In recent years, oil and gas exploration has moved further north into new areas. The oil and gas industry faces new challenges in the Arctic environment, which is very different from what the oil industry has been dealing with before. ‘Low temperatures’ and ‘ice actions’ are only a few of the keywords when it comes to challenges in the harsh Arctic environment.
The concept of offshore loading is widely used today; e.g. in the North Sea; however, there is a lack of experience when it comes to offshore loading operations in Cold climate areas like the Barents Sea, which requires additional safety barriers related to the bow loading system. In order to ensure the availability of all components related to the bow loading system during the loading operation, the system has to be winterized according to the physical environmental conditions in the operational area. However, there are always limitations when it comes to financial resources, which makes prioritizing necessary. This calls for a study of critical winterization aspects related to the bow loading system, in order to perform operations in a safe manner. It also calls for the development of a risk-based decision-making tool in the winterization design process, based on approved standards and guidelines.