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TAP-597-Assessment of Superstructure Ice Protection As Applied to Offshore Oil Operations Safety

Project Initiation Date
Performing Activity
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), Hanover, NH
Principal Investigator
Drs. Charles C. Ryerson and Michael G. Ferrick
Contracting Agency

The objective of this research project is to assess potential methods for improving safety on drilling and production vessels and platforms operating in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas and experiencing superstructure icing. The goals are: To identify ice protection technologies currently in use on marine structures, evaluate their effectiveness for enhancing operational safety and define critical superstructure icing needs.
To identify ice protection technologies in use and under development from other ice mitigation applications including electrical transmission, transport and aviation with regard to ice detection, icephobic coatings, anti-icing and de-icing and structural design.
To evaluate these transfer technologies to determine which can be most successfully applied to the marine environment and assess their technology readiness level.
Assess the potential safety improvements following application of these transfer technologies to drilling and production operations in the marine icing environment.
Identify high priority research needs for development and maturation of transfer technologies to the marine environment with associated estimates of relative costs and time to operational use. Where needs exist and no technologies are available for transfer make recommendations for development of new technologies for enhances safety and more effective management of superstructure icing.


Task 1. Interim Report:

Define technologies currently being used in the oil industry to combat icing hazards and evaluate their effectiveness.
Assess the performance of these technologies for potential application to superstructure icing needs in the marine environment.
Results of Task 1 are the first part of the final report.

Task 2. Interim Report:

Assess the potential of technologies from other disciplines (identified in Task 1) to address critical superstructure icing problems and operational safety needs.
The readiness of each potential technology will be evaluated and assigned an appropriate Technology Readiness Level (TRL).
Results of Task 2 are the second part of the final report.

Task 3. Final Report:

Assess development necessary for specific technologies to effectively mitigate critical safety needs drilling and production operations.
Conclusions ands recommendations for further work.

Latest progress update

The PI has visited platform Heritage in the Pacific region to gather data and knowledge prior to the start of the project. The PI has completed the literature review on oil rig superstructure icing impacts, needs and current solutions. MMS has accepted the final report from Task 1. The PI has completed Task 2 and is developing the draft final report. The final report for this project has been accepted by the MMS. This research project is complete.