Ramboll Oil & Gas recently launched an innovation competition among its employees to float new ideas for engineering solutions in the Arctic area. Two winning ideas were selected to receive an award, and the company is now looking into how the ideas can be further developed.
American geologists estimate that 14 % of the world’s unexploited oil reserves and 25% of gas reserves are located in the Arctic region. In a world where resource scarcity poses a growing challenge, accessing Arctic oil and gas reserves can make a significant contribution to satisfying world energy demand. But since the Arctic region is one of the most sensitive regions in the world, environmental considerations are of compelling necessity. Furthermore the harsh climate puts great demands on technology, engineering designs and equipment.
A model for safe and reliable Arctic operations
Christian Juel Adamsen, Carsten Stegelmann and Johannes Petersen received first prize for an idea which centers on establishing a set of procedures which will ensure that safety, reliability and risks are uncovered systematically in the early design phase of Arctic projects. The aim is to provide operators with comprehensive check lists based on for instance FMECA, RCM and RAM analyses. With maintenance costs skyrocketing in the Arctic, it is of paramount importance to consider this aspect even in the conceptual phase, and to ensure that materials and equipment require a minimum of maintenance.
The check lists will also function as documentation that all important aspects have been considered before starting operation in this sensitive region. And finally they will provide a good basis for evaluating the feasibility of Arctic projects.
Deep burial of subsea pipelines
Francesca Del Din and Farzin Hafezparast received second prize for an idea which concerns deep burial of subsea pipelines. When operating in Arctic areas, there is no doubt that safe transport of hydrocarbons is essential. Therefore the pipeline system has to be trenched to allow for ice formation to pass the pipeline without damage. However it is a known fact that even in shallow waters, ice will sometimes build up to ice ridges which may reach the sea bed. This poses a high risk for severe damage to the pipeline. In waters with icebergs, the same risk is present.
The idea proposes to trench pipelines down to 15 meters, or as an alternative to trenching; employing horizontal drilling.
Employees partake in shaping future business ideas
Director Kai Olsen, who is heading the Innovation Forum in Ramboll Oil & Gas, is thrilled to see employees partake in shaping future business ideas:
“It will definitely not be the last time that we host an innovation competition in Ramboll. Innovation takes place on all levels every day in our projects. Encouraging our talented engineers to share their ideas with us, is really the best way to ensure that we stay in sync with market demands, and it is perhaps even more importantly a way of showing that we want to engage and empower our people and their ideas.”
Press Release, October 17, 2013