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Ice Strengthened Ships

Ice Strengthened Ships

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03/18/2014

Ice stengthened ships and ice rules
Captain BS Duggal MNI
Marine Manager, Sanko Kisen, USA
Note: an edited extract from this paper is published in Seaways, August 2006
Background

Arctic regions in Russia have the world\u2019s biggest energy reserves of oil and gas resources outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Russia is among the top ten in proven oil reserves, is the largest exporter of natural gas, the second largest oil exporter and third largest energy consumer. As a non OPEC member the former Soviet Union (FSU) which includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan collectively averaged 11.56 mb/d in 2005 an increase of 0.41 mb/d over the previous year. Russian oil supply averaged 9.42 mb/d in 2005 an increase of 230,000 b/d from 2004 ( while in 2005 Saudi Arabia, the world\u2019s largest producer of oil averaged of 9.6 mb/d ). Non OPEC supply in 2005 averaged 50.1 mb/d, representing an increase of 0.3 mb/d over 2004. While in 2005 OPEC members averaged 30.16 mb/d of oil. World oil demand during last quarter of 2005 stood at 85.9 mb/d.

Most of Russia\u2019s 60 billion barrels of proven oil reserves are located in Western Siberia, between the Ural Mountains and Central Siberian Plateau. Roughly 25% of Russia\u2019s oil reserves and 6% of its gas reserves are on Sakhalin Island in the far eastern region of the country, just north of Japan. Almost three fourths of Russian crude oil production is exported. About two thirds of Russia\u2019s 6.7 mb/d of crude oil exports in 2004 went to Belarus, Ukraine, Germany, Poland, and other destinations in Central and eastern Europe. The remaining one third of oil exports went to maritime ports and was sold in world markets.

With proven reserves between 60 to 72.3 billion barrels, Russia will stay as a major player in the
global oil market.
Ice bound and low temperature ports of shipment in Russia.

A large portion of Russia\u2019s oil presently is shipped by tankers from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean and to Asia, mostly from port of Novorossiysk. However, shipments through the congested Bosporous Straits are limited by Turkey for environmental and safety reasons, limiting the effective capacity of lines to Novorossiysk.

The Baltic Pipeline System (BPS) carries crude oil from Russia\u2019s West Siberian and Tyumen \u2013 Pechora oil provinces westward to the newly completed port of Primorsk on the Russian Gulf of Finland. Throughput capacity at Primrosk was raised to 1 mb/d and is likely to be expanded to 1.2 mb/d. The BPS gives Russia a direct outlet to northern European markets, reducing dependence on routes through the Baltic countries. Low temperatures and ice infestation of waters in the north Baltic are a fact of life during the winter, typically November / December to March.

Proposed lines would carry oil from Russia\u2019s West Siberian and Tyumen \u2013 Pechora basins west and north to a deepwater terminal at Murmansk or Indiga on the Barent\u2019s Sea. This would enable 1.6 \u2013 2.4 mb/d of Russian oil to reach the United States via tankers in only nine days, much faster than the Middle East or Africa. Liquefied natural gas facilities at Murmansk also have been suggested allowing for gas exports to American markets. The Indiga route would be closer to the

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Tyumen \u2013 Pechora oil fields and shorter. However , transshipment port in Murmansk is ice free
all year due to its location .

The large Chinese market for oil has led to serious consideration of building a pipeline from Russian city of Taishet (northwest of Angarsk) to Nakhodka ( near Sea of Japan). The Nakhodka route would provide a new Pacific port from which Russian oil could be shipped by tankers to Japan and other Asian markets and possibly to North America.

In October 2005 Exxon Neftegas Limited, commenced production from the multiphase Sakhalin- 1 Project offshore Eastern Russia. The initial phase of the project will produce 50,000 barrels (6,300 metric tons) a day by year-end 2005 and 250,000 barrels (33,000 metric tons) a day of oil by year-end 2006 from the Chayvo field. Associated domestic gas sales will start at about 60 million cubic feet (1.7 million cubic meters) per day, and ultimately are expected to increase to about 250 million cubic feet (7.1 million cubic meters) per day by the end of the decade. The Sakhalin-1 project, involves the construction of both offshore and onshore facilities. It includes the world's largest land-based drilling rig to reach reserves six miles (10 kilometers) from shore, an offshore platform that provides drilling capacity for up to 20 wells, an onshore oil and gas processing facility and an associated 140-mile (225 kilometers) crude oil pipeline, and a marine export terminal providing year-round storage and tanker loading facilities on the Russian mainland at DeKastri.

Ice class tankers tonnage requirements.
As late as in 1992, ice-class tankers formed only 3 per cent of the total global tanker fleet.

In 2004 USD 4.5 billion was invested in ice class new buildings, mostly for high \u2013 specification, class 1A equivalent tonnage. At present, about 8 per cent of the global tanker fleet is ice-classed vessels, and it is estimated that by 2008 the share will cross the 10 per cent mark to 18 million deadweight tons. With rule driven accelerated phasing out of older single hull tankers, 1A, ice class fleet is expected to grow to 14 million deadweight tons by 2008.

According to Clarkson Research the Ice Class fleet is expected to grow 15.7% to 34.25m at the end of 2006 as against 15.5% (23.82m) in 2004 and 24.3% (29.61m) in 2005. Although investment in ice class new buildings slowed in 2005, shipping investors have still invested in an order book that totals 211 vessels of 12.0mdeadweight. In January 2006 Clarkson Research studies identified 281 Ice Class 1A ships as operational , which is equivalent to 6.92m

deadweight, with 70\u201380% of them under 20,000dwt. Clarkson survey revealed that there were
144 vessels (8.87m deadweight) with ice class 1A and 7 vessels (0.37m deadweight) with ice
class 1A Super on order.
The fleet is undergoing massive growth which will see a flood of tonnage to the market
particularly in the 1A/1AS sector.

The tremendous development of Russian crude oil and future oil exports from the ice-stricken parts of the Baltic Sea will drive levels of investment in ice class tankers over the coming decade. Tonnage demands will be governed by actual oil output achieved, ports used for export and final destination of oil. The most effective trading markets which will influence the future capacity of ice class tonnage will be short voyage destinations from Baltic to western Europe, long voyage destinations to North America and in Pacific region from Sakhalin Island ( including De Kastri terminal) via Tartar Strait to Japan, China and India.

Also it is to be noted that ice class vessels offer trading flexibility with added advantage of the
fact that new building price premium for ice class tankers has reduced over the years specially for
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1A class tankers. Therefore owning 1A class tonnage is good strategy in the long term, even if
opportunities in ice regions become competitive.
Ice Class Rules.
Ice class rules are implemented by the coastal states experiencing seasonal or year round ice
covered oceans and seas in their region.

There are basically two main groups for ice class rules i.e requirements for navigation in first year ice (not more than one winter\u2019s growth up to 120 cm thick and low ice strength property) and requirements for navigation in multi year ice (sea ice has survived at least one summer\u2019s melt and up to 3m or more thick and high ice-strength properties).

Baltic Sea.
Bay and Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf of Finland covered by Finnish Swedish Ice Class Rules (FSICR)
Gulf of Finland (Russian territorial waters) covered by Russian Maritime Register of Shipping
(RMRS) Ice Class Rules (Non -Arctic Sea Area Requirements)
Arctic Ocean.
Barents, Kara, Laptev, East Siberian and Chukchi Seas covered by Russian Maritime Register of
Shipping (RMRS) Ice Class Rules.
Beaufort Sea, Baffin Bay covered by Canadian Artic Shipping Pollution Prevention Rules
(CASPPR).
Sea of Ohkotsk.
Covered by Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RMRS) Ice Class Rules (Non -Arctic Sea
Area Requirements).
Transportation route between the North Atlantic and North Pacific is often referred to as North
Sea Route (NSR).

Each Classification Society has a set of rules for the strengthening during navigation in ice, and at the time of writing these are in process of harmonization with introduction of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) Polar Ship Rules. The IACS Polar Rules are created in line with the IMO Guidelines for Ships Operating in Artic Ice Covered Waters to provide comprehensive requirements for the safe navigation of ships in Arctic waters. In, addition Russian Maritime Register of Shipping will also retain rules for Arctic vessels and Finnish Swedish Ice Class Rules (FSCIR) for vessels operating in the Northern Baltic in winter where these have become de facto standard for the first year ice class vessels. The existence of three sets of rules is due to variations in design conditions and assumptions used in the determination of requirements.

FSCIR are incorporated into the Rules of every IACS Class except RMRS. RMRS have intact
and damage stability requirements in their Class Rules.
When a vessel is built for operations in ice, the ice class is indicated in the classification notation.

The notation is reflected in the ship\u2019s certification as well as the Register Book.
In practice administrations of the coastal states delegate authority to vessel\u2019s classification society
to verify design and build for ice class. This involves following process:

-
Comparison of classification society ice class rules to administrations ice class rules.
-
Publication of assessment table.
-
During service of the vessel, periodic auditing and examination by inspectors from
the maritime administration of the coastal state for which class has been assigned.
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