The study has been performed as part of an assessment of structural safety in the High North. Interactions between a modelled body of ice and a semi-submersible platform were studied under waves and currents.

The study presents likely points of impact and associated collision speeds. The SAMS simulation tool was used to establish an energy map for the required energy absorption for possible impact points on the structure. The calculated energy absorption is distributed between the ice and the structure, and damage assessments are made based on the energy assumed to be absorbed by the structure.

For the model studied, i.e. glacial ice of 15 metres’ extent, the largest absorption energy is 7.32 MJ, with moderate damage to the hull. It is however stressed that the study results are valid only for the model under study. Different ratios of stiffness and strength between the structure and the ice will yield different conclusions.

Plugging knowledge gaps

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway is working on a number of projects associated with knowledge development for the High North. Increasing activity in exploration drilling and developing major finds has put the High North in the spotlight in recent years. At the same time, there has been a lot of discussion about whether the industry has adequate knowledge of the HSE challenges in this region.

Despite the substantial efforts the industry has made in recent years to plug the knowledge gaps, we see a need to further improvement. We have therefore initiated a series of knowledge-gathering projects.