According to Nils Arne Johnsen, Ramboll Market Director for the Arctic, environmental considerations are urgent and imperative for future activities in the Arctic, as this is one of the most sensitive regions of the world. He explains that engineers, biologists, geophysicists and geologists are collaborating to offer health, safety and environmental services:
"International companies need expert advice about the harsh, Arctic environment, which has to remain as untouched as possible. When it comes to the oil and gas industry, Ramboll makes use of both local knowhow and global experience. This gives us unique possibilities. Aside from technical expertise, we are familiar with local, economic conditions and the rights of the local population. That is what makes us one of the leading consultants in the Arctic."
As the ice is melting in the Arctic region, oil, gas and other natural resources, which have been hidden under thick layers of ice, are becoming easier to access. With technical skills, in depth knowledge of the region and the combined strengths of different specialists, there is a good possibility to benefit from the resources while safeguarding the sensitive Arctic nature.
Oil-, gas-, and environmental technologies go together
In order to stand a chance in the Arctic region where the degree of cold is extreme and the icebergs and waves are huge, it is imperative to know all the challenges that lie ahead. That is why knowledge about the area combined with the right preliminary studies is paramount to the success of a project.
Søren Knudsen, Head of Ramboll's environmental team in Stavanger specialized in oil and gas projects, explains how continued co-operation between environmental- and oil- and gas experts is vital:
"Before initiating any exploration drilling or potential oil production in the Arctic, we have to make sure that all contingency plans and environmental approvals are in place in order to make as little environmental impact as possible. Oil technology and environmental services always go hand in hand."
Sustainable development in the Arctic
The Arctic is experiencing unprecedented interest from international companies looking to extract minerals. Mining activity in Sweden is growing rapidly, creating new opportunities for the country. These include major investments – not only in rail transport and harbour facilities, refineries and mines - but also in urban development.
For example, Ramboll provides consultancy to the local authority of Gällivare on how to design the town, which is being relocated in response to the heavy mining activity in nearby Malmberget.
“We envision building Ny Gällivare as a world-class Arctic town. The community needs a sense of security and strength as it undergoes this unique transformation and radical change. People, investors and other interests in the community need to know where it is best to locate in terms of mining operations,” says urban planner Sandra Viklund from Ramboll.