Mining Technology For Offshore Hydrocarbon Development

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 70, No. 778, 1977

Harold L. Snyder, Director, and William Winsor, Researcher, Centre for Cold Ocean Resources Engineering, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Nfld.

Should oil and gas be proven in commercial quantities on the Labrador Shelf, current technology is not adequate for production operations in this severe environment, which includes yearly invasion of pack ice and icebergs. The fishery of this section of the North Atlantic is a vital resource to which a major oil spill or blow-out would impose an intolerable burden. This means that production systems must be designed and built to be fail-safe. The experiences of mining in Bell Island and Cape Breton have shown that it is possible to operate beneath the ocean floor, and this technology may hold the key for safe, reliable and economic production. This paper attempts to define particular problems and outline possible solutions.
Keywords: Mining technology, Underground mining, Offshore mining, Hydrocarbons, Petroleum, Labrador Coast, Icebergs, Wabana iron mine, Tunneling.