The USGS Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal report indicates that the area north of the Arctic Circle is estimated to contain more than 20% (~412 BBOE) of the undiscovered, technically recoverable, global oil and gas resources. And of that 20%, nearly 85% (~350 BBOE) is expected to lie in offshore basins. With these estimates, the incentives for exploration and development are massive and these incentives are nearly outweighed by the challenges of operating in an often remote, environmentally harsh and sensitive environment. This situation is well recognized by the E&P industry, and those companies involved in Arctic ventures are naturally focused on safe operations with minimal environmental impact.
Exploration in the Arctic and other Environmentally Sensitive Sea Areas ("ESSA") must be performed responsibly and to the highest possible standards using the best available technology. Our investment in specialized vessel design, acquisition technologies, operational procedures, accreditations and certifications has resulted in an unparalleled capability to safely operate in Arctic waters. Today we owns and operates the youngest, most uniform and highest ICE-rated seismic fleet. We are the only seismic contractor with:
- DNV GL acknowledged Arctic Operating Procedures
- DNV GL Triple-E™ Level 1
- DNV GL Emission Qualification Statement
- IMO Polar Code compliant fleet
With our unique vessels, industry leading certifications and accreditations, Explore Green™ environmental management, and our proven experience, we are qualified to meet the Arctic challenge. By end 2014, we secured approximately 60% of all true Arctic seismic acquisition since 2012 and we have more than 65% of the global high ICE-Class fleet.
From the beginning, Polarcus has applied an approach to towed streamer operations based upon the employment of a procedural framework to integrate all elements of the Maritime and Seismic components including:
- Maximizing geophysical flexibility
- Minimizing the environmental footprint
- Providing fit-for-purpose platforms enabling safe and efficient seismic operations
In simple terms this refers to the proper alignment of our people, vessels, procedures, and applied technologies within a plan focused on providing high quality 3D seismic data in the safest and most cost effective manner when working in harsh environments in remote locations, with the Arctic being a specific case.
Performing safe and effective towed streamer 3D surveys in the remote Arctic presents many challenges, amongst these being:
- Ensuring safe vessel operations in harsh environmental conditions and varied ice conditions
- Ensuring optimum environmental protection for the sensitive Arctic ecosystems
- Ensuring “fail-safe” on-site medical treatment and evacuation plans
The provision of adequate medical support in remote areas is a critical issue. Medevac by helicopter or other suitable means may or may not be available and response time may be significant. Reaching a tolerable medical emergency response in remote locations requires an integrated and upgraded approach to mitigate personal health risk to ALARP and reduce the likelihood of urgent medevac situations. A high degree of medical self-sufficiency in the operation supported by enhanced topside medical coverage made available via telemedicine capabilities provides a solution.
Remote healthcare strategy
To address the need for advanced medical care on board the vessel, a unique Remote Healthcare Strategy is designed for each project. Each strategy must address level of remoteness and emergency response capability as well as operational factors such as external communications as well as level of support available in or near the project area. Additionally, each Remote Healthcare Strategy will include provisions for:
- Appropriate fitness-to-work evaluations
- Project site medical team capabilities and qualifications
- Project site medical facilities enhanced for diagnostics and treatment