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News about Arctic Shipping and Marine Operations

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    News about Arctic Shipping and Marine Operations

    The Arctic has been "hot" news in Shipping and Oil Exploration, among other thing. ​Time to have a separate thread for this subject, as it has been mentioned in several thread so far.

    Remember the plan to build a major Container Port near Kristiansund some years back to cater to the large number of Container ships expected to ply the Northern Route?
    Well, so far no Main line container ship has done so and none is not likely to do so in the near future.
    The cost and uncertainty of availability of Ice breakers is one reason, politics another. Besides, none of the large new Container ships are strengthen for unattended passage in ice.

    Here is an article which explains the reasons why this is not a viable proposition on a large scale and for general use in the foreseeable future:

    No doubt there will be specially built vessels traversing the Northern Route in the short season when it is ice free, but for ordinary Container vessels carrying ordinary cargo between Far East and Europe it is not economically viable yet. Besides, only from northern parts of Far East to Northern Europe is there any real distance savings. From Singapore to Rotterdam via Suez the distance is about the same as via the northern route, with far better weather and less technical or political problems.
    Last edited by ombugge; October 29th, 2014, 09:35.

    Mark, please help. I obviously didn't proof read the heading here and one important letter is missing.
    I'm unable to do the correction myself, so could be kind enough to add a w into the first word in the heading??


      Thanks Mark.
      More news about navigating the Northern Sea route:


        More news about Arctic Operations, the challenges and risks that represent:

        DNV-GL is leading the way in developing rules and regulations specifically for ships and structures to be used in Arctic and Antarctic waters. All other major classification societies are following suite.

        IMO is developing a mandatory International Code of safety for ships operating in polar waters (Polar Code), the draft of which has recently been approved:


          Here is a story from the VERY high Arctic:

          What were these two Norwegian Scientists doing walking around within a few miles from the North Pole at this time of the year???


            IMO has now approved the Polar Code. It is expected to be in force from 01. Jan. 2017, but only in full for ships constructed (I.e. Keel laid) after that date:


              Not Arctic but Antarctic this time:

              Some may find the vehicles shown more interesting then the ship.


                Everybody want a piece of the "pie" when the Arctic ice melts.
                US and Canada wants to claim rights to Extended Continental Shelf (ECC) outside the 200 n.miles Exclusive Economical Zone (EEZ):
                Russia has already made such claim, while Denmark and Norway would like to, but doesn't have the tools to do so.


                  It is summer in Antarctica, but that doesn't mean it can not be dangerous for ships to operate there:

                  I notice in the article that the FV Janas will be assisting in the rescue of the Antarctic Chieftain. I know this vessel well.
                  She is a longliner, built in Norway in 1993 for Russian account and named Kapitan Kartasov :

                  She operated in the Bearing Sea for American Seafood for a long time, but when that ended she was arrested in Pusan, S.Korea in 1997.
                  She was bought by a Norwegian group in 1998 and re-named Janas. I took her over in Pusan on their behalf and arranged for her to be sailed to Singapore, where she was drydocked, repaired and prepared to go back into fisheries, this time after Toothfish in the Southern Ocean. Because it was difficult to obtain a license for such operation, and because the French threatened to sink any vessel caught fishing illegally in their waters around Keaugelan, she was sold to Sealord in New Zealand, who could obtain a legal license. That ended my involvement with her. (The Norwegians retained part ownership, at least initially)
                  Here is her CCAMLAR License, with details of her present particulars:

                  A picture of her in her right elements in the Ross Sea:

                  And as new, during sea trails around Aalesund somewhere:

                  I have some pictures from Pusan and during docking in Singapore somewhere, but it is pre-digital age. I may scan and post some in the appropriate Fishing Vessel thread later, if I can find them.


                    The Antarctic Chieftain is free:
                    Time for Janas to get her safely to NZ.

                    PS> she did NOT loose "three of her four propellers", but three of four propeller blades.
                    Last edited by ombugge; February 22nd, 2015, 07:11.


                    The Arctic ice cover this year is the smallest on record:


                      The US is getting ready for Arctic activity of the future by updating 100 year old charts:


                        Everybody wants a piece of the action, the Arctic action that is:


                          Not to clutter up the HLV thread too much I post this here.
                          In the discussion around Shell's upcoming drilling in Chichuk Sea off Alaska it has been claimed that an oil spill is 75% certain to take place if drilling commence.

                          The grounding of the Kuluk when under tow far from the drilling area and well away from the Arctic is used as proof that Shell doesn't know what they are doing and should not be allowed to manage even a "bash up" in a brewery as it where.

                          The fact is that the possibility of a MAJOR oil spill from drilling activity is not very great:
                          Abstract from "Statistics of extremes in oil spill risk analysis" by: Ji ZG1, Johnson WR, Wikel GL. 1Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

                          The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (DWH) in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico is the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. After DWH, key questions were asked: What is the likelihood that a similar catastrophic oil spill (with a volume over 1 million barrels) will happen again? Is DWH an extreme event or will it happen frequently in the future? The extreme value theory (EVT) has been widely used in studying rare events, including damage from hurricanes, stock market crashes, insurance claims, flooding, and earthquakes. In this paper, the EVT is applied to analyze oil spills in the U.S. outer continental shelf (OCS). Incorporating the 49 years (1964-2012) of OCS oil spill data, the EVT is capable of describing the oil spills reasonably well. The return period of a catastrophic oil spill in OCS areas is estimated to be 165 years, with a 95% confidence interval between 41 years and more than 500 years. Sensitivity tests indicate that the EVT results are relatively stable. The results of this study are very useful for oil spill risk assessment, contingency planning, and environmental impact statements on oil exploration, development, and production.

                          Smaller oil spills will happen from time to time, but I don't know why drilling in the Arctic should be more prone to blow-out and oil spill then anywhere else. What is a fact is that oil it will disperse slower due to the cold conditions.

                          If an oil spill should occur the possibilities of cleaning up is no worse then in say the North Sea, as long as it occurs in the ice free season, which is the only time when exploration drilling can take place. This is provided the equipment to do so is available at/near the drill site.

                          he situation changes when it gets to the production phase, where drilling, production and transportation must continue year around.
                          At present there are offshore oil production in icy waters off Sakhalin in the Russian Far East, which has been going on for years. This is not strictly speaking in the Arctic though and thus doesn't get as much attention. There are now also Oil Production in the Kara Sea, which is within the Arctic and has definitely attracted a lot of attention, but no spills, so far.


                            The ice breaker cum Rescue vessel Baltika has passed it's tests in real ice with flying colours:
                            Even in the oblique mode it exceeded the contractual capability. This relatively small vessel to open a passage wide enough for large vessels to navigate, which open the possibility for large vessels to used the North East Passage without the need of a large and expensive Nuclear ice breaker.

                            Even as far back as 1989 the daily charter rate for one of those was USD 50,000, I have no idea what they charge today.
                            How do I know?? Because I was involved in planning the logistics for a Drilling Operation on land at Spitzbergen and got a quotation for use of the Lenin to open a lead into Svea for our transport ships.