Cold Climate & Harsh Environment
The Cold Climate and Harsh Environment capability identifies and highlights NORWEGIAN ENERGY PARTNERS that deliver technology and solutions representing potential contributions to oil and gas operations in the cold climate and harsh environment regions.
Some of the defining characteristics of the cold climate and harsh environment regions are the special weather conditions, the light phenomenon, the large geographical areas and the vast distances to nearest infrastructure. These conditions affect cost, safety and access to emergency preparedness. The skills needed to carry out safe operations in these vulnerable areas requires great knowledge, experience and ground breaking technologies. Access to such information is hence key to overcoming the various challenges.
Norwegian-developed technological solutions for cold climate and harsh environment regions have been utilised for offshore developments at Goliat, Aasta Hansteen, Snøhvit and Melkøya onshore LNG terminal. Norwegian competences have also helped shaping offshore and onshore industries in other cold climate and harsh environment regions, such as Russia, Canada, Kazakhstan and Alaska.
NORWEGIAN ENERGY PARTNERS' Cold Climate and Harsh Environment capabilities will:
• Promote Norwegian suppliers of innovative and proven cold-climate technologies
• Demonstrate broad industrial spread in both products and company specific capabilities
• Contribute to the emergence of a Norwegian business cluster for cold climate and harsh environment conditions
It is our objective that the Cold Climate and Harsh Environment Capabilities within this Database will be the preferred knowledge based portal to competence, experience and technology for projects in the cold climate and harsh environments.
Assets must perform effectively and efficiently to meet objectives in the operation phase whilst protecting health, safety and the environment. All types of asset are involved including down-hole, wellhead, subsea, pipelines, topside process facilities, load-bearing structures, ships and other type of floaters.
Asset integrity management ensures you have the business processes, systems, tools, procedures, training to provide required competence and resources you need to ensure integrity throughout the asset lifecycle.
A prerequisite for successful operations in demanding conditions such as in arctic and cold climate situations is that the design and construction of the asset is in compliance with specified load conditions given by design basis and that the operation stays within the prescribed operation envelope. As assets become older, their safe operational envelope may change and become narrow. Asset integrity management therefore comprises the entire chain from design, construction via consequences from aging of assets to the operation and maintenance phase of the asset.
Asset integrity is about avoiding failures and improving the results. Hence, understanding and ranking threats and opportunities with respect to their influence on operational objectives is a key factor for success. Analysis of plant performance as part of Root Cause assessment of failure, risk and reliability, stress and hazard are among the systems and tool utilized to establish the strength of knowledge required.
Preserving the integrity at an acceptable level of risk requires attention with respect to control through development and optimization of maintenance and maintenance planning, inspection, testing (MIT) and condition monitoring.
Our partners deliver market leading and best available technologies and services within asset integrity management for the harsh and demanding environments in the categories listed above.
Arctic offshore oil and gas operations are regularly carried out in ice-covered waters. Combined with water depths reaching from only some 20-30 meters down to several thousand meters and soil conditions changing from solid permafrost to soft muddy sediments, it is imperative to design and to construct vessels and platforms that meet the highest technical standards and which are capable to operate efficiently and safely in the harsh operating conditions in the Arctic.
Placed against the potential impact of one-year ice up to 2,5 meters thick, drifting icebergs and ice ridges (stamukhi) – in designing and constructing vessels and platforms for arctic operations – it is critical to determine how ice loads affect the strength and fatigue resistance of hulls and platform foundations, both global and local. Furthermore, soil conditions and soil movement effects on gravitation base or piles must be accounted for when designing and constructing fixed installations for use in the Arctic.
During operations in the Arctic, low temperatures and sea spray may lead to icing of topside installations and equipment. To assure safe and efficient operations, winterization of topside installations and equipment, such as derricks and hoisting systems, are critical.
The ability of a mobile drilling unit (MODU) to operate in water depths of around 100 to 350 meters would typically require a moored system for keeping station within the needed watch circle to maintain an allowable riser angle. For deeper waters, either mooring or a dynamically positioning system may be used. For operations in ice-covered waters, the mooring system should allow efficiently executed planned as well as emergency disconnect and reconnect from the moorings. Currently, a turret based system is believed to be the most viable alternative.
In designing and constructing vessels and platforms for arctic operations, our partners deliver market leading products and service within the categories listed above.
The physical characteristics and natural conditions will, to a large extent, dictate the nature of drilling and well operations in the Arctic. Arctic drilling is also dependent on location. Location specific factors include distance from pre-staged emergency response equipment, logistical support to receive and deploy emergency response equipment, proximity of rigs capable of drilling relief wells, open water season length, ice conditions, and ability of marshalled equipment to operate in ice.
The number one focus of drilling and well operations is prevention of incidents leading to loss of well control. This is accomplished through proper well and riser design, material and equipment selection, review and assurance, monitoring, procedures, standards, training, and people capability.
While focus is on preventing incidents, capability for emergency response must be in place or quickly deployable to respond to the loss of well control. Typical controls include the blow out preventer (BOP), relief well drilling, well capping, containment, subsea dispersant application and Oil Spill Response (OSR).
Our partners are in the forefront of developing technologies and solutions leading to safer and more efficient drilling and well operations in the Arctic. Deliveries includes the categories listed above.
(Source: Moss Maritime)
Environmental risk related to oil spills is a major concern for operators, regulators and the public in general. With long distances to established infrastructure and physical conditions such as sea ice, darkness and low temperatures, it is critical to develop technologies and solutions that promote environmentally sustainable operations in the Arctic.
Environmental risk assessments (ERA) and oil spill contingency analysis (OSCA) are important tools for decision-making in planning and in permitting processes for oil and gas operations.
Oil spill detection (OSD) and monitoring must be in place in order to provide an effective oil spill contingency for oil and gas exploration and production activities. In the Arctic, detection and monitoring is particularly challenging due to polar night, fog and snow, low cloud ceilings and sea ice.
Methods currently being used to respond to an oil spill include mechanical recovery, use of dispersants and in situ burning. These methods are all applicable in Arctic conditions, but efforts to enhance the effectiveness of these methods in Arctic conditions are still required.
Through a combination of field operations and R&D initiatives, our partners are developing technologies enabling more accurate modelling of oil spills, early detection and monitoring and more effective oil response methods for use in arctic conditions. Focus areas are listed in the lefthand side box.
A large part of future offshore platforms will be constructed at a yard outside the Arctic prior to being transported and installed/ assembled at site. Vessels used in transportation (towing) and installation of fixed and floating strictures will therefore have to be designed and constructed to operate in ice affected waters and low temperatures. This includes ice-strengthened hulls, winterization of topside equipment and mooring systems of installation vessels. In some areas, preparation of the seabed using dredgers and rock dumping dredgers are required.
With the presence of sea and icebergs, an effective Ice Management system is critical during oil and gas operations in the Arctic. While ice detection, tracking and forecasting must be capable of identifying, tracking and predicting the drift of all kinds of potentially hazardous ice features or ice situations, physical Ice Management must provide a demonstrated and adequate level of effectiveness and be consistent with the reliability requirements of the overall Ice Management system. They must also be available on a fit-forservice basis when required and be designed to operate under the anticipated range of physical environmental conditions.
Our partners are among the key suppliers of technologies and solutions relevant to arctic marine operations, including installation and towing services and ice management.
Our partners understand the critical success factors driving onshore oil and gas production and terminal businesses, providing practical solutions to maximize project investments. Most arctic locations are rural which requires initial evaluations and planning of suitable infrastructure and qualities for transportation and logistics, in and out of the plant premises. Norwegian companies are raised in artic conditions and have learnt to respect nature forces and how to design and operate under harsh arctic weather impact. This knowledge and experience is crucial in order to design effective onshore oil and gas solutions.
Design and engineering require in-depth knowledge of front-end and process engineering design that meets any arctic challenge. Temperatures may vary from -40 to + 40 degrees Celsius. Any technical equipment and solution has to be planned and designed to cope with extreme weather conditions, as for offshore units. Most of the solutions are proven, but quite some have to be adapted and some have to be developed for the purpose. If located at-shore the plant will most likely include harbours with maritime vessels and breakwater structures, thus requiring knowledge of maritime vessels, metocean and harbour design. Heavy snowfall and icing constitute major threats to functionality of all process and safety systems.
Any construction, installation- or completion planning in arctic conditions will meet severe arctic climate conditions. The execution philosophy will have to be adapted to temperature- and weather conditions. Largely much of the construction, installation and completion works will be performed elsewhere, if possible, and later transported as modules over land or by sea to the final destination.
We have the knowledge and experience to accomplish execution of complex and large projects in extreme weather conditions. Most likely, the process equipment will be constructed in fabrication or module yards and pre-tested, before transportation to the final destination. However, hook-up works and total systems mechanical completion must be done at the final site.
Most onshore plants are designed for 20-30 years operation, or more, without need for heavy maintenance. This requires high utilization of high-grade materials. Still, we experience that most plants undergo modifications and extensions, e.g. due to future tie-ins, reservoir pressure fall, new and better technology or caused by other circumstances. Facilities for personnel safety will have to be maintained/upgraded as well as worker facilities. The weather wear may be considerable and requires frequent updates and modifications. All HSE-related matters must be permanently monitored and evaluated throughout the entire operation phase.
Our partners deliver leading market products and services within the above categories.
Protection and lifesaving equipment able to sustain the bleak operating conditions in the Arctic are essential to property and personnel safety during offshore oil and gas operations.
Human skills are immensely important when operating in the Arctic. Training simulators have a significant role to play to ensure and secure the safety of the working environment for navigators and personnel operating in Arctic conditions.
Escape, Evacuation and Rescue (EER) is seen as one of the most important challenges for arctic marine operations. In the Arctic, installations will be often be located a long way from land and far outside the point of no return of helicopters, which currently serves the as the primary means of evacuation can. For areas where lifeboats could be used there is a need to develop technology to prevent icing on the lifeboats, prevent damage to the lifeboat propulsion equipment when navigating in ice infested waters and to improve manoeuvrability of the lifeboat in close pack ice. Possible new ways of launching free fall boats in Arctic waters also need to be considered.
Our partners are delivering technologies and solutions frequently used during operations and at training facilities across the globe. Areas of expertise are listed above.
(Source: SINTEF/Courtesy of 330 Squadron)
Since the early 1990s, vast quantities of oil and gas have been produced using subsea production systems. With new smart-wells and cost effective intervention methods, the gap between traditional and subsea production is narrowing. Although most subsea production systems are developed for waters outside the Arctic, technologies and methods currently used in subsea operations are representing a solid foundation for arctic subsea operations.
Changing soil conditions are, due to presence of relict seabed ice and gas hydrates, among the most important challenges when designing and constructing manifold, templates and x-mas trees for Arctic operations. Low temperatures and the presence of sea ice transport make deployment and storage of subsea installations and pressure drops of electric signals and flows of fluids through umbilicals more challenging.
Subsea processing technologies can enhance the economic viability of Arctic oil and gas production by increasing production rates, addressing flow assurance challenges and by reducing topside constraints. It may also reduce the environmental footprint and development costs. In some cases, subsea processing technologies can enable development of otherwise inaccessible resources by allowing year-around subsea production under ice.
Subsea Production System (SPS) power supply with the required level of reliability while ensuring acceptable initial expenses and operational costs, is a key issue for field development. While electrical equipment and power transmission technologies currently applied in international operations do not comply with the requirements for operations in the remotest part of the Arctic, technologies, such as high voltage direct current (HVDC) and fuel cell technologies, are now being developed.
Being already firmly established as market leaders within their respective segments, our partners are delivering subsea technologies and solutions, which will constitute the backbone of future subsea operations in the Arctic.
(Source: Aker Solutions)
Weather phenomena such as low temperatures, icing, polar lows and sea ice render Arctic oil and gas operations particularly challenging. To execute offshore oil and gas operations in a safe and sustainable manner, it is therefore essential to continue to improve weather forecast models. It is also important to develop communication systems capable of providing reliable and accurate information, even as oil and gas operation are expanded further north.
Today, communication and search and rescue (SAR) operations in the Arctic are restricted by insufficient ground infrastructure and limited geostationary satellite (GEO) coverage at latitudes above 72° N. At latitudes above 75°N, satellite coverage is, for all practical purposes, non-existing.
Our partners play a key role in developing the next generation of communication and surveillance systems, which will lead to improved satellite coverage and more effective SAR operations at high latitudes. Areas of expertise includes the categories listed in the left hand side box.
(Source: Kongsberg Maritime (Seatex))