Design and Monitoring of an Ice Drill Pad

by Khoi M. Le, ARCO Alaska Inc, Anchorage, AK, USA,
Mike B. Winfree, ARCO Alaska Inc, Anchorage, AK, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Cold Regions Engineering


An ice pad was sucessfully designed and built to provide a suitable foundation for an exploratory drill rig in the National Petroleum Reserve of Alaska in early 1985. Design considerations included ice bearing loads, creep strain deformation, thermal aspects, impact on the environment and costs. A timber sill support system, used on top of the ice to provide an insulating air space, simplified installation of the drill rig and clean up operations after the well was completed. Temperature and ice pad deflection monitoring programs were implemented to keep track of the ice pad performance. Temperatures calculated from a one dimensional finite difference computer program compared favorably with the measured temperature data.

Subject Headings: Ice | Drilling | Offshore platforms | Ice loads | Thermal loads | Wells (oil and gas) | Thermal properties | Petroleum | Alaska | United States

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