Ice as a Construction Material in the Offshore Arctic

by F. C. Duthweiler, Union Oil Co of California, Brea, CA, USA,
M. E. Utt, Union Oil Co of California, Brea, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Civil Engineering in the Arctic Offshore


Ice is the most available and abundant material in the offshore Arctic, and it is therefore one of the most cost-effective construction materials. Over the past decade, ice has been used to build roads, floating drilling platforms, and grounded islands in the Arctic. In addition to a general review of the design methods and construction techniques used in ice construction offshore, specifics are given on the construction of a grounded ice island for drilling an exploratory well. Since 1977, research work and field experience have increased the knowledge of the use of ice in construction. Field experiments in the U. S. and Canada have continued. The authors' evaluation of the state of the art is given. The advantages and particularly the limitations of ice in offshore arctic construction, including the possibility of permanent ice structures, are reviewed.

Subject Headings: Offshore construction | Ice | Construction materials | Construction methods | Islands | Offshore structures | Offshore drilling | Arctic | Canada

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