Arctic Operations News

The West Hercules drilling rig in the Barents Sea. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / Equinor)

Norway Awards Oil Permits to 11 Firms in Arctic Licensing Round

Norway has awarded 12 oil and gas exploration licences to Equinor and 10 other companies focused mostly on the Arctic, where Oslo believes it has the greatest potential for significant new discoveries.Nine of the licences are located in the Barents Sea and three in the Norwegian Sea off central Norway, the Ministry of Oil and Energy said on Monday."This licensing round confirms that the oil companies see opportunities for further profitable petroleum activity in the north," Oil and Energy Minister Terje Soeviknes said in a statement.Equinor, formerly known as Statoil, was awarded five

The William B Morgan Large Cavitation Channel (LCC) is a large variable-pressure closed-loop water tunnel that has been operated by the U.S. Navy in Memphis since 1991. This facility is well designed for a wide variety of hydrodynamic and hydroacoustic tests. Its overall size and capabilities allow test-model Reynolds numbers to approach, or even achieve, those of full-scale air- or water-borne transportation systems. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Navy Tests Scale Models in Big Facilities

impressive capabilities reside far away, at facilities from the Alaska to the Bahamas, and from Tennessee to Idaho.Carderock’s Combat Craft division in Little Creek, Va., manages a number of small craft projects to include design, construction, acquisition and sustainment.The South Tongue of the Ocean Acoustic Measurement Facility (STAFAC) in the Bahamas and the Southeast Alaska Acoustic Measurement Facility (SEAFAC) near Ketchikan, Alaska, feature underwater arrays to perform high fidelity passive acoustic signature measurements.Carderock’s Acoustic Research Detachment (ARD) is located

(File photo courtesy of Liquid Robotics)

Wave Gliders to Study Arctic and Southern Oceans

Oceanographers will deploy long duration unmanned ocean robots called Wave Gliders as a sensor platform to conduct advanced scientific research in inhospitable and remote regions of the Arctic and Southern Oceans.Using Liquid Robotics’ wave and solar powered Wave Gliders, scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Scripps) and the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington (APL-UW) will obtain real time data and rare insights into the dynamic conditions that drive the world’s weather and climate. This data is critical for scientists to understand and improve

(Image: ABB)

Powering the Seafloor: Put a Socket in It

also provide more responsive control and advanced health monitoring of subsea equipment.But, this new infrastructure could support more than pumps, compressors and actuators. It could also be used to support a growing fleet of unmanned underwater vehicles, as well as supporting other industries, from ocean science to deepsea mining.“Once you have power down there, you can power ROVs (remotely operated vehicles), heating in pipelines (to prevent blockages), and a number of other applications, that are coming up,” says Jan Bugge, Vice President of subsea technology at ABB and Project Director

Remote Acoustic Metrology Put to the Test

An acoustic jumper metrology was conducted using the Sonardyne Connect software in conjunction with 4D Nav’s remote survey system in a joint program between 4D Nav and i-Tech Services. The metrology took place as part of remote survey trials during a Subsea 7 project earlier this year in the Gulf of Mexico.Acoustic long baseline (LBL) data and pressure sensor data were collected at a network operations center (NOC) onshore in Houston. The direct interface to the Sonardyne 6G transceiver (ROVNAV) enabled by the Connect software allowed full control of LBL data collection as well as logging of

Photo: DeepOcean Group Holding BV

DeepOcean Wins Equinor Susbsea Deal

 Subsea services provider DeepOcean has been awarded a long-term contract involving subsea life of field services on Equinor-operated fields.   The award covers onshore project management, engineering and offshore operations utilising a variety of vessels within the DeepOcean fleet of high quality vessels.    Offshore operations may include life of lield services such as standard inspection and survey work involving use of Work Class and Observation class ROVs, installation and replacement of subsea modules and X-mas trees using Module Handling Systems as well as scale squeeze

(Source: NOAA Climate.gov, Data: Mark Tschudi)

Old Sea Ice is Disappearing from the Arctic Ocean

(NSIDC) reported that only 2 percent of the Arctic's sea ice was at least five years old. That is the lowest percentage of such old ice during wintertime in the satellite record.These maps show multiyear and first-year ice in the ninth week of 1984 (left) and 2018 (right). Land areas are light gray. Ocean water is dark gray. Sea ice appears in shades of blue to white, with darker shades indicating younger, thinner ice, and white indicating the oldest ice (7 or more years old). The small amount of multiyear ice in early 2018 continued a decades-long trend of Arctic sea ice decline.Replacing thick,

Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / Statoil

Arctic Oil 'Undrillable' amid Global Warming -UN's Ex-climate Chief

An architect of the Paris climate agreement urged governments on Tuesday to halt oil exploration in the Arctic, saying drilling was not economical and warming threatened the environmentally fragile region.Christiana Figueres, formerly head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat when the Paris accord was reached by almost 200 nations in 2015, told Reuters by telephone "the Arctic has been rendered undrillable."The past three years have been the hottest since records began in the 19th century, and Figueres said the heat was a threat to everything from Australia's Great Barrier Reef to ice

Photo: Jan Arne Wold / Woldcam

Statoil to Become Equinor, Dropping 'Oil'

Shareholders in Norway's largest company, Statoil, will approve on Tuesday the board's proposal to drop "oil" from its name as its seeks to diversify its business and attract young talent concerned about fossil fuels' impact on climate change.From Wednesday, the majority state-owned company will change its 46-year-old name to Equinor and trade on the Oslo Exchange under the new ticker EQNR.The Norwegian government, which has a 67 percent stake in the firm, has said it will back the move.The oil and gas company said the name change was a natural step after it decided last year to

(Image: Project Trumpmore)

Finns Want to Carve Trump’s Face on a Glacier

President Donald Trump reportedly told South Dakota Representative Kristi Noem it is dream to be added to Mount Rushmore.There might not be space for the 45th American president’s likeness alongside some of his most immortal predecessors on Mount Rushmore, but a group of Finnish environmentalists say they want to fulfill Trump’s dream in a different sort of way.Members of a Finnish NGO say they want to commission Project Trumpmore, a 115-foot-tall ice sculpture of Donald Trump’s face onto an arctic glacier inspired by the iconic South Dakota monument and Trump’s rejection of

Kongsberg’s Yara Birkeland unmanned container ship concept. (Image: Kongsberg)

Ocean Autonomy: Norway to the Fore

Marine autonomous systems working independently and in connected systems are fast becoming a growth sector within the ocean industry space, including the oil and gas industry.The emergence of new marine autonomous systems appears to be a weekly occurrence. As costs have reduced in numerous areas, from sensors to satellites, some of these systems are also coming within the grasps of ordinary citizens, as well as ocean scientists, looking to unlock the secrets of the deep.Part of the drive for these systems, in the oil and gas industry at least, is to reduce use of manned surface vessels, which are

(Illustration by Natalie Renier, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Atlantic Ocean Circulation at Weakest Point in 1,600 Years

A key cog in the global ocean circulation system hasn’t been running at peak strength since the mid-1800s and is currently at its weakest point in the past 1,600 years, as suggested by new research led by University College London (UCL) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). If the system continues to weaken, it could disrupt weather patterns from the United States and Europe to the African Sahel, and cause more rapid increase in sea level on the U.S. East Coast.When it comes to regulating global climate, the circulation of the Atlantic Ocean plays a key role. The constantly moving

© Mike Mareen / Adobe Stock

Record-size US Offshore Oil Lease Sale Draws Modest Bidding

, and won those tracts with bids averaging $153 an acre - 35 percent below levels last year, and a fraction of those in the region in 2013 when oil prices were higher, according to the data.   In all, the auction yielded $124.76 million in winning bids.   The Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which administered the auction, characterized the results as robust: "I think we’re seeing continued consistent investment in the Gulf of Mexico," BOEM spokesman Mike Celata said in a conference call with reporters, adding he forecast increasing oil and gas production

AWI sea-ice physicists have ericted an ice camp to investigate melt ponds on Arctic sea ice. (Photo Alfred-Wegener-Institut  Mar Fernandez)

Threat from wandering greenhouse gas

regions north of Siberia, microorganisms produce methane when they break down plant remains. If this greenhouse gas finds its way into the water, it can also become trapped in the sea ice that forms in these coastal waters. As a result, the gas can be transported thousands of kilometres across the Arctic Ocean and released in a completely different region months later. This phenomenon is the subject of an article by researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, published in the current issue of the online journal Scientific Reports. Although this interaction between methane, ocean and ice has a significant

Photo: US Navy

US Navy Submarines Surface in the Arctic Circle

, 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.    "From a military, geographic and scientific perspective, the Arctic Ocean is truly unique, and remains one of the most challenging ocean environments on earth," said Rear Admiral James Pitts, commander, Undersea Warfighting Development Center (UWDC).   ICEX provides the U.S. Submarine Force and partners from the Royal Navy an opportunity to test combat and

XPRIZE Senior Director Dr. Jyotika Virmani, Ph.D., will give a closing keynote at Catch The Next Wave. Credit: XPRIZE

Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE Announcements at OI2018

The participation of Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE in the world-leading Oceanology International 2018 marine science exhibition and conference in the ExCeL, London adds an extra incentive to visit an already pivotal event.   Now in its 49th year, Oceanology International is renowned as an invaluable global maritime technology business networking hub, with 8,500 industry professionals from more than 79 countries anticipated to attend this year.   The 36-month Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE competition was launched in December 2015, with a $7 million prize purse, and challenges teams from

The Sentinel HR high-resolution seismic streamer (Image: Sercel)

Sercel Sells High-res Streamer System to AWI Research Institute

all types of marine seismic surveys while QuietSea complies with international marine mammal monitoring regulations to offer the most advanced detection tool in the industry.   Pascal Rouiller, Sercel CEO, said, “We are delighted that AWI has again selected Sercel systems to conduct its next oceanographic surveys in polar regions. By adding the Sentinel HR to its portfolio of Sercel marine seismic acquisition equipment, which includes the Sentinel, Seal 428, SeaPro Nav and QuietSea, AWI will benefit from highly detailed images of the shallow sediment layers in the most challenging environments

(Photo: Subsea 7)

Schlumberger, Subsea 7 Mull Oil Services JV

Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield services firm, and smaller peer Subsea 7 said on Friday they were entering exclusive talks to form a joint venture to deliver subsea installations and services for oilfields.   The news lifted Subsea 7 shares on hopes the talks could be the first step towards a full takeover, in a sector that has already seen consolidation with the 2016 merger of Technip and FMC Technologies.   In recent months, oil firms have returned to profits due to higher oil prices and the benefits of deep cost cuts they made during the downturn. But their suppliers are

Photo: WFN Strategies

WFN: Cable Route Survey Support for Kativik

WFN Strategies has been awarded a contract by Kativik Regional Government, a supramunicipal body with jurisdiction over the territory of Québec situated north of the 55th parallel of Canada, to provide cable route survey support for the proposed Eastern Arctic Undersea Fiber Optic Network (EAUFON) submarine telecoms cable system.   EAUFON is a planned submarine cable with landing points at multiple communities in Canada’s Nunavik region.  The EAUFON submarine cable system has an initial Ready For Service date of 2020 with multiple extensions planned subsequently. Although

(Image: thyssenkrupp)

MUM's the Word: New UUV Takes Shape in Germany

and EvoLogics, all working together to develop a new type of unmanned underwater vehicle.    MUM will receive funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy over three years, and its aim is to open up new ways to explore and harness the potential of the world’s oceans.   Meet MUM According to the partners, MUM is breaking with old conventions: The modular, unmanned underwater vehicle performs its tasks largely autonomously, with an innovative modular design enabling the new vehicle class to be customized cost-efficiently for each mission. Individual base

© eqroy / Adobe Stock

Alaska Requests Limits on US Offshore Drilling

Alaska Governor Bill Walker said on Tuesday he has asked U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to pare back a Trump administration plan for oil and gas leasing off the state's coast.   While Walker supports offshore oil development, he said the Interior Department should focus on the most prospective areas off Alaska – the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in the Arctic and Cook Inlet in southern Alaska – and drop all others from the leasing plan.   In asking for proposed lease sales to be dropped, Walker, an independent, joins governors of several other coastal states after Zinke's

Liam Warren (Photo: Rovco)

Rovco Names Warren Operations Manager

Subsea services company Rovco said it has appointed Liam Warren as operations manager to support the delivery of remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and survey projects across the globe.   Warren, a chartered engineer, brings more than 15 years’ experience having worked on a number of major oil and gas, marine renewables and nuclear projects.    Prior to joining Rovco, Warren was a construction package manager for Costain where he played an instrumental role in the development of the marine works required for the construction of an offshore heat sink system for the nuclear facility

(Photo: Erwan AMICE ©CNRS)

RTsys Acoustic Recorders to the Poles

Biologist Laurent Chauvaud records underwater noise ranging over an area from the Brittany coast all the way to the Poles and Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon. With RTsys he found robust underwater acoustic equipment that meets his needs for his new trip to the South Pole.   Sounds from animals moving, feeding and breathing can be used as indicators of the health of ecosystems. Chauvaud has been recording them along the Brittany coast and at the Poles in an attempt to develop new descriptors or marine environment and to better understand how these coastal ecosystems work and handle impact of human

© donvictori0 / Adobe Stock

Ten Institutes Join the Nereus Program

America and Australia have joined the Nereus Program research partnership, bringing the total to 17.   Launched in September 2011, the program is an international collaboration between The Nippon Foundation and the University of British Columbia with the aim to make comprehensive forecasts of the ocean’s future, the program has grown into one of the world’s largest research initiatives in its field.   Principle investigators from eight out of the 10 newly joined universities and institutes gathered in Tokyo last December to partake in an international symposium titled &ldquo

© xmentoys / Adobe Stock

As US Opens Up Offshore Waters, Eastern GoM Beckons

development would interfere with extensive military testing and training exercises in the area.   "The eastern Gulf of Mexico could be very attractive to industry because of the proximity to existing infrastructure in the central and western Gulf of Mexico," the National Ocean Industries Association, which represents the offshore oil and gas industry, said in a statement.   "Investing in the eastern Gulf could yield results - new jobs, new oil and gas production and increased energy security - quicker than investing in other offshore areas

© wanfahmy / Adobe Stock

Trump Aims to Open Nearly All US Offshore to Oil Drilling

opening nearly all U.S. offshore waters to oil and gas drilling, a move aimed at boosting domestic energy production that sparked protests from coastal states, environmentalists and the tourism industry.   The effort to open previously off-limits acreage in the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific oceans comes less than eight years after BP Plc's Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico - the largest in American history. The disaster caused billions of dollars in economic damage and led former President Barack Obama's to increase regulation of the industry.   Interior Secretary Ryan

(Photo: BSEE)

Eni Begins Drilling Oil Well in Alaska's Beaufort Sea

this week began drilling a new well in U.S. waters off the north coast of Alaska, becoming the first company to do so since 2015, federal regulators said on Wednesday.   The oil and gas firm is working from an artificial island in the Beaufort Sea about three miles off Oliktok Point in the Arctic Ocean. The well is expected to run more than 6 miles (10 km) long.   The project could result in 20,000 barrels a day of oil production, according to regulator U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), which said it sent employees to the site to ensure compliance with federal regulation

Mike Bisset, Aleron Subsea Technical Director.

Gold Rush: A $194B Gold Salvage Operation

During World War I and World War II there were an estimated 7,500 merchant ships were sunk, 700 of which were carrying shipments of gold under U.K. Government direction, leaving an estimatd $194 billion in gold lying underwater. Britannia’s Gold Ltd. was created finance the recovery of targeted cargoes and return them to the UK for the benefit of the government, investors and merchant marine charities, and Aleron Subsea -- a Remotely Operated Vehicle specialist -- has been chosen to participate in the hunt, using its AUXROV subsea system. Aleron and the AUXROV were selected by James Fisher

© Ivan Kurmyshov / Adobe Stock

Statoil to Drill 5-6 Wells in Arctic Barents Sea in 2018

Norway's Statoil will continue to drill for oil in the Arctic Barents Sea next year even though its 2017 campaign was mostly disappointing, the company's head of exploration told Reuters on Tuesday.   Statoil plans to drill between 25 and 30 wells in Norwegian waters in 2018, of which five or six are expected in the Barents and the rest will be split between the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea, which are both located further south.   "We have tested a lot of potential there (in 2017), and that potential is gone, but we still believe in the overall potential of the Barents Sea

© h368k742 / Adobe Stock

Norway's Arctic Oil Plan Violates Constitution, Lawsuit Says

Norway's plan for Arctic oil exploration is unconstitutional because it violates the right to a healthy environment, a lawyer for Greenpeace and the Nature and Youth environmental group told an Oslo court on Tuesday. The case is the first of its kind in Norway and says a 2015 oil licensing round in the Arctic that gave awards to Statoil , Chevron and others violates the constitution. Norway signed the 2016 Paris accord, which aims to end the fossil fuel era this century. The country is Western Europe's largest oil producer and oil and gas are its most important exports. Government lawyers say

Image: © Nightman1965/Adobe Stock

Arctic Oil Expansion Panned by Scientists

A group of 37 U.S.-based scientists whose research focuses on Arctic wildlife asked two U.S. senators in a letter on Thursday not to open the National Arctic Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, according to a copy seen by Reuters.   The scientists, including several retired former officials from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, said in a letter to Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington that drilling for oil and gas in the refuge would be "incompatible with the purposes

(Credit: U.S. Coast Guard)

'Roomba' in the Arctic

The pace and quality of oil spill research in the United States typically ebbs and flows as a function of two, if not three important variables. First, after the 1989 Exxon Valdez grounding, there was a flurry of activity to ramp up oil spill research because it had been dormant for so long. The need was recognized, with plenty of money made available. Primarily, this research centered on conventional spill remediation techniques – for example, a tanker or barge spilling oil – and not much else. Predictably, when memory of the spill faded, so did interest in research and funding.  &nbs

(Photo: Blueye Robotics)

Hurtigruten Brings Underwater Drones to Exploration Cruising

of the ship even joined the Blueye team as they used the Pioneer to inspect the vessel’s hull. The Blueye Pioneer will be available for purchase from 2018, with pricing starting at $3,550.   Blueye Pioneer Hull design: Hydrodynamic and hydrobalanced hull for stability and performance in ocean conditions. Engineering plastic and rubber protections that withstand impact Pressure rating: 150 m Weight: Less than 8 kg Speed: At least 2 m/s (4 knots) Run-time: At least 2 hrs normal operation Thrusters: 4 x 350 W; plus 2 rear, 1 vertical center, 1 lateral Automation: Auto heading, auto

Anglerfish is a miniature deep-sea LED flasher designed to aid in vehicle recovery (Photo: Arctic Rays)

New Mini LED Flasher for AUVs and Gliders

Arctic Rays, LLC has released to the wider market its robust miniature self-contained deep-sea LED flasher designed to aid in vehicle recovery. Anglerfish is a 380 lumen LED with 360 degree collimating optic can be seen from a distance as far away as 5 nautical miles from any direction.   Its built-in daylight sensor prevents operation during daylight. Standard output is a double burst every 2 seconds, customizable upon request The Anglerfish easily mounts to vehicle masts and connects to power and control via a standard three pin connector.   Anglerfish is currently being used on the

(Photo: Liquid Robotics)

Wave Glider to Help Protect Marine Sanctuaries

;s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) Pacific Islands Region (PIR).   At the core of the long-term environmental monitoring and surveillance of the Pacific’s most diverse and endangered underwater ecosystems will be Liquid Robotics’ Wave Glider, an autonomous surface ocean robot that will be used to help address long-term monitoring and scientific data collection gaps that are not economically feasible with traditional research assets.   Allen Tom, Regional Director, Office of NMS Pacific Islands Regional Director, said, “Utilizing the latest technology

The CARTHE drifter (Photo: GreenWave Instruments LLC)

Meet the CARTHE Drifter

Surface currents in the upper 1 ocean are very important in driving the fate of marine debris and pollutants but are also challenging to measure. Tracking the upper ocean in an effective manner may require massive deployment of GPS tracked drifter buoys, which until now were expensive, cumbersome and quite polluting themselves (i.e. made of PVC, ABS and Nylon). The CARTHE drifter is an answer to the need for a compact, user-friendly, robust, yet eco-friendly solution. Scientists with the Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment (CARTHE), in collaboration with the

(Photo: ASV Global)

First Ever USV-supported Cable Route Survey

For the first time ever, a seabed cable route survey has been performed with support from an unmanned surface vehicle (USV).   The survey route included various water depths and strong currents, while facing difficult wind and sea conditions in the Bering Sea offshore Alaska. The project was mobilized immediately following a 9,000km nautical charting survey by Terrasond, of which 4,750km (53 percent) was executed by an ASV Global C-Worker 5 autonomous surface vehicle (ASV). The cable route survey required a new payload including a hull mounted multibeam sonar, a sub-bottom profiler, and a towed

Marine Technology Reporter - October 2017 Edition

The October 2017 edition of Marine Technology Reporter is now available – in print, and online.   This edition includes features on: The sophisticated technology used to find and explore the long-lost USS Indianapolis Deep-sea mining: the promises of subsea riches pose a threat to subsea environments   Unmanned forces: building a multi-domain autonomous fleet   Aerial drones improve safety and performance offshore   The Arctic “Roomba”: new technologies for recovering oil spills in icy waters   Read

(Credit: Rolls-Royce)

Research Vessels: The Fleet is In

A wave of new and innovative research vessels are set to help scientists enhance their understanding of the oceans. MTR profiles several of these ships currently in designe and construction across the globe.   RRS Sir David Attenborough The U.K.’s new polar research ship rose to fame when Boaty McBoatface took the internet by storm as the leading vote getter in an online naming contest. The U.K.’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) eventually chose to call the ship RRS Sir David Attenborough, a name better fit for a $256 million high-tech research ship (though the Boaty

(Image: Add Energy)

New Solution Simplifies Relief Well Operations

Energy consultancy provider Add Energy and subsea solutions provider Trendsetter Engineering have teamed up to develop the Relief Well Injection Spool (RWIS) Lite, designed to reduce the complexity of relief well operations on a global scale, when coupled with the original RWIS product.   RWIS Lite is an exact structural replica of the original RWIS, which allows for duplicity in shared components. The original RWIS increases the flow capacity of a single relief well, which is a safer and less challenging option to drilling multiple relief wells during a subsea well blowout. The RWIS is placed

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce

Another Milestone for RRS Sir David Attenborough Build

(NERC) for operation by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).This £200 million ($268 mln) Government investment secures the UK’s position as a world leader in polar research and provides a major boost to shipbuilding in the North West. When it enters service in 2019, the ship will carry out oceanographic and other scientific work in both the Antarctic and Arctic as well as transporting supplies to Antarctic research stations.   The project is the biggest commercial shipbuilding contract currently underway in Britain and one of the biggest for more than a generation.   Rolls

An Air-Deployable Expendable Ice Buoy is deployed in the high Arctic near the North Pole from a Royal Danish Air Force C-130 aircraft operating out of Thule Air Force Base in Greenland, as part of the International Arctic Buoy Program (IABP). Photo: United States Navy

US Navy Buoys into the Arctic Ocean

 The U.S National Ice Center (USNIC) in coordination with the Office of Naval Research, Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy, the Danish Joint Arctic Command, Environmental and Climate Change Canada and University of Washington deployed buoys into the Arctic Ocean during a joint mission.  The joint mission was conducted to collect weather and oceanographic data to enhance forecasting and environmental models thereby reducing operational risk for assets in the Arctic.   "Polar lows are like hurricanes of the north and the data collected from these buoys will help us with

© rabbit75_fot / Adobe Stock

New Industry Association IOSTIA Launched

A newly created industry association has set out to provide programs, services and a unified voice on Capitol Hill and in the regulatory agencies to companies that sustainably and commercially utilize the oceans.   The new 501(c)(6) industry association, the International Ocean Science and Technology Industry Association (IOSTIA, pronounced IO-sha), has been launched to serve the oceans science and technology space. IOSTIA represents companies that commercially and sustainably utilize and explore the Earth’s oceans, as well as businesses that provide technology and services for sectors

(Photo: Aker Arctic)

Aker Arctic’s Ice Lab is Back in Acton

 The Finnish icebreaking season typically ends in May. Around the same time, the cooling system in Aker Arctic’s ice laboratory in Helsinki, Finland, is turned off and the model basin is allowed to warm up for the annual summer maintenance break.   Aker Arctic operates its own ice model testing facility at the company’s main office in Helsinki, Finland. Using the in-house developed FGX model ice, the 75-meter ice tank can be used to get reliable icebreaking performance predictions for ice-going ships and study other ice-related phenomena in model scale. Aker Arctic and its

Next generation Wave Glider heading out to sea (Photo: Liquid Robotics, A Boeing Company)

Liquid Robotics Debuts Next Generation Wave Glider

sensor payloads and increased energy and storage capacity required for long duration maritime surveillance, environmental monitoring and observation missions.   “From the very first Wave Glider we’ve had a passion and relentless commitment to make the world’s best unmanned ocean robot,” said Roger Hine, CTO and Co-founder, Liquid Robotics. “With our next generation Wave Glider, we've applied learning from approximately 100 years of cumulative water time to enhance an already well-proven design. The result is our Wave Gliders are better prepared than ever before

The submarine cargo transportation system is designed to transport LNG beneath the Arctic Ocean's ice cap and elsewhere. It only has to be submerged deep enough to avoid striking the ice above. Since the sea ice cap is not that thick the sub only has to be strong enough to withstand relatively low depth pressure. (Image: Novan Research)

Subsea Commerce in the Arctic Ocean

Recent years have seen a rapid increase in surface shipping operations in Arctic regions but nothing has been done for the subsea commercial shipping. New submarine technology to open up the Arctic Ocean's northern passage for year-round commerce is now technically feasible.   The voyage above the ice is extremely difficult exacerbated by extreme low temperatures, short warm season, thick icing of exposed topside equipment, changing ice cap movements, and a lack of suitable rescue search operations.   Faster cargo submarines, using direct routes across the Arctic Ocean would require less

(Image: IKM)

IKM Cleandrill to Start Operations in Azerbaijan

 IKM Cleandrill is slated to begin its first offshore operations in the Caspian Sea in early 2018, after having been awarded a contract for riserless mud circulating system services by Total E&P ABSHERON BV on behalf of Joined Operating Company for Absheron Project (JOCAP), a 50/50 joint venture between SOCAR and Total. IKM said the contract will include the installation of its MRR500 mud recovery system onto a new semisubmersible drill rig, and provision of subsea drilling fluid pumping services as part of Absheron Project’s drilling campaign in the Republic of Azerbaijan. IKM

Underwater image captured using an EM 712 multibeam echo sounder (Image: Kongsberg Maritime)

Canadian Coast Guard Expands Mapping Capability

Kongsberg Maritime said the Canadian Coast Guard has chosen its high resolution EM 712 multibeam echo sounders for the medium icebreakers CCGS Pierre Radisson and the CCGS Des Groseilliers.    Gathering critical hydrographic data can be a challenge in the Canadian Arctic. The innovative, retractable design of the new EM 712 echo sounder systems optimizes performance of the sounder when deployed and protects it when the vessel is breaking ice.   When deployed, the high-resolution EM 712 collects valuable navigational and scientific data from otherwise inaccessible parts of the planet

© tomonet000 / Adobe Stock

Study: Climate Change Shifts Timing of River Floods

Climate change has shifted the timing of flooding in European rivers in the past 50 years, causing deluges earlier in the northeast and later around parts of the Mediterranean, scientists said on Thursday.   Floods affect more people worldwide than any other natural hazard and U.N. estimates put the amount of damage they cause at $104 billion a year. Predicting the timings can help protect people and guide crop plantings, irrigation and hydropower generation.   "Climate change has impacted flood timing in Europe," lead author Guenter Bloeschl of the Vienna University of Technolog

The scientific base of Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, as seen from the sea. The future Satellite Ranging Station will be located between the two antennas visible in the image. Credits: Norwegian Mapping Authority/Per Erik Opseth. Photo: NASA

NASA, Norway to Develop Arctic Laser-Ranging Station

 NASA and the Norwegian Mapping Authority are partnering to develop a state-of-the-art satellite laser ranging station 650 miles from the North Pole that will produce high-precision locations of orbiting satellites, help track changes in the ice sheets and improve the efficiency of marine transportation and agriculture.   The Arctic station will be the latest addition to a global network of space geodetic stations, which measure and monitor the size and shape of Earth, its orientation in space, the exact location of points on its surface and how these locations change over time. Space

File photo: Jamie Baikie / Statoil

Statoil Set to Drill Its Biggest Arctic Hope

Norway's Statoil will soon start drilling this season's most promising Arctic prospect, Korpfjell, after several disappointing wells in the Barents Sea, the company said on Monday.   The majority state-owned company has stepped up drilling in the Barents Sea this year as the government seeks to attract more explorers to its Arctic waters to make up for declining North Sea output.   The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said on Monday Statoil's latest well in the Barents Sea, Gemini North, had found only minor volumes of gas and oil.   "The well was drilled with the ambition of

(Photo: MetOcean Telematics)

MetOcean Telematics Wins Canada Satcom Contract

MetOcean Telematics said it has been awarded a multi-year contract to provide global satellite communications to the Canadian Government, exclusively through the Iridium network.   The agreement will feature MetOcean Telematics hardware products and services, deployed for use by more than 150 Canadian Government agencies. The Iridium network satellite constellation offers 100 percent global coverage, including the polar regions, such as the remote Arctic territory of northern Canada.   MetOcean Telematics notes it has significant experience providing remote monitoring technology for

SMD’s existing workshop at Wallsend on the banks of the River Tyne (Photo: SMD)

SMD Expands Its Servicing Operations

Remotely operated vehicles (ROV) manufacturer Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD) said it is relocating its servicing operations to the Port of Tyne’s Tyne Dock estate in South Shields, U.K.    The Tyneside based manufacturing company’s head office and heavy production facility will remain in Wallsend and SMD will continue to manufacture ROVs at the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate in North Shields. Servicing, maintenance and training operations will transfer to the new facility at the Port of Tyne.   The firm will occupy a 23,000sqft unit at Tyne Dock, which has been modified to

Artist’s impression of RRS Sir David Attenborough (Image: Cammell Laird and British Antarctic Survey)

FarSounder Sonar for RRS Sir David Attenborough

The new $180 million polar research vessel RRS Sir David Attenborough currently under construction at the Cammell Laird Birkenhead shipyard in the Port of Liverpool City Region, U.K. is slated to be equipped with FarSounder's longest range sonar system, the FarSounder-1000.   The new, state-of-the-art ship, owned by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), will enable scientists to explore and undertake science in new areas of the Antarctic and Arctic seas.   With the vessel’s ability to embark on longer voyages and explore some of the most remote aquatic regions of the world

Artist impression Antarctic Supply Research Vessel (ASRV) for the Australian Antarctic Division.  (Photo: Radio Holland)

IT Package Ordered for Australian Arctic Research Ship

Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS, Vlissingen) has awarded Radio Holland a contract to supply the IT systems on board the state-of-the-art Antarctic Supply Research Vessel (ASRV) newbuild for the Australian Antarctic Division.   The 160m ASRV is a survey vessel which combines icebreaking, survey and supply activities. The vessel will be able to break ice up to 1.65 meters at a speed of 3 knots and will supply Australia’s permanent research stations in Antarctica and Macquarie Island with cargo, equipment and personnel.   Radio Holland said it will deliver a large IT infrastructu

The fleet of Saildrones are being prepared for a summer and fall of science from the Bering Sea to the Arctic to the far reaches of the tropical Pacific Ocean. (Photo: Saildrone Inc.)

NOAA to Deploy Saildrones for Climate Study

During the next four months, NOAA scientists will deploy Saildrone unmanned ocean vehicles to hard-to-reach locales such as the Arctic and the tropical Pacific with the goal of better understanding of how ocean changes affect weather, climate, fisheries and marine mammals.   The Saildrone is wind and solar-powered research vehicle resembling a sailboat, capable of performing tasks at sea such as met ocean data collection, environmental monitoring and fish stock analysis, autonomously or under remote control. For NOAA, the vehicles will soon travel thousands of miles across the ocean, reaching

Image of sea ice in the Beaufort Sea, acquired on 3 June 2017 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument, on board the Aqua satellite. (Photo: NASA)

Trump Administration Approves Eni Plan to Drill Offshore Alaska

Eni US will become the first energy company allowed to explore for oil in federal waters off Alaska since 2015 after the Trump administration this week approved a drilling plan on leases the company has been sitting on for 10 years.   The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management approved the drilling plan of Eni US, a unit of Italy's Eni on Wednesday as part of President Donald Trump's plan to boost oil and gas drilling and make the country "energy dominant."   The approval is conditional on Eni getting other state and federal permits, which in past cases are generally granted once

Photo: Blackmagic Design

4K Camera Captures Subsea Footage for BBC and NHK

is used to capture 4K footage up to 1,000 meters deep. Lee Frey, co-founder of Arctic Rays and manned submersible pilot for Alucia Productions, used the Micro Studio Camera 4K to capture footage during Antarctic expeditions for the BBC’s “Blue Planet II” and the NHK’s “Deep Ocean” series.   Alucia Productions is a nonprofit media company that partners with leading broadcasters, scientific institutions, conservation organizations and other production companies to chronicle ocean expeditions aboard its research vessel, the M/V Alucia. In addition to piloting submersible

© André Gilden / Adobe Stock

Melting Sea Ice: A Canary in the Coal Mine

, thus serving as early warning systems. The environment itself can also serve as a sentinel, with small or remote changes warning that changes of greater magnitude are developing.   Currently, the extent and condition of Arctic sea ice is in the midst of rapid change. Ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean seems to set new lower maximums every winter lately. In addition, the sea ice is getting thinner. Estimates are that, over the past 30 years, the Arctic area has lost 50 percent of its prior coverage and 75 percent of its volume. Previously, scientists calculate that the Arctic Ocean might be virtually

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) ggw)

Statoil Decision on Castberg Field in late 2017

Plans final investment decision regarding the Arctic Johan Castberg oilfield to be made towards end of 2017   * In January Statoil said Castberg decision would come during the second half of 2017   * Investment seen at NOK 49 billion ($5.78 billion) between 2017 and 2024   * Field size estimated at 450-650 mln barrels of oil equivalent   * Says Castberg operation will be supported by a supply and helicopter base in Hammerfest and an operations organisation in Harstad   * Says recruitment of offshore personnel from Finnmark county is also prioritised   *

Marine Technology Magazine Cover Jun 2018 - Underwater Defense

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