True Arctic

The Only True Arctic Geophysical Company


The USGS Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal report indicates that the area north of the Arctic Circle is estimated to contain more than 20% (~412 BBOE) of the undiscovered, technically recoverable, global oil and gas resources. And of that 20%, nearly 85% (~350 BBOE) is expected to lie in offshore basins. With these estimates, the incentives for exploration and development are massive and these incentives are nearly outweighed by the challenges of operating in an often remote, environmentally harsh and sensitive environment. This situation is well recognized by the E&P industry, and those companies involved in Arctic ventures are naturally focused on safe operations with minimal environmental impact.

Exploration in the Arctic and other Environmentally Sensitive Sea Areas ("ESSA") must be performed responsibly and to the highest possible standards using the best available technology. Our investment in specialized vessel design, acquisition technologies, operational procedures, accreditations and certifications has resulted in an unparalleled capability to safely operate in Arctic waters. Today we owns and operates the youngest, most uniform and highest ICE-rated seismic fleet. We are the only seismic contractor with:

  • DNV GL acknowledged Arctic Operating Procedures
  • DNV GL Triple-E™ Level 1
  • DNV GL Emission Qualification Statement
  • IMO Polar Code compliant fleet

With our unique vessels, industry leading certifications and accreditations, Explore Green™ environmental management, and our proven experience, we are qualified to meet the Arctic challenge. By end 2014, we secured approximately 60% of all true Arctic seismic acquisition since 2012 and we have more than 65% of the global high ICE-Class fleet.


Polar Code Ready


The International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (the "Polar Code") will come into force on January 1st 2017. The Polar Code is the first ever internationally agreed mandatory safety and environmental rules for ships in the Polar Regions. It highlights the hazards of operating in Polar Regions and it specifically addresses the vessel, the personnel, and the operating profile to account for the harsh, remote, and sensitive areas.

The Polarcus Arctic fleet is IMO Polar Code compliant and is the highest Polar Class rated seismic fleet in the world.

 Vessel Streamers Baltic Ice Class Polar Class and Category
 Polarcus Adira 14 A1* PC6-B
 Polarcus Amani 14 A1* PC6-B
 Polarcus Alima 12 A1 PC7-B
 Polarcus Asima 12 A1 PC7-B
 Vyacheslav Tikhonov 8 A1 PC7-B



Compliance and beyond


Arctic Experience and Achievements

The Polarcus Arctic fleet is comprised of the youngest and highest ice-Class Winterized vessels in the industry and is IMO Polar Code compliant. More specifically, with the DNV ICE-1A* (PC-6) classification, the Polarcus Amani and Polarcus Adira are the highest Polar Class 14-streamer vessels.

To complement our Arctic vessel capabilities, Polarcus is only seismic contractor in the industry to have DNV GL acknowledged Arctic operating procedures. The combination of Arctic vessel operating capabilities and competent Arctic operational procedures is fundamental to ensuring the safety of the operation and environment.



Arctic Operations



From the beginning, Polarcus has applied an approach to towed streamer operations based upon the employment of a procedural framework to integrate all elements of the Maritime and Seismic components including:

  • Maximizing geophysical flexibility
  • Minimizing the environmental footprint
  • Providing fit-for-purpose platforms enabling safe and efficient seismic operations

In simple terms this refers to the proper alignment of our people, vessels, procedures, and applied technologies within a plan focused on providing high quality 3D seismic data in the safest and most cost effective manner when working in harsh environments in remote locations, with the Arctic being a specific case.

Performing safe and effective towed streamer 3D surveys in the remote Arctic presents many challenges, amongst these being:

  • Ensuring safe vessel operations in harsh environmental conditions and varied ice conditions
  • Ensuring optimum environmental protection for the sensitive Arctic ecosystems
  • Ensuring “fail-safe” on-site medical treatment and evacuation plans




Ice Management


Towed streamer seismic operations in glacial or sea ice conditions requires specific operating procedures and protocols to ensure safe and efficient acquisition. Ice Management is critical for many areas of the operation including:

  • Anti-icing: preventing ice build-up on the ship
  • De-icing: removal of built-up ice
  • Ice navigation: vessel movement in respect to ice hazards
    • Detection, monitoring, tracking
    • Intervention to reduce ice risk
    • Coordinated support vessel involvement

Ice navigation for seismic acquisition requires a comprehensive Ice Management Plan developed for the specific operating environment and in close coordination with all stakeholders. It is the characteristics of the ice regime that will define the overall strategy. That is, whether an Intervention (Active) or Avoidance (Passive) strategy will prevail. The key principles of a successful Ice Management Plan:

  • Well defined with clear lines of responsibilities and threat response protocols
  • Timely receipt of reconnaissance information
  • Calibrating satellite observations with visual observations made onboard the vessels
  • Flexibility to meet any changes in acquisition priorities

Above all, preparation is the key and the plan must be dynamic to account for any changes in the area of operation.






Remote Healthcare



The provision of adequate medical support in remote areas is a critical issue. Medevac by helicopter or other suitable means may or may not be available and response time may be significant. Reaching a tolerable medical emergency response in remote locations requires an integrated and upgraded approach to mitigate personal health risk to ALARP and reduce the likelihood of urgent medevac situations. A high degree of medical self-sufficiency in the operation supported by enhanced topside medical coverage made available via telemedicine capabilities provides a solution.


Remote healthcare strategy


To address the need for advanced medical care on board the vessel, a unique Remote Healthcare Strategy is designed for each project. Each strategy must address level of remoteness and emergency response capability as well as operational factors such as external communications as well as level of support available in or near the project area. Additionally, each Remote Healthcare Strategy will include provisions for:

  • Appropriate fitness-to-work evaluations
  • Project site medical team capabilities and qualifications
  • Project site medical facilities enhanced for diagnostics and treatment





Polarcus Arctic Achievements


Northern Sea Route


Polarcus Alima successfully transited from Norway to the Asia-Pacific region via the Northern Sea Route ("NSR") — a first in the seismic industry.

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Polarcus Greenland Project  


Commissioned by two major international clients, Polarcus deployed two ICE-1A class vessels, and one ICE-1A* class vessel to complete two 3D surveys offshore Greenland in the world’s largest Arctic seismic exploration program to date.

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