Recently the industry initiated 2 projects to address the issue of Arctic mooring systems. The first is an ABS study that includes a state of technology survey and an industry workshop for Arctic mooring systems. The ABS State of Technology Survey covers the topics of industry guidance and standards, ice loading predictions, current industry design practice, mooring hardware, and arctic operation philosophy. The ABS Industry Workshop has the objectives of providing a forum where industry experts could present their views and generate discussion, and to explore the need for a joint industry effort. At the end of the workshop, the general consensus indicated a need for a joint industry effort since the challenge is too big for any single company to meet.
The second is a JIP organized by Kwan Engineering Services and Global Maritime to address the issues identified by the ABS industry workshop. It has the objectives of developing a design and operation practice document, and providing a forum for the industry and regulators to exchange information/ideas and work together to build consensus. The JIP has 6 tasks: mooring strength design practice, disconnect and reconnect devices, mooring hardware, global ice load prediction, ice management, and mooring installation.
These studies indicate that current industry guidance and standards for mooring systems and Arctic structures are insufficient to address the design and operation of Arctic mooring systems. There are many challenging issues and disagreements to resolve. The Arctic mooring JIP initiated in 2013 has a large work scope and broad industry participation including operators, drilling contractors, designers, regulators, installation companies, and mooring component manufacturers. It is expected to produce a unified document based on rigorous investigations and consensus building, which will have a high impact on future Arctic mooring operations.