A research program has successfully established criteria for long-range supply vessel operations in support of exploration drilling under Arctic conditions. Eleven scientists joined the normal 15-man crew of Offshore Supply Association's vessel M. V. Werdertor, an ice-classed EIII 13,000 class ship, to collect data relating to weather patterns, physical characteristics of the vessel, and hull stresses-particularly those imposed on the bow sections. The group also studied actual icebreaking techniques. The M. V. Werdertor is equipped with five nozzles in the bow for injecting an airwater mixture while underway in ice to lower friction resistance. For this project, the ship also was equipped with subsea television systems for monitoring the flow of ice around the hull, inlets, thruster units, and main propellers. The vessel reportedly performed well in all types of ice packs, easily handling floes of around 10-ft thick, and was able to reach speeds of up to 8.5 knots in solid ice up to 30-in. thick. In thicker ice, ramming proved to be necessary, and the trials confirmed that passages could be made successfully in solid ice up to 4-ft thick. Temperatures during the project ranged from 35 F to -10 F, with severe icing at times. Conclusion reached by the program-the first to be carried out by a supply vessel under Arctic conditions and under scientific supervision-is that it is possible, with purpose-built ships, to meet supply requirements for exploration programs and subsequent production operations in far northern waters and within the Arctic Circle itself.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Transport Canada

    1000 Sherbrooke Street, West, P.O. Box 549
    Montreal, Quebec  Canada  H3A 2R3
  • Publication Date: 1979

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00319827
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 27 1980 12:00AM