Why it’s safe to explore the Barents Sea
What are the conditions actually like in the Barents Sea?
How much ice is there where we plan to drill? Where is the ice edge?
And what happens if an iceberg appears? We asked our expert on Arctic ice and meteorology, Kenneth Johannessen Eik , to explain.
The areas we will explore have been ice-free for 50 consecutive summers
The distance from the marginal ice zone to our exploration wells
Marginal ice zone: > 10% sea ice, as monitored by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, 1984—2014.
Safe operations with purpose-built rig
Many people are concerned about the possibility of an oil spillage. We believe that the most important thing for the environment is to prevent an accident from happening at all. That’s why we will be using the latest and most advanced rig in Songa Offshore’s fleet, the “Songa Enabler,” when exploration begins this summer.
The rig is purpose-built and winterised to withstand cold conditions, and is equipped with the most advanced solutions to prevent emissions and damage to the environment. It can disconnect and withdraw from the drilling site in a matter of minutes if the situation requires it.
The rig has been designed to withstand extreme cold, with heated decks, walkways and superstructure.
If rainwater from the deck contains more than 5 ppm of oil, it is automatically purified on board.
If waste water is contaminated, up to 750 tonnes can be collected on board for purification ashore.
Wherever we operate, we always have emergency preparedness on standby. But since parts of our Barents exploration programme will be taking place quite far from shore, we will be taking additional measures to upgrade our emergency preparedness for the duration of the exploration campaign. This involves the use of standby vessels with towing capacity, supply vessels, man overboard (MOB) rescue boats, a hospital, a NOFO oil recovery system, a search and rescue (SAR) helicopter and SAR camera, as well as a helipad on the rig.
A cooperation agreement has been entered with Eni for additional ad hoc emergency preparedness, while all operators on the Norwegian continental shelf are contractually committed through NOROG to assist each other with available capacity should an emergency arise. This means that other rigs operating in the Barents Sea at the same time as Statoil could be mobilised if necessary.
The following resources will be used during the exploration campaign:
Standby vessel Havila Troll
Havila Troll will accompany the rig through the entire exploration campaign equipped with the following facilities:
- A NOFO oil recovery system permanently on board and a daughter vessel that can tow the oil boom for the first 12 hours
- Hospital, sick bay, telemedicinal equipment
- A large MOB boat and additional MOB boats
- A towing capacity of 110 tonnes, water cannon and cameras for day and night surveillance
- 350 m2 cargo deck
Supply vessel Troms Arcturus
It is planned to use a supply vessel to supply “Songa Enabler” at all the wells. Troms Arcturus has been selected as a supply vessel for the entire exploration campaign as it has NOFO/standby class.
At Korpfjell, two vessels must be in attendance due to long distances and oil spill preparedness requirements.