Management of Arctic and Deep-Water Mega-Projects
- Michel Hourcard (Total)
- Document ID
- World Petroleum Congress
- 21st World Petroleum Congress, 15-19 June, Moscow, Russia
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2014. World Petroleum Council
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 43 since 2007
- Show more detail
Total has been working on Arctic exploration and development for more than 40 years, including recent projects in the Russian tundra -such as Kharyaga -, the Barents Sea and Canada’s Athabasca region. These are environmentally sensitive and protected areas that have extreme challenges, like very low temperatures, snow, wind and ice, as well as icebergs, permafrost and polar nights.
Strong technical skills are required to face these challenges. Total is well known for pioneering the development of sub-sea technology and deep-sea mega-projects, and it has anticipated the move into new frontiers by launching extensive R&D studies to prepare for operations in the Arctic extremes. The R&D programs aimed primarily at identifying gaps in existing technologies and proposing solutions that would allow our projects to be developed in a responsible manner with respect for the environment through a proper process of risk analysis and reduction.
For the Shtokman project, Total carried out extensive flow assurance studies for long-reach multiphase well-to-shore pipelines and designs for detachable, winterized floating production units capable of operating in Arctic conditions. For the Yamal LNG project, the focus has been on the design of ice-breaking LNG carriers, construction of an LNG plant on permafrost, HVAC reduction in an onshore winterized environment, and ice management in an Arctic LNG port.
The compelling resource potential of the Arctic must be reconciled with the need to operate responsibly under extreme conditions around sensitive ecosystems and indigenous populations. Existing, proven and safe technologies need to be adapted to the local context, and this requires reinforcing expertise and building strong partnerships, in particular with local players.
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