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vessel in the arctic

Arctic operations

Tailoring our approach to specific environments is essential to anticipating challenges, working safely and protecting the environment.


Weatherization prepares the rig to operate in Arctic conditions.

Wind walls

  • Shelter wind walls are added to minimize areas exposed to the elements, keeping employees out of the wind and equipment at warmer temperatures


  • Piping is insulated throughout the facility to ensure appropriate temperatures are maintained.

Heat tracing

  • Heat tracing is incorporated into stairwells, walkways and handrails to keep ice from accumulating and creating a slippery surface.


  • Emergency equipment is enclosed and kept warm to ensure it is ready for deployment at a moment’s notice.

Weatherization prepares the rig to operate in up to -10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit).

We have weatherized rigs for other arctic conditions, including in the Beaufort Sea, Bering Sea and offshore Newfoundland.

platform weatherization graphic

Working in ice environments

We are advancing technologies and implementing measures to safeguard our operations from hazardous ice features.


  • Remnant ice features, such as icebergs, can be identified, tracked and managed to minimize contact with operations.


  • Icebreakers are used for scouting and physically managing ice to ensure safe movements and operations.

Ice-resistant facility

  • Ice features are identified, tracked and assessed to determine if safe contact can be made with an ice-resistant facility.

Satellite images and aerial surveillance

  • Ice features are identified and tracked via satellite imagery and aerial surveillance.

Ice drift beacons

  • Beacons may be placed on ice features to monitor drift patterns and enable accurate forecasting.

graphic depicting working in ice environments

Watch a video about the ice management process:

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Support vessel fleet

Our facilities are never alone; a fleet of multi-functional vessels with redundant capabilities provides onsite support.

Multi-functional vessels

  • The vessels are multi-functional to offer maximum redundancy and flexibility.

Medical facilities

  • State-of-the-art medical facilities are housed onboard to support the crew.


  • Vessels can be equipped with an array of capabilities, including:
    • Anchor handling
    • Ice management
    • Platforms supply
    • Personnel transportation
    • Oil spill response

support vessels in the Arctic

Drilling rigs

Various types of drilling rigs may be used in the Arctic, depending on factors including ice coverage, water depth and the location of the reservoir.

Floating drill rig

  • Usage: Deepwater, typically about 2,000 meters.
  • Description: A floating drill rig utilizes large powerful thrusters to stay in place during drilling.
  • Features: A floating drill rig uses specialized equipment to orient itself and maintain stability.

Arctic floating drill rig

Semi-submersible rig

  • Usage: Shallow to deepwater.
  • Description: A semi-submersible rig is a floating structure comprised of columns and pontoons that can be towed into place or self-propelled.
  • Features: A semi-submersible rig is kept on location by a mooring system and specialized equipment, which can accommodate changes in the vessel’s motion and position caused by the environment.

Arctic semi-submersible rig

Jack-up rig

  • Usage: Shallow water, typically less than 450 meters.
  • Description: A jack-up rig consists of a large floating hull with multiple legs.
  • Features: A jack-up rig is towed into place while floating, then the legs are lowered to the sea bed and the hull is jacked above the water surface to a raised elevation during drilling.

Gravity-based structure

  • Usage: Shallow water.
  • Description: Gravity-based structures are typically large bottom founded structures built using concrete with reinforcing steel.
  • Features: These rigs are typically permanent installations that are used to drill multiple wells from a single location.

Onshore rig

  • Usage: Onshore.
  • Description: Onshore rigs are arranged and installed at a drilling site located on land.
  • Features: These rigs can be more easily transported and moved to different locations for each individual well.

Extended reach drilling

Extended reach drilling technology involves drilling multiple, long-reach wells from the same location, reducing the number of offshore structures required to recover oil and gas resources. This technology simplifies operations, improves capital efficiency and minimizes our environmental footprint.

  • We hold the industry record for drilling dozens of the world’s longest wells.
  • We have successfully drilled wells in Sakhalin, Russia that are more than 12 kilometers long.

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Fast-drill process

Our fast-drill process ensures that wells are drilled as safely, efficiently and as quickly as possible. This technology allows us to limit our time and personnel on-site in order to reduce our environmental footprint.

  • We use real-time decision-making to improve drilling efficiency.
  • This technology improves our drilling footage per day up to 300 percent.
  • This process also allows us to achieve more use from our drill bits.

fast-drill operator in the Arctic