Offshore Facilities

Welcome to the Offshore Facilities feature in this month’s JPT. I had the pleasure of screening 207 papers submitted to SPE in this field during the past year to come up with the three papers selected for this issue that cover elements of offshore facilities design and inspection.

The first paper describes a design case study for split-process floating liquefied natural gas, in which the primary production and gas-treatment functions are provided on a host platform while liquefaction occurs on separate vessels that serve also for storage and transport. Splitting the services results in advantages that include facilitating standardization of the liquefaction design and eliminating the need for liquefied-­natural-gas-offloading systems designed for open-water conditions.

The next paper describes a risk-based approach for application of passive fire protection (PFP) on an offshore structure. Principles of this unified risk-based approach for accidental loadings and its application to fire-response analysis and PFP are explained, and the method is compared against the conventional approach.

The third paper covers work performed by the Hull Inspection Techniques and Strategy joint-industry project to develop new floating production, storage, and offloading vessel hull-inspection methods that minimize or eliminate diving. This has been achieved by conducting many of the inspections from inside the hull, using advanced methods to inspect critical isolation valves and marine piping, and inspecting the hull appendages with miniature remotely operated vehicles. The alternative method delivers improved inspection data as well as significant reductions in cost and people on board and minimal weather/sea-state downtime.

I hope you enjoy reading these papers.

Recommended Additional Reading

IPTC 18373 Adapting the Caspian Factor for the Installation of Petronas’ First Gravity-Based Structure by Khairil Raezwan Rashdi, Petronas, et al.

OTC 26481 Development of a Novel Hybrid AUV System for Pipeline Inspection in Gulf of Thailand by Phakhachon Hoonsuwan, PTTEP, et al.

OTC 27068 Fuel Efficiency on Floating Production Systems by Jos Bronneberg, SBM Offshore USA


Mark Elkins, SPE, holds a BS degree in chemical engineering from Louisiana State University. He has worked in the oil and gas industry for 37 years in various capacities as a process engineer, process engineering lead, and project engineer with Arco and ConocoPhillips. Elkins’ work included offshore experience in the US Gulf of Mexico, Indonesia, and Tunisia, and he served as the company representative in the contractor shop for ConocoPhillips’ Floating Liquefied Natural Gas Technology Development Project. Elkins’ most recent assignment was as gas-treating-plant process lead for the Alaska liquefied-natural-gas project. He retired in 2016 and is a member of the JPT Editorial Committee.

Offshore Facilities

Mark Elkins, SPE, Retired

01 February 2017

Volume: 69 | Issue: 2

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