UNDERWATER ARCTIC OIL TRANSPORT

This article describes the essential technical characteristics of very large unfoldable oil-carrying submarine barges and their economic advantages. The purpose of this article is to suggest a construction which offers the advantage of size while being dockable in existing facilities, or in present facilities requiring a minimum of modifications. The study reported here is not a feasibility study in any sense. It is rather a "non-impossibility" study, coupled with hydrodynamic and economic considerations which, it is hoped, will be considered sufficiently challenging to suggest the desirability of a serious feasibility study. Accordingly, a novel construction is sketched in connection with what is termed generally a "barge." This barge could proceed in several modes. It could be a self propelled barge, with the portion of itself assigned to propulsion and navigation being a submarine in its own right, making a hydrodynamically favorable whole with the cargo carrying portions. It could be a towed barge, with its noise nested in the stern of a submarine power module in order to provide an articulated whole flexible enough to deal with underwater currents or uncharted ephemeral obstacles such as icebergs. It could be towed with hawsers by a submarine power module, or by a surface icebreaker, or by an ice-breaking submarine capable of dealing with surface ice or of submerging depending upon conditions. Lastly, it could be towed by a fairly conventional tug following at a relatively smooth pace behind a conventional icebreaker. In all cases except when self propelled or towed by a surface tug, the barge should be transferable from its submarine towing vessel to a surface tug when ice free water is reached, in order to reserve the services of the extremely expensive towing vessel for dealing with arctic ice conditions. The various propulsive means enumerated above are not considered in any detail, but, in line with the statement made earlier in this paragraph, the basic economics of two of them--the submarine nuclear power module and the submersible ice-breaking conventionally powered module--are briefly mentioned at the conclusion of this article and compared with the economics of two more conventional systems.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    American Society of Naval Engineers

    Suite 507, 1012 14th Street, NW
    Washington, DC  USA  20005
  • Authors:
    • Golay, MJE
  • Publication Date: 1971-2

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00043749
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: American Society of Naval Engineers
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 27 1973 12:00AM