Risks and contingency

The principal operational risks identified for this expedition include

  • Obtaining approval from the Republic of the Maldives and India to conduct drilling and coring operations in their territorial waters.
  • Obtaining permission from the National Science Foundation to conduct VSI operation and successfully implementing the seismic experiments.
  • Shallow-water coring.
  • Weather. Although the expedition has been scheduled take place in fall, severe weather may still occur and could adversely impact operations.
  • Alternating lithologies, which may lead to hole instability. Successful coring and wireline logging depends upon good hole conditions. Deep XCB coring depths could be problematic (may require roundtrip of the drill string and coring with the RCB system).
  • An extremely ambitious operations plan for the time available. Good time management will be extremely important to mitigate this risk.
  • No special risks beyond those outlined above for Site KK-03B based on previous drilling by India’s National Gas Hydrates Project (NGHP).

All of these factors may affect coring and drilling operations.