This paper discusses the planning considerations and field experience gained from drilling on the Amoco Mars Spray Ice Island. The physical environment, design and construction of the island, well program plan, logistics, environmental impact, and economics are addressed. Spray ice characteristics and the techniques which were implemented to distribute rig loads, maintain rig stability, and protect the ice material from rig associated heat sources are described. These considerations for the spray ice material impacted drilling operations throughout all phases of the project.
Encouragement for the future application of spray ice islands for exploratory drilling was gained during this operation. A substantial exploratory cost reduction compared to gravel islands or a self-contained mobile drilling unit can be achieved using spray ice islands for single well projects in appropriate ice pack and water depth environments.