Offshore Physical Environmental Guidelines
Appendix B – Ice Management Program

B.1 Overview
B.2 Ice Management Plan Elements
B.3 Joint Ice Management
B.4 Ice Reports

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B.1 - Overview

An ice management program is required for operations taking place in regions in which sea ice and/or icebergs can occur.

The Ice Management Program should include:

  • detection,
  • surveillance,
  • data collection,
  • reporting,
  • forecasting, and
  • avoidance or deflection.
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B.2 Ice Management Plan Elements

The Operator should prepare and implement an ice management plan appropriate for the planned operations. Since ice conditions can vary greatly from area to area, and season-to-season, or year-to-year within an area, the ice management plan should be tailored to the region, period, and nature of the operation.

The ice management plan should be simple, functional, and provide guidance and a plan for action. The plan should address to some appropriate level of detail, the following critical factors:

Operations Plan and Operating Environment

  • Operations details including any or all of: rig type, mode of station keeping, drilling season, well duration, re-supply plans, crew transport plans, etc.
  • Description of physical environment conditions including sea ice, icebergs, marine climatology, physical oceanography, etc. The essential elements to describe are historical sea ice and iceberg conditions.

Ice Management Principles, Strategy, Approach

  • corporate philosophy towards ice management and toward risk acceptance
  • strategy objectives should be defined, e.g.
    • protection of crew and unit,
    • minimizing disruption or added expense to operations due to ice conditions.
  • approach should be defined, e.g.
    • iceberg monitoring (surveillance + observations + tracking + forecasts)
    • ice alertness with zone definitions to determine response
    • ice response: e.g., physical management such as towing and/or deflection; disconnect and departure from wellsite.

Regional Strategic Surveillance

  • seasonal outlook
  • zone of interest
  • opportunistic surveillance
  • dedicated surveillance
  • remotely-sensed surveillance
  • frequency of surveillance
  • detectability/target verification
  • time applicability

Local Tactical Surveillance and Observation

  • aerial surveillance
  • vessel-based surveillance
  • rig-based surveillance
  • detection
  • ancillary information
  • continuity
  • roles/responsibilities

Reporting and Information Management

  • reporting/recording tools
  • level of automation
  • quality control
  • communications
  • information dissemination
  • data sharing

Determination of Risk

  • incident command and control
  • roles and responsibilities
  • tactical ice forecasting
  • definition of ice management response zones


  • safety considerations
  • interaction with drilling operation
  • roles and responsibilities
  • physical ice management
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B.3 Joint Ice Management

As part of ice management planning, the Operator should explore existing or potential synergies with other operators and ice service groups regarding joint ice management. Potential practical benefits may exist in the areas of surveillance, observation, iceberg tracking, data sharing, tactical support, ice forecasting and trajectory modeling, and physical management.

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B.4 Ice Reports

The Operator's Ice Management Plan should describe arrangements for reporting to the Regulator for all relevant ice observation, reconnaissance, monitoring, and deflection activities both on a routine basis and when dictated by any significant events.

As part of, or in addition to, the reporting defined in the Ice Management Plan, the Operator shall report:

  • ice messages coded as per MANMAR [5]
  • iceberg messages coded as per MANICE [3] (i.e. in ICEBERG format)
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