The Novoportovskoye oil and gas condensate field is located in the Yamal peninsula and owned by Gazprom Neft, the fourth largest oil producer in Russia. Oil from the field is transferred via 100km pipeline to the sea terminal at Cape Kamenny, where it is loaded into arctic tankers for further transportation. The full-size field development will start in 2016 and continue for several decades.
The main issues in planning transportation in an arctic region are the harsh ice environment and difficult sea conditions. Most of the year, the ships are operating in a 500m ice channel in shore fast ice of Ob’ Bay over 2 m in thickness. Some months of the year, the open water area of Kara Sea is almost completely covered with drifting ice.
- Define a sufficient amount of arctic tankers and the demand for icebreaker assistance. Calculate the expenses for the tankers' fuel and freight of icebreakers in different ice conditions.
- Design a temporary scenario for oil shipment during 2016-2017, when tankers of low capacity and low ice reinforcement will be used. Gazprom Neft plans on gradually introducing new arctic tankers of greater capacity, in accordance with the increase of cargo traffic. Consultants needed to define the system capacity during 2016-2017.
- Define the capacity of a shore-based storage facility to be sufficient for usage in ice conditions of different severity. Any storage overflow should be eliminated. Consultants needed to calculate the minimum volume of shore-based storage which will meet capacity requirements within all periods of field development. They had to take into account that the more severe the ice conditions, the more difficult it would be for tankers to provide the required rate of transportation and avoid the storage overflow.
By the order of Gazprom Neft Novy Port LLC, experts from a state research center incorporated ship calculation modules, GIS environment, and a logistic simulation model developed using AnyLogic under common interface. The simulation model reproduced the dynamics of shore-based storage loading, logics of ships’ motion, and interaction in probabilistic weather conditions, taking into account ice channel freezing.
Tankers were modeled as independent agents moving in the bay and guided by the logic blocks of the simulation model: interactions between tankers and icebreakers, choice of tanker speed in correlation with storage fill, other tanker locations, ice conditions, and other factors.
Using GIS technology inside the simulation model allowed them to do an analysis of a transportation system sensible to geographic factors, including bathymetric conditions, navigating channels, protected waters, and shore line.
Since ice channel conditions significantly influence ship traffic, the state center experts added to the model the following parameters:
- Characteristics and number of tankers in the channel
- Time after last pass
- Air temperature
- Wind and wave conditions
- Terms for canal laying
Based on multiple model runs, the state center experts defined the optimal storage volume to be sufficient in ice conditions of different severity.
Application of simulation modeling technology allowed them to design a transportation system adjusted for dynamics of ice channel freeze-up, tanker traffic, and storage fill. No analytical tool can consider these kinds of dynamic factors.
In the course of the modeling project, the state research center experts also developed best practices to eliminate the risk of storage overflow. The model also showed the optimal amount of channels in land-ice for different ice conditions, approximate dates of canal laying, and the volume and terms for icebreaker support for tankers. Analytics defined the dynamics of outwards pilotage, expenses for fuel, and icebreaker support in various scenarios during all periods of field development. The model also helped plan operations during the temporary usage period of small tankers of low ice-class.