Oil and gas exploration in high-Arctic offshore locations may require floating drilling capability in the presence of sea ice due to the limited open water season and the potential for temporary pack ice intrusions during the nominal open water season. To aid in the evaluation of efficacy and reliability of potential operations in ice, ExxonMobil has focused on documentation of ice interaction scenarios based on observed historical data, against which ice management strategies can be tested and evaluated. The objective is to help to manage risk during the actual drilling by identifying ahead of time, the needed suite of tools required for ice management including monitoring, forecasting, maintaining situational awareness, icebreaker fleet deployment and operational decision-making. This paper presents an actual, well-documented Beaufort Sea mid-summer ice intrusion scenario against which we evaluated different aspects of ice management support for floating drilling operations.

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