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Evaluation of Spar In-Field Performances for Topsides Payload Increase and Operational Changes

[+] Author Affiliations
Aldric Baquet, Joe Zhou, Lixin Xu

Technip, Houston, TX

Yong Chen

Shell International Exploration & Production Inc., Houston, TX

Paper No. OMAE2015-41461, pp. V001T01A028; 6 pages
  • ASME 2015 34th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 1: Offshore Technology; Offshore Geotechnics
  • St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, May 31–June 5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5647-5
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


In the initial design stage of an offshore platform, some conservative assumptions might be used for the platform hull and Topsides weights, wind area and Metocean criteria of environments. After the platform is installed, actual results from weight surveys and real-time snapshots of the as-built operating platform typically provide more accurate information for the purpose of assessing real operational conditions and future changes of these conditions. For example, in field operations, it is particularly useful to quantify how much weight can be added to the as-built operating facility, while assuring that the platform still meets the overall design criteria and regulatory requirements.

This paper presents an effective method for evaluation of an in-field operating Spar platform, to determine the maximum allowable envelops for topsides weight change verse the topsides VCG, based on the Spar global performances and riser operating limits. The case study is performed for a Spar in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), based on the Spar as-built data and actual in-field configurations of hull/mooring and risers, and using the updated Metocean criteria (after the Hurricane Katrina in the GOM).

The analysis results of the allowable topsides weight change and topsides VCG limits, accounting for the Spar in operating, extreme and survival conditions, are based on three governing factors: (1) the Spar motions meet the original design criteria for global performances, and are within the safety range of riser operations; (2) the maximum loads at critical connections between the Spar hard tank and the topsides structures are within the design loads; and (3) the reserve variable ballast is sufficient to balance the Spar at an even keel position at the design draft for all required operating conditions.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Topics: Spar platforms



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