In the videos below, Kenneth Johannessen Eik—who holds a PhD in ice handling in offshore Arctic operations and has many years of experience as a scientist and a meteorologist in Statoil—discusses the differences between the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea and North Sea, meteorology and ice conditions, and how we will take this into account in our operations.
Sea ice is formed when the sea surface's sea temperature drops below freezing point (-1.9 ° C for salt water), and is called the marginal ice zone, also known as the ice edge. There is a low probability of occurrence of sea ice in the five areas where drilling is planned. Ice in this area will mainly drift in from areas north and northeast of the Barents Sea. For ice to appear in the area, persistent winds from the north/north east would be needed for an extended period.
Data from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute show that there has been no ice during the summer months in any of the five areas in the last 50 years. Throughout the year there has been extremely limited ice in all areas. In some areas, there has been no ice at all, while in license PL859, Korpfjell, there have been fewer than 10 days of ice in the last 14 years. The presence of ice for the area varies from a few days in 2011 to between five and six months in 1978, 1979 and 2003. However, the latter is a rare event for the period for which data exist. The tendency in the areas is that there is an ever-decreasing presence of ice, and that the sea areas are generally open almost all year. This also applies this year, as the ice enters the area.