The project of the ice-resistant offshore platform for production facilities on the Arctic shelf was developed by Vladislav Baryshev, a graduate students of the School of Engineering, Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU SE). The construction is designed to accommodate exploration equipment in the shallow areas of the shelf and may form the basis of a new technical facility: a universal drilling platform for year-round autonomous operations in the Arctic. Professor Alexander Becker, Director of the FEFU SE, became the project academic advisor; a patent was issued for the design.
According to the developers, the construction should be a round floating platform, whose stability under ice loads is provided by special anchoring devices buried in the sea-bottom soil. The platform is also unique in that its upper structure (deck) changes height depending on the depth of the shelf, and the structure itself can move from one point to another independently. The overall dimensions of the platform are about 90 meters in diameter and about 40 meters in height.
According to Alexander Becker, the exploration and production of oil and gas on the Arctic shelf cause considerable difficulties due to extreme conditions and enormous loads from drifting ice. It is necessary to simultaneously take into account complex hydrological and ice conditions, short navigation period (about two months), shallow depths, and absence of coastal infrastructure during construction.
"The Arctic is the most relevant area for the development of the future energy, but new technologies are needed to effectively explore the North. Students and young scientists of the FEFU School of Engineering are actively involved in the research and development of special Arctic technologies," said Alexander Becker. "This platform is designed for exploratory drilling in particularly harsh conditions with a very short navigation period—in order to have enough time to get the job done on at least one well."
Graduate student Vladislav Baryshev developed the project taking into account the conditions in the water areas of Ob Bay and Taz Bay of the Kara Sea. Soils with silt and loam predominate in these areas, which creates difficulties for ensuring the stability and reliability of structures. In the future, the engineering solution of the student can be adapted to other conditions, and become the basis for a qualitatively new technical facility: a universal drilling platform capable of year-round and autonomous work on shallow deposits in the Arctic.
The Arctic research is one of the FEFU scientific priorities. The International Arctic R&D Center has been established in the university. Its main objective is to create the center of excellence in Arctic technologies of the World Ocean resources development, which is able to perform the full range of engineering services, and to provide scientific support for projects on the shelf of the Arctic and sub-Arctic seas.