Clients: Member of the Petroleum Industry

As break-up approaches in the Arctic Ocean, the ability to respond to incidents such as oil spills is impacted by the deteriorating condition of the winter ice sheet. Particular concerns include the transport of work crews and equipment to the incident site and the recovery of spilled fluids, both of which require specialized vehicles that exert low ground pressures.

During a one month period immediately prior to break-up of the sea ice, Coastal Frontiers personnel conducted on-ice tests to quantify the capabilities of various types of response equipment. The findings were used to identify an equipment spread suitable to conduct late-winter incident response efforts.


  • Devise a test plan to evaluate the performance of candidate incident response equipment, including:

    • Amphibious ditchwitch trencher

    • Amphibious backhoe

    • Tucker Sno-Cat

    • Light-weight tractor equipped with snow blower

    • Cat 966D loader equipped with ice trimmer

    • Amphibious Haagland personnel/small equipment carrier

  • Measure equipment speed, rate of production (ice cutting, snow collection, ice trimming), and evaluate operational safety

  • Conduct three field studies during early, mid-, and late June to observe the limitations imposed by the degrading ice sheet