Ice management (IM) is often required to support offshore production of oil and gas in freezing seas. It helps to mitigate ice impact on marine structures and thus minimize risks of accidents as well as to increase weather windows for marine operations. One of the IM tactics is to use an icebreaker for producing a zone of managed ice for ensuring safe and efficient operation of marine facilities: platforms, offloading terminals, tankers, etc. The choice of the right icebreaker which is best capable to cope with the IM jobs is quite a challenging task. This paper suggests an approach to objectively compare operational efficiency of different icebreakers in performance of some typical IM tasks. This approach made it possible to work out universal criteria for assessing the efficiency of these ships. The criteria of icebreaker efficiency and operational performance have been derived from actual ice breaking and maneuvering data including safety aspects of required icebreaker maneuvers. The paper contains case studies with estimation of the said criteria for a number of IM icebreakers expected to be used for ice management in the south-eastern part of the Barents Sea.

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