Rosen, J.R, Johnstone, D., Sincock, P., Potts, A.E. and Hourigan, D. (2016). Paper number OMAE2016-54677 published in proceedings of ASME 2016 35th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, OMAE 2016, Busan, Korea, June 19-24 2016.


Life extension and asset integrity of Floating Production Unit (FPU) moorings are issues of increasing importance for operators due to changing production requirements, the requirement to extend service life, and circumstances where the met-ocean Basis of Design (BOD) has increased significantly over the life of the field. Reliability methods are gaining increasing acceptance as increased computing power allows large numbers of simulations to be undertaken using realistic fully coupled models that are validated against prior experiments. When applied to the re-qualification and life extension of FPU moorings, particularly with regard to re-qualification and life extension of in-place moorings, reliability analysis offers considerable advantages over conventional deterministic return period design. This paper details the application of a reliability approach to re-qualification and life extension of a turret-moored FPU that had design met-ocean conditions increased significantly over the life of the field. It explores key elements of reliability analysis including the probabilistic characterisation of met-ocean conditions, adequate representation of vessel dynamics and mooring loads in a Response Surface Model, and a selection of algorithms to solve for the system probability of failure. Discussion points include the advantages of the explicit identification of the most likely failure scenario versus uncertainty as to whether the worst design case has been identified, and the potential for rapid reassessment of reliability for specific design conditions (such as a degraded mooring system or a system for which degradation is ongoing). The results of this study demonstrate the significant advantages to the industry conferred by adopting reliability methods in the re-certification and life extension of existing FPU moorings. In particular, the study highlights that conventional mooring code deterministic design methods, whilst adequate for original design purposes, lack sufficient fidelity to address the multi-faceted issue of re-assessment of notionally marginal legacy systems. For a degraded existing mooring, an application of these methods can demonstrate that the level of reliability of the system is still acceptable, whereas a conventional approach may produce an over-conservative indication that the mooring is non-compliant. Applicable to a wide range of FPUs requiring re-qualification or life extension, the techniques discussed also provide pointers to more efficient and reliable mooring design for not just existing, but also for new FPUs.


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