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Safety in the Arctic

Has the Arctic been oversold ? Considering the declining oil price, and the high development and operation costs for Arctic oil and gas some may think nothing will happen in the Arctic now.

We know that more than 30 companies showed interest in the 23rd licensing round in Norway, where 54 of 57 blocks are in the Barents Sea. Much of the answer about future activities in the Arctic will come at the year end, when the companies have their deadline to send their license applications. However, the Arctic remains an interesting area for the operators with a long term view even if there are a number of challenges and dilemmas that needs to be addressed. Thus, we think it is important to continuously work to ensure the safety of the people who work there. DNV GL promote a fact based approach to the Arctic. This implies understanding risk drivers, and work to find solutions and approaches to meet these challenges. Much of our work is now focused on collecting and interpreting ice and metocean data, so that this can be used to understand challenges and limitations, and to plan operations and develop design.

In our Arctic Risk Map we show how the arctic risk drivers change with season and location – Arctic is not uniform. Here we also benchmark the operating conditions in the Arctic Region with the Norwegian sea – an area with harsh conditions where we have close to 20 years operating experience. In our RIGSpray JIP (see pdf Rigspray JIP) we work to give the industry increased confidence in sea spray icing predictions. DNV GL’s IceMapper tool have been developed to give high quality mapping of ice data, with visualization and statistical data on sea ice concentration and dynamics in the ice sheet. We have recently launched our position paper on Emergency response for offshore operations in the Barents Sea, and have invited stakeholders to a Joint Industry Project for Qualification of Arctic Emergency Response Concepts (see pdf Rigspray JIP). Why do we to this ? DNV GL is a pioneer in risk management in the polar regions, dating back to vessel classification during the early days of Arctic and Antarctic scientific exploration. We remain committed to leadership in this sector, with a comprehensive range of services for industry players planning operations in the Arctic, as well as those already active in the region.

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