When it comes to mooring inspections of offshore floating production installations, Welaptega is at the top of its class. This is the result of more than 20 years of experience performing inspections and assessments in every corner of the globe as well as a relentless commitment to continuous improvement of its knowledge base, execution, and R&D. Many of the inspections performed by Welaptega are carried out to meet the requirements of various classifications societies such as Lloyd’s Register and DNV-GL.
Class guidelines can be dense, cumbersome packets of information, but they are crucial to the safe operation of offshore installations and are the result of a vast depth of knowledge and industry experience. That said, the guidelines, which outline the minimum inspection standards for safe operations, can be vague and difficult to decipher – especially when it comes to mooring surveys. Considering that mooring systems are highly engineered, safety critical components, it is essential to have a thorough mooring integrity program in place. While not perfect (who is?), class societies are making strides in better defining the inspection requirements necessary for safe mooring system operations.
Class Societies Improve Mooring Inspection Guidelines
Class societies are taking note of the importance of mooring integrity and, armed with a better understanding of the environments in which mooring systems operate, are becoming more stringent regarding their guidelines. For example, the 2016 edition of the American Bureau of Shipping’s Rules for Building and Classing Floating Production Installations includes important updates to its requirements for underwater mooring surveys in lieu of drydocking that state chain links must be cleaned and measured. These changes can be seen below in red.
(2016) The mooring anchor chain or cable tensions are to be measured and the end connections of these components are to be examined. All mooring system components (chains, ropes, shackles, etc.) are to be generally examined for their entire lengths. Sufficient representative chain links, on each mooring leg, are to be cleaned of marine growth so that they can be examined and measured. These cleaned links are to be examined for all possible degradation mechanisms (i.e., corrosion, abrasion, fractures).
Additionally, Bureau Veritas updated its guidelines (Classification of Mooring Systems for Permanent and Mobile Offshore units) in December 2015 to state “[t]he diameter of the wire rope is to be measured all along the wire rope segment of the line.” This is an improvement from its 2013 guidelines, which stated “In case wire is not sheathed, diameter measurement should be performed for all lines all along the wire rope segments.”
Meeting Class Requirements Without Exceeding Budgets
Operators are challenged to meet or (preferably) surpass these requirements while simultaneously improving cost efficiencies in light of the prolonged downturn in the energy markets. Welaptega appreciates this challenge and has focused its efforts to provide innovative service offerings that can significantly reduce vessel hire time in addition to collecting the data needed to properly assess the present-day condition and future capacity of an installation’s mooring system.
Welaptega’s Subsea Cleaning Tool is used to clean marine growth, corrosion, and various debris from subsea infrastructure, including mooring chains, and offers a faster alternative to the typical cleaning solution, ROV-mounted high pressure water jetters. By increasing cleaning time efficiencies, the Subsea Cleaning Tool allows operators to reduce vessel and ROV time and focus on collecting the requisite data.
Welaptega’s Chain Measurement System (CMS) also improves time efficiencies by collecting multiple measurement locations from a single placement of the tool. Less time situating the tools and its simple rugged design (compared to other available systems) means less ROV time, which means lower costs.
Lastly, to meet Bureau Veritas’ new wire rope diameter measurement requirements (most class societies already have this in place), Welaptega’s Rope Measurement System can be used to both clean the rope and measure its diameter.
Increasing the scope of a mooring integrity program does not mean an operator must increase its costs. With Welaptega’s range of innovative, industry-leading tools, combined with its unmatched expertise in mooring inspections, operators can collect better data in shorter amounts of time to meet the requirements of their class societies and limit the risk of mooring failures. Contact us today to learn how we can meet your mooring integrity needs!