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Ice studies / icebergs

There are four different types of ice in the Arctic, and fundamental project decisions are based on the types of ice that will be encountered.

  • First-year ice

    Relatively thin sea ice that exists during the winter months but melts during the summer time.

  • Multi-year ice

    Relatively thick sea ice that has survived at least one summer's melt.

  • Ice island

    A massive piece of floating ice that has broken from an ice shelf; it may extend several hundred square miles in area and several hundred feet in depth.

  • Iceberg

    A large floating mass of ice that has broken away from a glacier.
    ExxonMobil conducts extensive research to understand the hazards posed by icebergs around our operations and to incorporate that information into the design of our facilities.

  • Using drift and tracking research

    Icebergs are dynamic features that float in different directions and also up and down in the water. With this information we can more accurately forecast how icebergs will move and drift near our operations.

  • Utilizing 3D modeling

    Using advanced software platforms, we’ve created the first-of-its-kind 3D iceberg modeling capability. This capability allows us to map the underwater features of an iceberg to ensure the optimal ice load predictions that we use in the design of our drilling structures.

  • Building the knowledge base

    Our iceberg surveys have been released to the research community. We actively publish our iceberg research for the benefit of the broader scientific community.

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