Due to global warming, retreating ice flows and advancement in technology, arctic oil and gas exploration and development has become possible. This has forced yards and tanker operators to design vessels with heavier ice classification. Most Modern day costal product tankers are designed with ice class 1C or higher but with the ice strengthened design little change can be seen from the naked eye, most of the ice strengthening comes from increased scantlings. Most of the modern ice classed vessels still have very long parallel middle body, large hydro dynamically friendly bows and in most cases bulbous bows. A tanker designed with ice keeping abilities in mind would have a greatly reduced parallel middle body, and thus a lower cargo volume (smaller block coefficient). Some ice class 1A tankers have water deluge or bubbler systems to assist the vessel in the transit heavier ice covered areas.
Aker Yards have been developing the idea of double ended tankers; the idea behind a double acting tanker is the fitting of a conventional tanker shaped bow and an ice breaking stern. The reason for this development is a tanker with an icebreaking bow reduces the sea keeping abilities and tracking of the vessel. The a conventional bow with better hydrodynamic properties would increase the speed and efficiency of the vessel in open water. The stern is a new development to the icebreaking world and rapidly growing in popularity. This is in part due to the “W” shape on the stern, as the vessel rides on top of the ice the 2 lower points on the “W” shape break the ice into smaller chunks allowing the AZIPULL propellers to grind the into small pieces. This system has been installed on a few Icebreakers and Tankers as a test and there have been reports of increased efficiencies while breaking ice compared to the conventional steep raked spoon bows and increased speed while breaking ice.