Wagenborg has many years of experience in sailing in extreme conditions, such as wintery ice conditions and shallow water.
Our special icebreaker supply vessels and pontoons have been designed for sailing in extreme conditions, where conventional icebreakers are no longer able to sail. Conventional icebreaking with the bow is only possible when there is enough water under the keel. In limited water depths, such as 3.5 metre in the Caspian Sea, the broken ice does not flow away, but simply stays under the ship. Eventually, the ship gets stuck on the ice. However, our modern vessels are able to sail through a maximum of 1 metre of ice, and to remove ice and ice ridges in the vicinity of the drilling locations. By now Wagenborg has large amounts of experience and knowledge regarding sailing in ice and clocked up more than 45,000 hours.
We can also influence the formation of ice ridges and position at strategic distance from the drilling sites by using Ice Protection Structures (IPS). These IPS are sunk and weighted down with ballast. The ice drifts against the barrier and breaks up, and the ice forms a natural barrier against further ice movement, which creates a protected passage to the drilling site. That is how we ensure that the drilling site is provisioned during the winter periods and the drilling operations can be continued.