In this paper, we define sustainability as the requirement to manage the available resources such that our average quality of life can be shared by future generations. For this definition to make sense, we must define the qualities of life that are important to us—these are the safety of personnel involved in an activity, the clean, nonpolluted environment, and the safe use of assets for owners and investors; this also includes management of resources and safe operations. The sustainability requirement raises challenges for investments and developments. We must apply technology that is safe to use and that ensures that the environment, in a broad sense, is maintained in a way in which renewable resources are not depleted or damaged by pollution. The sustainable use of the Arctic seas is particularly challenging, as pollution is considered to be more persistent in the Arctic environment than in more temperate areas. Most of the examples in the paper will be taken from the Barents Sea, although general aspects are valid for all Arctic seas.
Marchenko, Nataliya A. (University Centre in Svalbard) | Borch, Odd J. (University of Nordland) | Markov, Sergey V. (Institute of Complex Safety, Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov) | Andreassen, Natalia (University of Nordland)
Increasing human activity in the Arctic creates great concern about possible accidents and their consequences for life and nature. The sufficient level of preparedness for emergency cases should be defined and secured. On the basis of previous assessment of activity level and risk matrix and analysis of existing search and rescue resources, the estimation of preparedness system has been done. Three regions (mainland Norway, Svalbard area and Russian part of the Barents Sea) are under consideration and comparison. The international collaboration for safety on the sea is very important in the border area.
The modern development of the Arctic creates a need for understanding of the risk factors, risk mitigating tools, and adequate rescue system capacities in the different area. Safe maritime operations in the High North depend on the risk assessment, preparations and preparedness of the companies involved as well as the government. Activities in the Arctic are challenged by limited infrastructure, long distances and harsh weather conditions.
The presented work is the part of MarPART (Maritime preparedness and International Collaboration in the High North) project, where the researchers are responsible for safety organizations of all the countries of Atlantic Sector of the Arctic on the base of activity and risk estimation should find the way of cross-institutional and cross-country partnership (Nord Universitet, 2016). That is especially important on High North with rare population and limited rescue resources. Activity and probability of accidents differ in various parts of the Arctic, due to geographical, economic and historical reasons. In this study, we focus in particular on 3 regions: Norwegian areas around Svalbard, along the coast of mainland Norway and on West- Russian Arctic in the Barents Sea up to Novaya Zemlya (Fig.1). This sector creates the gateway to the Arctic and in the case of global The modern development of the Arctic creates a need for understanding of the risk factors, risk mitigating tools, and adequate rescue system capacities in the different area. Safe maritime operations in the High North depend on the risk assessment, preparations and preparedness of the companies involved as well as the government. Activities in the Arctic are challenged by limited infrastructure, long distances and harsh weather conditions. The presented work is the part of MarPART (Maritime preparedness and International Collaboration in the High North) project, where the researchers are responsible for safety organizations of all the countries of Atlantic Sector of the Arctic on the base of activity and risk estimation should find the way of cross-institutional and cross-country partnership (Nord Universitet, 2016). That is especially important on High North with rare population and limited rescue resources.
Activity and probability of accidents differ in various parts of the Arctic, due to geographical, economic and historical reasons.
In this study, we focus in particular on 3 regions: Norwegian areas around Svalbard, along the coast of mainland Norway and on West- Russian Arctic in the Barents Sea up to Novaya Zemlya (Fig.1). This sector creates the gateway to the Arctic and in the case of global warming the development here, especially on Svalbard, will serve as a model for other regions of the Arctic. The situation which we have now on Svalbard (tourist vessel with 3000 passengers on 80° N, for example) can be repeated on Greenland, North of Canada or Franz Josef Land or Novaya Zemlya with characteristic problems. That’s why our study can have global perspective and interest.
Growing commercial activities in the High North increase the possibility of unwanted incidents. The vulnerability related to human safety and environment as well as a challenging context, call for a strengthening of the maritime preparedness system, cross-border and cross-institutional collaboration. In this paper, we look into the different stressors and risk factors of the sea regions in the High North. We elaborate on emergencies where integrated operations like mass evacuation is needed. We build upon in-depth studies of two cruise ship incidents close to the Spitsbergen Islands, and full-scale exercises in the Arctic region. We claim that coordination of such operations where several institutions and management levels are included demands significant integration and communication efforts. Implications for the training of key personnel responsible for coordinating such operations are discussed.
Emergency situations are often characterized by lack of overview and uncertainty about cause, consequences and suitable safety barriers. In areas like the High North, due to limited infrastructure and the scarcity of emergency capacities, a simple emergency situation can quickly turn into a crisis involving significant risk for people, nature and vulnerable societies. The turbulent weather conditions facing emergency actors, makes rescue and relief operations a challenging and time consuming task. In this paper, we examine how the emergency management has to be configured to overcome challenges related to large-scale emergencies with limited local infrastructure, long distances and harsh weather conditions in icy waters. In addition, we consider the limited availability of emergency support systems and the time delays caused by the geographical distances.
By examining the various emergency situations we reflect on suitable composition of the infrastructure, emergency groupings, and coordination mechanism.
Emergency Management and Emergency Response Pattern
High levels of uncertainty combined with a need for fast and reliable action are the main characteristic of emergencies (Kyng, Nielsen, and Kristensen 2006). Major incidents like shootouts and terror action, or cruise ship groundings with mass rescue operations (MRO) are categorized by lack of sufficient resources to meet the emergency situation. These situations are often chaotic and stressful with a large number of causalities, and a mix of SAR capacities. Thus, obtaining and maintaining an overview for such an incident become extremely hard for the coordinators and the different levels of command.
Analysis of loads from icebergs for an Arctic Floater has been performed. The determination of iceberg loads was guided by the ISO 19906 International Standard. Global and local loads on the hull, as well as mooring loads, were studied. To determine loads at the specified levels of exceedance, probabilistic methodology using Monte Carlo methods was used, taking into account the areal density of the ice features (for example the number of icebergs per 10,000 km2), and the probability distributions of the size and mass of the features, their added mass, their velocity, eccentricity of the collision, compliance of the structure, and the strength of the ice. The influence of surrounding sea ice on iceberg loads, as well as iceberg management including detection, towing and disconnection were analysed. Iceberg areal density was determined based on an analysis of available data, including information on the various forms, such as tabular or bergy bit. The strength of ice in collisions involving icebergs was modeled based on full scale crushing data from ship rams with multi-year ice. The pressure-area scale effects associated with ice-structure interaction were taken into account, considering also scatter in pressure measurements for a given contact area. Separate relationships for local and global loads were used. The analysis accounts for the Ekman current acting on an iceberg, together with wind and wave drift forces. Motions of the floating vessel and the icebergs in sea states were analyzed, accounting for the prevailing environmental conditions. Probabilities of collision along the length of the floater and in the vertical plane have been calculated using Monte Carlo methods. A variety of assumptions have been made: no ice management, management with and without disconnection, and the effect of sea ice on detectability and management is included.
Farokhpoor, Raheleh (Norwegian U. of Science & Tech) | Torsater, Ole (Norwegian U. of Science & Tech) | Baghbanbashi, Tooraj (NTNU) | Mork, Atle (SINTEF) | Lindeberg, Erik G.B. (SINTEF Petroleum Research)
Sequestration of carbon dioxide in a saline aquifer is currently being evaluated as a possible way to handle carbon dioxide emitted from a coal-fuelled power plant in Svalbard. The chosen reservoir is a 300 m thick, laterally extensive, shallow marine formation of late Triassic-mid Jurassic age, located below Longyearbyen in Svalbard. The reservoir consists of 300 m of alternating sandstone and shale and is capped by 400 meter shale.
Experimental and numerical studies have been performed to evaluate CO2 storage capacity and long term behaviour of the injected CO2 in rock pore space. Laboratory core flooding experiments were conducted during which air was injected into brine saturated cores at standard conditions. Analysis of the results shows that the permeability is generally less than 2 millidarcies and the capillary entry pressure is high. For most samples, no gas flow was detected in the presence of brine, when employing a reasonable pressure gradient. This poses a serious challenge with respect to achieving viable levels of injectivity and injection pressure.
A conceptual numerical simulation of CO2 injection into a segment of the planned reservoir was performed using commercial reservoir simulation software and available petrophysical data. The results show that injection using vertical wells yields the same injectivity but more increases in field pressure compare to injection through horizontal wells. In order to keep induced pressure below top-seal fracturation pressure and preventing the fast propagation and migration of CO2 plume, slow injection through several horizontal wells into the lower part of the "high?? permeability beds appears to offer the best solution.
The high capillary pressure causes slow migration of the CO2 plume, and regional groundwater flow provides fresh brine for CO2 dissolution. In our simulations, half of the CO2 was dissolved in brine and the other half dispersed within a radius of 1000 meter from the wells after 4000 years. Dissolution of CO2 in brine and lateral convective mixing from CO2 saturated brine to surrounding fresh brine are the dominant mechanisms for CO2 storage in this specific site and this guarantees that the CO2 plume will be stationary for thousands of years.
Buffagni, Melania (ENI E&P) | Pinturier, Laurence Maryvonne (Total E&P Norge AS) | Bracco, Laura (ENI) | Moltu, Ulf Einar (Total E&P Norge AS) | Cova, Carlo Alberto (ENI E&P) | Jonsson, Henrik (IRIS Biomiljø) | Sanni, steinar (IRIS Biomiljø)
Bosheim, Steingrim (Norsk Hydro) | Carroll, Michael L. (Akvaplan-niva) | Denisenko, Stanislav (Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences) | Voronkov, Andrey (Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences) | Ambrose, William (Akvaplan-niva) | Henkes, Gregory (Bates College)
The petroleum industry needs a basic understanding of the Arctic environment before starting exploration for hydrocarbons. In particular, understanding the magnitude and patterns of natural variability in biological populations will help gauge any potential effects of future oil and gas activities. The Arctic climate exhibits variability on several scales relevant for Arctic ecosystem processes, from seasonal changes to decadal oscillations, but the linkages to biological processes remain largely speculative, at least over longer time scales. Benthic communities may be valuable in determining the impacts of environmental variability on Arctic marine ecosystems because benthic fauna are stationary as adults and communities integrate environmental processes over long time periods. Marine bivalves, which are long-lived and comprise a large proportion of benthic communities in the Arctic, have great potential as proxies for environmental variability and concomitant biological responses. Bivalve shell growth has been shown to reflect changes in regional environmental parameters such as temperature and precipitation as well as food availability.
We analyzed growth rates of the circumpolar Greenland smooth cockle, Serripes groenlandicus based on external, annually-deposited growth lines, and linked growth patterns to decadal-scale environmental variations in the Norwegian-Russian Arctic area of the Barents Sea and Svalbard. The dataset of 53 individuals spanning 117 years from 1878-1995 from different regions of the Barents Sea, Svalbard and other locations in the Russian high-Arctic is comprised of samples from Russian Arctic expeditions from the archives of the Zoological Institute (Russian Academy of Science, St. Petersburg). Absolute growth rates differed among regions, reflecting differences in environmental conditions, but at all sites growth had an oscillatory patterns, with several years of higher growth followed by multiple years of poorer growth. Preliminary analyses of environmental control on ecosystem structure reveal that the growth rates of bivalves in the Pechora Sea are strongly and negatively correlated to the NAO, indicating mechanisms of bio-physical coupling in the region.
The Integrated Management Plan for the Barents Sea and Lofoten area (Arctic area) reports that human intervention and activities shall not harm the function, structure, productivity or dynamics of the ecosystem. The precautionary principle is currently the guiding principle applied in the Norwegian Barents Sea based on the assumption that Arctic areas host a fragile and sensitive ecosystem. The industry proposed a zero physical discharges regime in this area which has been strictly implemented in the regulation on the assumption that this will provide the best environmental practice. The precautionary principle and zero discharge are therefore presently applied to E&P discharges rather than using a scientifically based approach.
TOTAL E&P NORGE together with Eni E&P Division and its subsidiary Eni Norge have joined forces to establish a research project, BIOSEA, designed to build scientific knowledge on Arctic ecosystem sensitivity towards regular E&P discharges based upon experience (and results) from similar research projects for the North Sea temperate ecosystem. The project objective is to generate a qualified set of data for assessing the impact of produced water and dispersed oil discharges on Arctic marine organisms that can contribute to a scientific based approach for defining effect thresholds. Larvae, juveniles and adults of Arctic species selected for their key position in the ecosystem have been exposed to realistic field concentration of produced water. The experiments were designed to assess short term response and long term biological effects after one month to several months of exposure. Exposures were run both to validate monitoring tools and to establish no effect concentration levels for produced water discharges in Arctic waters.
A series of no observable effect concentrations (NOEC) and lowest observed effect concentrations (LOEC) have been established throughout the project for cod, northern shrimps and Icelandic scallops at Arctic conditions with a Barents sea crude oil. These results were compared to available data for the same or similar species exposed to North Sea conditions and a North Sea crude oil. From this comparison, it is concluded that the species tested do not present a higher sensitivity to dispersed crude oil at Arctic compared to North Sea conditions. As compared to the threshold level concentration measured for the early life stages, most of the biomarkers measured in adults showed no responses at corresponding concentrations. This comparison shows that the sensitivity of some of the biomarkers commonly used in field monitoring are not high enough to serve as early warning for effects at the most vulnerable life stage in these organisms. These results underline the importance of carrying out tests with early life stages and refining the set of biomarkers used in field monitoring.
These data will be supplemented with tests on additional Arctic species. It is by building a representative dataset and integrating this into an appropriate ecological risk assessment model that a realistic assessment of environmental impact linked to oil and gas industry will be achieved.