Conference Paper

Facility Side-Tracking for Iceberg Risk Management

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Abstract

Currently, iceberg risk mitigation at production facilities in shallower waters (80 to 120 m) on the Grand Banks off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador is accomplished using iceberg surveillance, towing, water cannons and, in the case of floating facilities, disconnection. Future developments in deeper waters such as the Flemish Pass or the Orphan Basin may be able to utilize compliant mooring and riser systems to allow a floating facility to simply move out of the path of an approaching iceberg without disconnecting. The analysis described here shows that, using simple extrapolation of the observed iceberg trajectory, the risk mitigation provided by facility side-tracking is comparable to existing physical management techniques (iceberg towing and water cannons). Improved short-term iceberg drift forecasting would allow further risk mitigation.

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... To be able to optimally design FPSOs for more challenging ice environments (higher iceberg areal densities, higher drift velocities and greater water depths), it is advantageous to continue to improve our knowledge and modelling capabilities regarding iceberg impact loads. New technical innovations should be encouraged and utilized; for example, improvements in thruster control could potentially allow the use of side tracking in deeper water to avoid encroaching icebergs (King 2018). ...
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Article
In designing a floating offshore production system to operate in a region with risk of impacts from icebergs, the effectiveness of management and avoidance of detected icebergs may be considered when determining design ice loads. Management can include deflection of encroaching icebergs through towing or use of water cannon. Avoidance would typically consist of disconnecting the floater and moving off site for cases when an iceberg cannot be managed, but could also include moving off site for periods with high numbers of icebergs. There may be grounds for remaining on site in certain cases (e.g., small icebergs in low sea states) if it can be clearly demonstrated that there are no serious risks. This paper discusses issues involved when determining guidelines for remaining on site, including relevant standards and limits states, trade-offs between ice strengthening and operational requirements, and considerations when presented with a threat by a specific iceberg and set of environmental conditions. A probabilistic approach is presented for establishing operational criteria for disconnection that will still ensure target reliabilities with respect to iceberg impact loads are achieved.
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