Severe Weather Hits North Sea Production Units

A pair of severe winter storms battered UK and Norwegian North Sea assets over the last week, with winds up to 160kmh and waves of 10-12m. One storm, Nina, is considered be the strongest storm to hit Norway in 20 years.
Watch the Borgholm Dolphin accommodation unit stand up to the extreme weather:

Storms like this remind us of the forces that offshore platforms have to endure, especially floating production systems that are permanently moored for up to 20 years or more.

Part of a robust mooring integrity management system is understanding the effective “age” of a mooring system throughout its operational life. The UK HSE KP4 report highlights that “Ageing is not about how old your equipment is; it’s about what you know about its condition, and how that’s changing over time.”

A permanent mooring system is designed to withstand a 100-year storm at any point during its operational life, but what if the fatigue load spectrum has been underestimated or corrosion and wear is greater than anticipated? In many cases, the effective “age” of a mooring system is far greater than its number of years in service.

Condition monitoring and in-service inspection are crucial to understanding when a mooring system is experiencing loads and deterioration outside of its original design parameters; this, in turn, triggers engineering reassessment where necessary.

Ask us how a Mooring Fitness for Purpose Assessment (MFPA) can be used to verify the remaining life of a mooring system and ensure safe operation.

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