Arctic Circle News

BEN independently follows programmed lines (Photo: NOAA)

Autonomous Vehicle Maps the Arctic Seafloor

Far above the Arctic Circle, an autonomous surface vehicle set out to map the seafloor in an effort to improve nautical charts in areas where there is scarce data and vessel traffic is increasing.A team of engineers and students from the University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, together with personnel from NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, recently returned from an Arctic voyage that deployed an unmanned surface vehicle (USV) from the NOAA hydrographic ship Fairweather, a first from a NOAA vessel in the region.The Fairweather spends each summer surveying the

Aasta Hansteen (Credit BMT)

Subsea 7 Selects BMT for Offshore Deal

validate both the spar and SCR design. The Aasta Hansteen Spar will be the world’s largest spar platform and the first of its kind on the Norwegian continental shelf. Furthermore, the spar will be the first ever deepwater floating production platform installed in the environment north of the Arctic Circle utilizing SCRs.      

Deepwater Floater – Spar

The World’s Cold Ocean Lab

.” Newfoundland and Labrador is Canada’s easternmost province, strategically positioned in the North Atlanic, at the edge of the Arctic. It sits along Iceberg Alley, along multiple key international shipping lanes, and its waters are the Northern hemispheres coldest south of the Arctic Circle. It is this unique mix of proximity and Arctic-like conditions that make the province a natural cold ocean laboratory.  Centuries of answering the challenges of Arctic-type conditions have given rise to a powerful culture of innovation. Home to growing sectors such as oil and gas, shipping

From left: Sebastian Rasmussen (Logistics & Projects Manager), Henrik P. Lassen (VP Operations) and Jan Almqvist (MD) of POLOG with Ahmet Özsoy, Managing Director of GAC Norway

GAC Pushes Further into the Arctic with Polar Logistics Group

GAC Norway AS and Polar Logistics Group ApS (POLOG) formed a strategic partnership to further strengthen GAC's network within the Arctic Circle. The move is the latest stage in the company's Arctic strategy to better serve the region by bringing together organizations and individuals to create a unified network of expertise, experience and local resources. By combining GAC's shipping, logistics and marine expertise with POLOG's network throughout Greenland and ability to meet remote location logistical needs from ice runways to mountaintop camps, the alliance offers tangible benefits to the

Photo: ATL

Atlantic Towing and Jaya Seal Second Offshore Deal

Dynamic Positioning (Class 2), the ship is fitted with two bow thrusters and two in the stern, 19-ton and 13-ton thrust apiece respectively. The vessel bridge is designed for Naut-OSV (A) notation, significantly enhancing navigation and communication capabilities. For work in areas close to the Arctic Circle, the vessel has DNV’s Ice-1A class notation, applicable for ships operating in broken channels made by breakers in first-year ice or in open waters with small floes. She is built to Comf-V(3) class, which keeps noise and vibration levels within strict parameters. Comfort Class is typically

Arctic Monitoring Buoy: Photo credit NOAA

Arctic Ocean More Acidic? NOAA Deploys First Monitoring Buoy

NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in partnership with the Marine Research Institute in Iceland has deployed the first high-latitude ocean acidification monitoring buoy in the Atlantic Ocean. The moored buoy is the first of its kind to be deployed north of the Arctic circle in a region where very little is known about how carbon dioxide (CO2) is entering the ocean environment. The buoy, deployed north of Iceland, is equipped with a MAPCO2 monitoring system designed at PMEL that measures CO2 concentrations of the surface water and atmosphere every 90 minutes. The mooring

Photo in public domain

Alaska Governor Invites Regional Arctic Investments

and Alaska is a launch pad for circumpolar investment. Alaska’s $50 billion economy is fiscally stable and economically diverse,” Treadwell told an audience of investors, industry representatives, government officials, news media participants and indigenous citizens gathered for the first ever 'Arctic Circle' in Reykjavik, Iceland on Sunday.   “This is a very forward-thinking group, and I am here to remind you all that from ports to pipelines and airships to icebreakers, we have so many places for you to invest – just pick your project,” Treadwell told the audience. Given the rapid pace

New NOAA Chart Adds to Arctic Shipping Safety

ship Fairweather. It replaces a chart showing depth measurements last taken in the 19th century spaced three to five miles apart, leaving room for possible undetected dangers in between. The new navigational chart addresses a pressing need for this Northwest Alaska transportation hub, located in the Arctic Circle. Barge shipments and large transport ships must be anchored at least 14 miles out in the Kotzebue Sound due to shallow waters and inadequate charts and navigational aids. Freight must then be transferred by smaller barges to Kotzebue. The new chart, number 16161, depicts measured ocean depths

Image: © Nightman1965/Adobe Stock

Arctic Oil Expansion Panned by Scientists

.   The scientists said drilling on the coastal plain would be particularly harmful because it contains a "unique compression" of habitats supporting animals like polar bears, grizzly bears, wolverines, representing "the greatest wildlife diversity of any protected area above the Arctic Circle."   In a Reuters interview, Cantwell praised the scientists for spelling out why drilling would be so harmful to the refuge and she would work to oppose the legislation.   "To try to legislate mandated drilling in a wildlife refuge is just not where America is," she

Coast Guard R&D Center researchers board a helicopter as they prepare to evaluate remote Alaskan sites to establish a communications relay network. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Research & Development Center staff)

USCG Evaluates Comms Equipment in Alaska

, share photos and track personnel and assets using GPS, making response coordination quicker and easier.    During Operation Arctic Chinook, first responders will participate in the simulated mass rescue of 250 passengers from an adventure cruise ship which has become disabled near the Arctic Circle. Coast Guard cutters Alex Haley, Spar and Stratton will participate in the maritime portion of the exercise and will simulate transferring survivors from the disabled cruise ship to a temporary shelter established in Tin City, Alaska. The next segment of the rescue exercise will involve the transfer

An Open Arctic and its Impact on Oil Drilling

William Cho, Head of MatthewsDaniel Weather, a division of the Bureau Veritas Group, explains why improvements in drilling technologies and weather monitoring systems have made offshore shelf drilling operations in the Arctic Circle increasingly attractive to upstream oil and gas companies and their investors. Rising crude oil prices motivate not only technological innovators to explore cheaper alternative energy sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines, but also upstream oil and gas companies to explore new oil reserves which had not otherwise been economical. While the exact amount is less

Image courtesy of Arctic Circle

Arctic Circle Iceland Convention Date Changed

The Arctic Circle informs that due to increased demand, and to better accommodate the large number of expected attendees, the dates for the second annual Arctic Circle Assembly have been changed. The gathering will now take place October 31-November 2, 2014, in Reykjavík, Iceland, at the Harpa Reykjavík Concert Hall and Conference Centre. Background The inaugural gathering drew more than 1,200 participants from 40 nations, bringing together a diverse group of individuals and organizations for a series of meetings and presentations addressing the challenges and opportunities of the

Photo: US Navy

US Navy Submarines Surface in the Arctic Circle

 A pair of U.S. Navy submarines recently surfaced in the Arctic Circle as part of multinational maritime exercise north of Alaska.   Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768) and Seawolf-class fast attack submarine, USS Connecticut (SSN 22) surfaced in the Arctic Circle March 10 during the multinational maritime Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2018.   Both submarines, as well the UK Royal Navy submarine HMS Trenchant (S91), are participating in the biennial exercise in the Arctic to train and validate the warfighting capabilities of submarines in extreme cold-water conditions

North Sea semi-submersible drilling rig built by CIMC Raffles for North Sea Rigs AS

CIMC Makes Progress on Arctic Rig

and NDTsub-contractors who invovled the project had done a very good job!”   The Arctic Zone owns rich oil and gas resources. According to United States Geological Survey, 13% oil and 30% gas are not deployed. Furthermore, the Balents Sea is the extension of Norwegian North Sea to the Arctic Circle, which is considered as the concentration of arctic oil and gas exploitation. After the assemblage, North Dragon is planned to be delivered in December 2015. Beacon Atlantic, the second GM4-D rig of the same series, is currently under construction. While the contract of Beacon Pacific, the third

(Photo: Shell)

Shell Eyes Arctic Drilling this Summer

after a near two-year suspension, angering environmentalists who say the risk of an oil spill is too high. Remote and costly to develop, the Arctic is estimated to contain 20 percent of the world's undiscovered hydrocarbon resources and despite fierce opposition, plans for drilling north of the Arctic Circle are under way in the United States, Russia and Norway. Shell, Europe's largest energy firm, is intent on restarting its Arctic drilling campaign in Alaska's Chukchi Sea this summer. It was suspended in early 2013 following the grounding of a drilling rig. "Will we go ahead? Yes if

A drilling ship Polar Pioneer in the Chukchi Sea, August 2015 (Photo: Mark Fink / Shell)

Obama Administration Bars New Oil, Gas Exploration off Alaska

the best areas "with the highest resource potential, lowest conflict and established infrastructure - and removes regions that are simply not right to lease," Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said.   President Barack Obama, who last year became the first sitting president to cross the Arctic Circle, has made fighting climate change and protecting the Arctic priorities in his administration.   But President-elect Donald Trump, a Republican who takes office on Jan. 20, 2017, has vowed to open resources to petroleum development and could take steps to reverse the decision.   Oil

Oseberg field centre - Photo Harald Pettersen - Statoil.

Statoil Reports Robust Q1

by the European Union on Tuesday.   Statoil's CEO repeated the firm's position that it would comply with any sanctions imposed on Russia.   Statoil has several joint projects with Russia's largest oil company, Rosneft, including deals to explore for oil and gas in Siberia and above the Arctic Circle, as well as shale oil in the south of the country.   Last week, Statoil said Lund would attend the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in June.   But on Tuesday, Lund said it was too early to say whether he could go. "We must assess what the practical implications of

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