The aim of this paper is to review the challenges of onshore and offshore welding operations in Arctic extreme environments in terms of:

  • Health, Safety and Environment,

  • Equipment exposure to cold environment,

  • Logistics,

  • Welding performance requirements: weld quality and productivity.

It lists the key elements to ensure successful onshore and offshore welding operations meeting both project productivity and quality targets in extreme cold areas.

Qualification of equipments either in cold chamber or in extreme cold conditions is a pre-requisite. It must be ensured that batteries, materials (metallic and non metallic), fluids (hydraulic and engine oils …) are suitable for the working conditions. Due to logistics issues, preventive maintenance on all equipments is very important before starting any operation.

Work organization is highly impacted by workers exposure to very low temperature. High performance protective clothes are helpful but harsh external conditions mainly promote the use of automated, reliable and high deposition rate welding processes.

Finally, welding quality is a major concern to avoid pipeline leak or failure in very sensitive environments with difficult access for emergency repairs. It relies on qualified welding procedures, a limited number of manual operations, narrow ranges of welding heat inputs, strictly controlled preheating conditions and real-time monitoring of welding parameters during operations.

The main contributions of this paper are:

  • to list the most important parameters to make welding operations successful in Arctic extreme environments and to reduce logistics issues.

  • to highlight the interest to use fully automated, versatile and compact (limited coating cut backs lengths) welding equipments in terms of welding crew requirements and operation time.

  • to evidence how good low temperature properties (in particular impact properties) can be achieved on QT seamless and TMACC seam welded pipes throughout optimization of welding thermal cycles.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.