Aker Arctic to Design Drillship Enhancements for Arctic Beaufort Sea

Frontier Drilling USA Inc, Houston, has engaged Aker Arctic of Helsinki, Finland to proceed with the initial design and conceptual development of the modification work for their turret moored drillship "Frontier Discoverer". The work includes development of a modified hull form and protection to the riser to suit the harsh environment of the Beaufort Sea. Aker Arctic will also conduct a series of ice model tests in their brand new model testing facility. Simultaneously an ice management plan, involving several icebreakers will be developed.

Frontier Drilling's target is to provide suitable equipment to the industry looking for drilling opportunities in the Beaufort & Chukchi Seas as well as all other arctic regions. Based on the documentation to be developed by Aker Arctic, Frontier Drilling's intention is to approach the leading conversion yards for the upgrade and modification work of the vessel later this year.

"The work awarded by Frontier Drilling is an excellent example of Aker Arctic's forward looking insight on the industry needs and also a sign of the increasing demand of services for Arctic developments", commented Karl-Erik Kjelstad, CEO of Aker Yards when opening the Inauguration Seminar in Helsinki to celebrate the opening of the new third generation ice model testing facilities. The seminar program included an analysis of the "Manhattan" project 30 years ago, and concluded in a demonstration model test of an Arctic double acting LNG carrier for Kara Sea operations.

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