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Underwater Robotic System "Iceberg" is Presented at NEVA Exhibition

St.Petersburg, September 19. Project "Iceberg" presented at "NEVA 2017" exhibition consists of several sub-projects which will ensure complete sub-sea (sub-ice) development of hydrocarbon fields for all-year ice covered zone. The Customer of this Project is the state-owned Russian Foundation for Advanced Research Projects. Rubin Design Bureau is the Main Contractor.

Project "Iceberg" consists of:

  • Sub-sea Drilling Facility for construction of exploration and production wells. It ensures drilling operations in robotic mode and transmitting the telemetric data to a remote control post. Foreign analogues of the sub-sea drilling facility components are either not available or are at intermediate stages of development.
  • Sub-sea Power Facility (based on the nuclear power plant) serves for independent power supply with no permanent presence of personnel required. Service life - 30 years. Time of continuous unmanned and maintenance-free operation - 8,000 hours minimum.

The project envisages also construction of two civilian manned nuclear powered submarines.

  • Sub-sea Transportation & Installation and Service Facility (delivery, installation/removal and maintenance). This facility is a catamaran-type civilian submarine. Full submerged displacement - about 17,000 tons , diving depth - up to 400 metres, endurance - up to 90 days, crew - about 40 men.
  • Underwater Vehicle for Seismic Survey (it can also perform monitoring of sub-sea environmental conditions). Under the water, this intended for civilian purposes submarine unfolds on the sides a seismic recording platform (special "wings" to which streamer cables are connected); release of long towed streamer cable is also envisaged. Full submerged displacement - about 14,000 tons , diving depth - up to 400 metres, endurance - up to 90 days, crew - about 40 men. This submarine can be operated irrespective of sea-state both at all-year round ice-covered areas and out of marginal sea.

Each facility can be implemented separately and can act independently.

Russian Foundation for Advanced Research Projects has been working jointly with Rubin on "Iceberg" Project since early 2015. The Project is carried out in cooperation with a large number of participants. In the part of development and fabrication of large components of drill and power facilities it is the State Atomic Energy Corporation "Rosatom" (mostly "Afrikantov Experimental Design Bureau for Mechanical Engineering"). This Project also involves cooperation with Federal Scientific Centre "Titan-Barrikady", Concern "Elektropribor", Concern "Okeanpribor", Central Research Institute of Marine Engineering and a number of other enterprises. Rubin jointly with the Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University and National Research Center "Kurchatov Institute" developed the virtual simulation model of drilling facility components. Physical models of facilities were tested by Krylov State Research Center.

The relevance of "Iceberg" Project rests upon the appreciation of the fact that mineral resources development, in the first place hydrocarbons, is the strategic task serving towards ensuring economic security of the Russian Federation in the long term.

Based on the estimations made by the Russian and foreign experts, the Arctic Region concentrates up to 25% of global hydrocarbon resources. Development and exploration of these fields will ensure potential reserve additions of hydrocarbons of up to 9-10 billion tons of oil fuel equivalent. At the same time the surface vessels (of seismic survey, drilling, transportation and installation, supplies etc.) can be used in hostile conditions of Arctic seas only during limited period: short-term summer time on condition of ice-breaker provision. Technological solutions of "Iceberg" Project will ensure total endurance for sub-sea (sub-ice) development of fields. Implementation of these research and development works will give a powerful incentive to technology elaboration in oil- and gas production, nuclear power engineering, seismic surveys and other related areas.