In the Barents and Kara seas for 40 days, learning to move icebergs

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A picture taken on May 5, 2016 shows the icebreaker Tor (R) at the port of Sabetta in the Kara Sea shore line on the Yamal Peninsula in the Arctic circle, some 2450 km of Moscow. It is located in an Arctic region of Siberia that is a key Russian oil and gas producing region. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images)
With funding from oil company Rosneft, a group of researchers spend 40 days in the northern parts of the Barents and Kara Seas to explore ways to move icebergs.

The Kara Leto-2017 is the second expedition of its kind. In 2016, the researchers successfully managed to move icebergs with a weight up to one million tons.

So far this year, they have moved icebergs with a weight up to 200,000 tons, Rosneft says. In addition to the towing operation of the ice, the researchers explore mechanisms for early detection and monitoring of ice formations. Two satellite radio beacons have been attached to a 75×35 meter iceberg and 3D scanning of the object made, the researchers say.

Involved are specialists from Rosneft along with researchers from the Arctic and Antarctic Institute and the Arctic Science Center, the latter a unit subsidiary of the oil company.

According to the Arctic and Antarctic Institute says the capacity to move icebergs is of key importance for offshore oil and gas developers. During the planning of the Shtokman field in the Barents Sea, the Russian field developers were challenged by up to 100 drifting icebergs, some of them more than three million tons heavy. The first research on ways to prevent collisions between icebergs and oil installations was subsequently conducted in the years 2004-2005, the Institute says.

This year, the researchers are accompanied by icebreaker «Novorossiisk», the new vessel based in Murmansk. According to ship owner Rosmorport, the icebreaking vessel set out from Murmansk on 10th September and is expected back in port by the end of October.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Test clean energy solutions in south before implementing them in Arctic communities: report, Radio Canada International

Finland: Renewables to provide bulk of Finland’s energy in 2018, Yle News

Norway: ‘We will come back’, Statoil says after disappointing results in Barents Sea, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Murmansk windmills could be produced in Russia, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Volvo to go all electric starting in 2019, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. transportation secretary announces efforts to speed up project development in Alaska, Alaska Dispatch News

 

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Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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