Projects: Oil and Gas

Much of our work for the oil and gas industry focuses on developing environmental design criteria for exploration drilling, pipelines, and production platforms: for example, ice coverage, ice roughness, long term trends, risk of extreme climatic events and climate change.  Another important focus of our projects in the offshore energy sector relates to the challenges of developing escape, evacuation and rescue (EER) systems for structures in ice.  In that regard we helped formulate the EER chapter as part of the ISO Arctic Structures standard. Many of our studies in this area are tied to Oil Spill Research: Oil Spills

Selected Oil and Gas Projects

Lun-A topsides installation as part of the Sakhalin 2 project.

Photo: Sakhalin Energy (Gunningham 2007)

Sakhalin 1 and 2 – various studies 2003 to 2006

Dickins Associates supported both ongoing oil developments in Sakhalin Island, working with Sakhalin Energy Investment Company (SEIC) on their Sakhalin 2 program and Exxon Neftegas Limited (ENL) with Sakhalin 1.  Services included: preparing a detailed response to a World Wildlife Fund report on industry capabilities in responding to spills in broken ice; advising on oil spill issues related to the Western Gray Whale protection plan; and developing a scenario for a hypothetical spill in pack ice, incorporating realistic weather and equipment constraints (with SL Ross Environmental Research).

Photo: National Research Council Canada

EER Arctic Structures Standard
For International Standards Organization (ISO) 2003-2006

The Escape, Evacuation and Rescue Chapter of the ISO WG8 AS25B Arctic Structures Standard is now in the final review stages pending formal adoption by the International Standards Organization in 2008/09.  David Dickins participated as a member of the initial committee led by Jim Poplin of ExxonMobil, assisting with developing the new standard in the initial three years of a lengthy process.  As part of this development, David teamed with Garry Timco of the National Research Council Canada to co-author a paper entitled “Environmental Guidelines for EER Systems in Arctic Waters”.

Publications: Environmental Research and Offshore Engineering

Photo: Canadian Marine Drilling Limited

Break-up Ice Conditions at the McCovey Prospect
for Lynx Enterprises Inc., Anchorage (client: EnCana Oil & Gas, Denver), 2003

Dickins used historical Landsat imagery over thirty years to map the progression of break-up and duration of the break-up period around the McCovey drill site off Prudhoe Bay.

Cold Testing Immersion/Evacuation Suits
for ExxonMobil, September 2003

Dickins tested some of the world’s top-ranked survival/immersion suits at the US Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, New Hampshire, for an oil industry client. The requirements were severe: -25 °C temperatures and freezing water with ice.  The study results were instrumental in the final selection of the most effective survival suits recommended for procurement.

Sea Ice Overflood Limits Affecting the Liberty Pipeline Route
for BP Exploration (Alaska) with Vaudrey & Associates and Coastal Frontiers, 1999

This study used combined historical satellite images showing river overflood in the study area with available field surveys to map river overflood limits affecting a proposed marine pipeline route.

Publications: Environmental and Offshore

Photo: Agip KCO

Technical Note: Potential For On-Ice Oil Burning During Rig Evacuation
for the Offshore Kazakhstan International Operating Company NV (OKIOC), October 12, 1999

The project evaluated safety issues during an emergency evacuation scenario where ARKTOS vehicles, may need to transit an area of possible oil fires on the ice following a blowout at an exploration drilling barge in the North Caspian Sea.

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