August 27 - Technical advisor to the oil and gas industry DNV GL has developed an interactive Arctic Risk Map to present risks associated with offshore and maritime activities in the Arctic.
The map aims to provide stakeholders with a comprehensive tool for decision-making and transparent communications, says DNV GL.
"The Arctic is not a monolithic area and the risk picture varies accordingly, said Børre Paaske, project manager at DNV GL's oil and gas division.
"Stakeholders therefore need a sound decision basis for understanding the risks associated with Arctic development and transportation. The DNV GL Arctic Risk Map can help facilitate transparent discussions to address the many dilemmas related to activity in the region."
The map presents multiple dimensions, such as the seasonal distribution of ice, metocean (physical environment) conditions, sea-ice concentrations, biological assets, shipping traffic and oil and gas resources, in a user-friendly, single layout.
It also includes a safety and operability index, showing the variation in different factors that impact the risk level depending on the season and their location in the Arctic.
In addition, a location- and season-specific index has been developed showing the environmental vulnerability of marine resources, with respect to oil spill as an external stressor.
DNV GL's analysis finds that some areas of the Arctic are particularly vulnerable in winter, when they are used by birds for wintering or as spawning grounds for fish, for example. As a result, the consequences of an accident in the Arctic would likely be more severe in some areas than others.
The technical advisor claims that the map is a useful tool to identify regions that require special attention when it comes to planning activities and for imposing mitigation measures throughout the year. The map can also provide input to decisions-makers about restricting certain types of activities in specific areas at different times of the year.
"The Arctic's varied and complex conditions require the industry to take a stepwise approach in which learning and technology are developed progressively regarding the more challenging Arctic areas," added Elisabeth Tørstad, ceo of DNV GL's oil and gas division.
View the Arctic Risk Map here.