The remoteness of Arctic well sites, lack of infrastructure and severe environmental conditions dictate a high level of self-sufficiency in an offshore exploration drilling project.

Chevron employs the concept of an Arctic Drilling System that, in addition to the appropriate Arctic Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU), will comprise of a number of marine vessels providing multi-functional support for drilling operations. The recent Macondo incident in the Gulf of Mexico has significantly impacted the conventional view on the multiple functionality of Arctic marine support by adding an in-field independent well containment capability that also has many functions.

This paper will look into the range of functions and tasks that are expected of muti-purpose vessels supporting an Arctic offshore exploration drilling project and will demonstrate the major considerations that need to be taken into account when compiling a highly effective marine support fleet.

The scarse supply of existing Arctic multi-support vessels versus expected industry demand will be demonstrated to emphasize the requirement for new designs and new construction.

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