BY Steven Barras
Director of Offshore Activities
for North America
After a difficult three years for Offshore, we are starting to see market stabilization and new projects emerging. These include some of the most technically challenging field developments our industry has ever seen.
To meet these projects’ demands for greater efficiency, Bureau Veritas is working with clients and industry partners to establish innovative tools and methodologies to support and lead the industry in its move towards digitalization.
One example is our updated Asset Integrity Management (AIM) tool, which we are demonstrating at this year's OTC. By identifying new ways to utilize inspection data collected as a result of increased monitoring of assets, AIM enables customers to optimize and extend operations and maximize asset value.
Bureau Veritas is also working to simplify and streamline project and operational assurance by reducing project lifecycle interfaces. This includes expanding our Quality Assurance services through three recent acquisitions: TMC Marine, MatthewsDaniel and MAC.
Visit us at OTC* to discuss how we can support your project.
Leading the way in turrets
SOFEC’s Houston address belies its global reach. The leader in single point mooring systems (SPMs) for offshore oil and gas may be headquartered in the US oil capital – but the vast majority of its projects lie thousands of miles from the Gulf of Mexico.
Project Engineering Management Group Manager Ron Mack explains the simple reason for this; “SOFEC’s sophisticated turret systems are used for floating units: FPSOs, FSOs and FLNGs used in deepwater projects or fields that, unlike the Gulf of Mexico, do not benefit from existing infrastructure.”
A key feature of turret mooring is that it permits the unit to weathervane 360 degrees, allowing operation in extreme sea conditions. In total, SOFEC has delivered over 50 SPMs worldwide, most recently in South-East Asia, Nigeria and Brazil. It also has a fast-developing business in FLNG.
A typical example of SOFEC’s work is the Bureau Veritas-classed turret system recently delivered for a project offshore Malaysia, employing a turret-moored FSO with storage capacity of approximately 550,000 barrels.
The project demanded a tight delivery schedule: 13 months, compared to up to 24 months for some of SOFEC’s recent projects.
“This meant we had to work extremely efficiently. It was also the first time that we had worked with Bureau Veritas on classification of a turret system. It demanded close cooperation between SOFEC and Bureau Veritas engineers at the start of the project to clarify the class rules and ensure we had a clear understanding of the technical requirements.”
“Bureau Veritas is very thorough: we appreciated the fact that they took the additional step of doing their own calculations and analysis and modeling the mooring system.”
“We maintained close communication with their engineers in Houston and Paris to close comments and successfully meet the delivery schedule.”
Verification for Noble Energy
Bureau Veritas has been appointed by global oil and natural gas exploration and production company Noble Energy, to provide an independent verification of its development executions in the Leviathan Project, off the Mediterranean coast of Israel.
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Bureau Veritas’ Verification provides independent assessment of compliance with the Project requirements. Bureau Veritas will be focused on the review and verification of the design/engineering, fabrication, installation and commissioning of the safety critical elements (SCE) of the Project, which will consist of subsea installations, a host platform, export lines to/and onshore tie-in at the coastal valve station.
MAC acquisition strengthens value-add services
Bureau Veritas was pleased to announce the acquisition of Maritime Assurance & Consulting (MAC) in 2016. Based in Aberdeen, MAC provides offshore assurance and consulting services throughout the world. It offers high quality service and recognized strengths in dynamic positioning and engineering. Marine warranty and assurance services largely focus on vessels serving the offshore industry. The acquisition further enhances Bureau Vertias’ Maritime Assurance services for offshore clients worldwide.
JIPs TARGET BETTER DESIGN for floating units
Bureau Veritas leads three JIPs to develop solutions for designers and operators of floating offshore units. The oil and gas offshore industry faces a dual challenge: how to meet very high reliability requirements, while reducing costs? Understanding operational risk is essential if designers and operators are to make cost-effective decisions.
In 2013 Bureau Veritas launched a JIP to develop an improved methodology to address roll motions in FPSOs. Nineteen major offshore companies took part in the JIP, the results of which were brought together in a guidance note designed to harmonize the practices for estimating roll motions. Application of the note can potentially reduce the deviations between design and operation, enabling operators to identify more cost-effective solutions and avoid unexpected downtime and structural degradation. We are now inviting the industry to join Phase II of the Non Linear Roll JIP tackling specific aspects of the roll motion problem in order to further improve the guidance note.
A second major hazard for marine installations is greenwater: the impact caused by high water velocities can potentially damage sensitive equipment or structures. The Greenwater JIP therefore aims at providing a reliable and consistent risk based methodology to investigate greenwater susceptibility and loading from the bow and sides of FPSOs.
The final JIP addresses repairs due to corrosion. Cutting and welding an offshore structure during operation is expensive and high-risk. Leading operators to seek solutions for cold repairs and a few examples of application of bonded composite patches have been implemented. However a lack of failure criteria in place to date to assess the strength of bonding has meant an extensive qualification process for each repair, and therefore higher costs. This is why Bureau Veritas has launched the StrengthBond Offshore JIP to define a guideline for strength assessment of offshore bonded repair. As a result of the JIP, it is expected that the approval of a bonded repair will become faster and systematic tests will no longer be required for each specific design. This is a first important step to make bonded repairs a practice as common as it is in other industries such as aeronautics.