Aker Solutions has developed a concept for an arctic drillship able to operate in sea ice. Scale model tests shows the Aker Solutions Arctic Drillship is performing as expected, or even better. The features which have been introduced are positioning by mooring of a bow mounted turret with mooring disconnection possibility, azi-pod thrusters which helps to assure ice-vaning in case of change in the ice drift direction as well as a new hull shape that breaks the ice while keeping the ice from going under the vessel hence protecting the riser from ice impact.
The drilling and drilling support facilities have all been enclosed, so as to protect people and equipment from cold temperatures. Prediction of performance in ice is uncertain by use of theoretical means. To reduce uncertainty the design has been tested in a model ice basin, both for unbroken and managed ice.
Offshore arctic is back as the new frontier for oil and gas developments, after the last boom a couple of decades ago. New requirements for safe exploration and development require new technology. Aker Solutions Arctic Drillship is an important step forward towards entering new areas for oil and gas exploration in a safe and environmental friendly manner.