solve complex projects withmuch simplified solutions that are feasible, economically viable and safe. Forthis purpose a few innovative concepts are proposed in this paper with state ofthe art technologies to overcome the physical challenges. These concepts aredeveloped for drilling in arctic shallow waters from 65 ft to 500 ft. Howeverthe use of these concepts for other applications in arctic is open to theindustry. These drilling units are designed to drill wells in ice infestedwaters with ice thickness say up to 14 feet or even more in shallow waters, potentially to meet year round operational challenges in arctic. Precisely, a Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) concept is used so thatdrilling operations could move to a new location once completed in one site. The drilling rig, equipment and the supporting structure are facilitated tohave normal drilling procedures to withstand severe arctic conditions. Specialtechnologies are required for the isolation of the drifting of the platform bythe sea-ice that can damage the fixed drill strings. In order to increase theself-reliability while challenging the severe arctic conditions, the platformshould be designed with inbuilt inherent and sufficient ice breaking capacitysuch that dependency of external icebreakers could be minimized. Oil spills inarctic are cost sensitive and environmental hazards.