Interest in petroleum activities in the North is on the increase following new discoveries in the western part of the Barents Sea (Skrugard and Havis fields). At the same time, the signing of the delimitation treaty with Russia has led to a hectic process of acquisition of seismic data in the eastern part of the Barents Sea. MARINTEK completed the project CIVARCTIC, which studied the development of a concept vessel for all-year intervention on a subsea production system.
The project received support from the Research Council of Norway through its MAROFF programme, and the participants were Statoil, STX OSV, NTNU, VTT (Finland) and Aker Arctic Technologies. Vessel design and operational characteristics have been investigated on the basis of available meteorology, oceanography and ice data for a particular field east of Svalbard. The study included model tests in open water at MARINTEK and in ice at Aker Arctic. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies were used to check the effect of design changes on local resistance and fuel consumption. The study identified operational challenges that required further action, such as improving weather and ice forecasting systems, ice-management procedures and communications infrastructure in the region.