Simulation Modeling of an Offshore Offloading System for an Arctic Oil and Gas Condensate Field


The Novoportovskoye oil and gas condensate field is located in the Yamal peninsula and owned by the fourth-largest oil production company 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.


Tanker Logistics Simulation Model Interface

Logistics planning model interface

By the order of major oil production company, 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:


Changing parameters in different ice conditions

Logistics planning model: changing parameters in different ice conditions

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.

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