Ice-Related R&D Requirements for Beaufort Sea Production Systems

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TypeTechnical Report
AbstractThis report presents the results of an assessment of ice-related R&D requirements for Beaufort Sea production systems. It has been prompted by a general renewal of interest in the opportunities that may become available for Beaufort oil and gas development projects in the future. As part of this work, key ice-related issues that arose during previous exploration activities in the Beaufort Sea are identified, along with the ice-related R&D needs developed in earlier studies. Discussions with representatives from industry, government and expertise groups have also been held as part of this work, to get their views on current ice-related uncertainties and challenges for potential Beaufort Sea developments. The key ice-related R&D needs that have been identified in this assessment fall into the following topic areas: • Design ice loads on fixed structures, including: - global loads from extreme multi-year ice feature interactions - grounded ice rubble formations & their effect on reducing design ice load levels • Vessel station-keeping in ice (e.g.: tanker loading) & related ice management aspects • Ice scour and its influence on the design of seafloor facilities • The engineering implications of climate change on Beaufort Sea ice conditions • Improved oil spill countermeasures and clean-up methods in ice • Improved EER methods for platforms operating in ice-covered waters Other important messages received as part of this R&D requirements assessment include: - a recognition that many of these ice issues are generic, and also of interest for offshore projects in other ice-covered regions of the world - a recognition that collaborative and cooperative R&D work makes good sense in some ice issue areas, and interest in possible JIP approaches from some companies - a recognition of the importance of resolving any outstanding technical issues in a timely manner, despite the view that environmental and socio-economic factors may be of more consequence for future Beaufort Sea projects - a recognition of the ice-related R&D work that has been carried out through PERD and other programs, since the downturn in interest in the Beaufort Sea seen in the late 1980s - a warning about the need to manage expectations regarding potentially high levels of industry activity in the Beaufort Sea, at least in the short term, because most companies have no firm plans at present, and are just beginning to revisit possible opportunities in the area On the basis of this assessment work, four specific ice-related R&D thrusts are recommended for further consideration, and a suggested logic framework outlined for each one of them. These R&D thrusts are intended to address high priority ice issues where there is either limited information, or where a front-end synthesis of information would be both timely and beneficial. They include: • Multi-year design ice loads on fixed structures • Ice loads on structures surrounded by grounded rubble ice fields • Ice loads on vessels station-keeping in pack ice • Engineering and operational implications of climate change on Beaufort ice conditions The PERD Ice Structure Interaction Advisory Committee (ISIAC) is seen as fostering these icerelated R&D initiatives, with groups such as NRC-CHC and DFO-IOS carrying out much of the work. Other topic areas like ice scour, oil spills in ice, and EER systems for ice-covered waters are also viewed as ones of high importance, but are considered as being well handled at the present time through other programs and initiatives.
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AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; NRC Canadian Hydraulics Centre
Peer reviewedNo
NPARC number12328137
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Record identifier6d707e66-0876-4481-ab81-2e84267a2d97
Record created2009-09-10
Record modified2016-10-03
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