First Successful Subsea Pipeline In The Arctic: Northstar

Sabrina Ishita

Abstract


Due to the growing demand for oil and gas in the world, there is an increasing interest to explore new areas for petroleum production. According to a United States Geological Survey, the Arctic Circle has 90 billion barrels of undiscovered oil which represents 13% of the undiscovered oil in the world. Therefore, the development of offshore oil and gas resources in the Arctic has gained a renewed interest in the last decade. However, there are many challenges associated with design, construction and installation of arctic subsea pipeline. Some of the technical design challenges of the arctic pipelines encounter are ice gouging, permafrost thaw settlement, strudel scour, and upheaval buckling.

According to literature review, BP Exploration Alaskas Northstar pipeline has set a baseline by operating safely for the last 13 years and has demonstrated that offshore arctic pipelines can provide safe and reliable oil and gas transportation system. Northstar is the first Arctic offshore development connected to shore by subsea pipeline. This is located about 10 km (6 miles) northwest of Prudhoe Bay in about 12 meter of water. Northstar oil flows to the Trans- Alaska Pipeline System through a subsea pipeline. The primary load conditions controlling Northstar pipeline design and trenching requirement were ice gouging and permafrost thaw.

The industry can apply this experience on other pipelines in arctic that has potential ice load conditions. The paper reviews main challenges in the Arctic, design criteria and lesson learned relating to the Northstar offshore pipelines for protection from ice gouging that can be considered for future offshore Arctic pipelines.

Full Text:

PDF

References


REFERENCES

P. Barrette, “Offshore pipeline protection against seabed gouging by ice: An overview”, Cold Regions Science and Technology 69 (2011) 3–20, Crown Copyright © 2011 Published by Elsevier B.V.

G. A. Lanan and T. G. Cowin, INTECSEA Inc.; and D. K. Johnston, Eni Petroleum, “Alaskan Beaufort Sea Pipeline Design, Installation and Operation”, OTC 22110, OTC Arctic Technology Conference, 7-9 February 2011, Houston, Texas, USA

B. Abdalla, P. Jukes, A. Eltaher, and B. Duron, “The Technical Challenges of Designing Oil and Gas Pipelines in the Arctic”, J P Kenny, Inc., OCEANS 2008, http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=5151914&isnumber=5151799 Retrieved on January 2013-03-13

P.E.Gadd, C.B.Leidersdorf, G. E. Hearon, Coastal Frontiers Corporation; and W. G. McDougal, Oregon State University, “The History of Artificial Islands for Oil Exploration and Development in the Alaskan Artic” OTC 23817,OTC Artic Technology Conference, 3-5 December 2012, Houston, Texas, USA

G. A. Lanan, INTEC Engineering; J. O. Ennis, BP Exploration Alaska; P. S. Egger, Houston Contracting and K. E. Yockey, Alaska Interstate Construction, “Northstar Offshore Arctic Pipeline Design and Construction”, OTC 13133, Offshore Technology Conference, 30 April-3 May 2001, Houston, Texas, USA

J. Caines, INTECSEA Canada; G. Lanan, lNTECSEA Inc.; and A. Sturge, A. Georghiou, and M. Paulin, lNTECSEA Canada, “Probabilistic Methods for Ice Gouge Hazard Analysis in the Beaufort Sea”, OTC 23730, OTC Arctic Technology Conference, 3-5 December 2012, Houston, Texas, USA


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


web counter
web counter