VeriSTAR News

Newsletter of the marine & offshore division

VeriSTAR News Offshore

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May 2016



Senior Vice President, Offshore Activities,
Marine & Offshore Division

Yeh-Sheng Kuan

An uptick in the oil price is letting hope back into the offshore energy world. But prices will have to rise a long way and stay there before the relentless pressure on operating and maintenance costs eases and before we see significant new investment starting. All the effort now is focussed on squeezing more out of existing assets while spending less. But there is no room for cutting corners and no place in our industry for taking risks with safety or the environment.

So cost squeezing has to be about spending smarter. The move to a digital age helps that shift towards better targeted spending, because with digital technology we can know more about the condition of our assets, more about how they are deteriorating or wearing and more about what to focus on to avoid downtime. Bureau Veritas is leading a digital transformation of Asset Integrity Management. Come and talk to us at OTC* to find out how you can go digital with confidence.

*stand 4153C


Coldshield approval - kake1

Mr Robb Erickson, Vice President Sales,
Heavy Marine Transport, Dockwise USA LLC

Jean-Philippe Court

If it is big and it floats and you need it moved, the chances are that you will talk to Dockwise, the world leader in moving heavy cargoes by sea. Robb Erickson joined what has today become Dockwise twenty-three years ago with the brief to widen the client base for its heavy lift ships. Today he is in charge of sales and finding cargo for the fleet. He can look with satisfaction at a company which operates twenty-five unique semisubmersible heavy lift vessels and provide not just a lift and transport service for oil rigs but a wide range of transport and install services to all aspects of the marine world and beyond.

“We work with the military, we work with big onshore plants such as LNG terminals and we work with all areas of offshore energy,” says Robb. “We move anything and everything, typically in the weight range between 6,000 and 30,000 tonnes. We are much more than a heavy lift company though, and our parent group, Boskalis, has a lot of expertise and equipment across the marine spectrum so we can offer packages which include a lot more than transport.”

In today’s low oil price climate that wider range of services enables Dockwise to be flexible and creative. The company’s mission is to realise the inconceivable. “We understand what keeps our customers awake for realizing their project,” says Robb. “We have a good reputation with the oil majors and major EPICs for high quality, very safe and good engineering. That helps in times like this, and we have to be sure those same values apply to our partners and people we work with.”

Today most of Dockwise’s certification and classification is entrusted to Bureau Veritas and MatthewsDaniel is its preferred Marine Warranty Surveyor for semi-submersible heavy lift transportations. “We can’t tell our clients who to use as a marine warranty surveyor,” says Robb. “But we can recommend. It is an important role as the link to the marine insurer and we like to work with people who are familiar with semi-submersible ships and the special issues involved. MatthewsDaniel is really experienced with this and it shows, working with them everything goes much smoother.”


Fugitibe Emission Monitoring

Offshore safety legislation is going through a major change, directly impacting Duty Holders and operators across the European Union and being voluntarily adopted by operators around the globe. The roll out of Offshore Safety Directive 2013/30/EU requires that EU states introduce national regulations implementing a UK Safety Case style regime, including the requirement for Verification. Operators based in former Soviet states, Asia, the Americas and Middle East are also implementing the regime even where no legislative requirements currently exist.

As part of this regime, the Duty Holder must establish a verification scheme for the safety and environmental-critical elements of the specified plant. This is a written scheme that describes how Safety and Environmentally Critical Elements (SECEs) present on an installation will be tested, inspected and examined, and which will be used by an appointed Independent Competent Person (ICP) to ensure that these are suitable and remain in good repair and condition. Verification is carried out over and above the Duty Holder’s own assurance process, and acts as a confirmation that the Duty Holder is doing what they have committed to do to protect the safety and integrity of their installation.

Bureau Veritas is the only Independent Verification Body to hold UKAS 17020 accreditation for the provision of Verification services. It is supporting operators and regulators in preparation for the implementation of the new directive. A Verification Academy provides training in all aspects of Verification.


BP’s multi-billion pound Quad204 project is designed to completely redevelop and maximise production from the Schiehallion and Loyal fields, located 175 kilometres west of Shetland. The project includes a new state-of-the-art FPSO, the Glen Lyon, renewal of the subsea infrastructure network to rejuvenate the field and a seven-year drilling campaign.

In 2012 Technip in the UK was awarded a contract which included supply of 21 dynamic flexible risers and 78 flexible jumpers. Technip then awarded Bureau Veritas a contract for the certification works. Bureau Veritas set up a dedicated project team in the Offshore Technical department of Bureau Veritas Paris, where co-ordination of the design review, together with the necessary inspections during the fabrication, took place.

The first stage of certification was a design review of the engineering documentation in order to issue Independent design Review Certificates (IRC) for confirming the conformity with the applicable standards like API17J. The global riser configuration is a lazy wave, made with buoyancy modules to absorb vessel motions. Each tether is anchored to the seabed and also covers ancillary items like the bend stiffeners, which are designed to control the risers’ curvature under dynamic loads and to prevent over-bending at the interface with the FPSO.

For the procurement and fabrication phase, Bureau Veritas inspectors oversaw manufacturing and testing of flexibles lines at Technip’s plant, as well as the main ancillary item suppliers in Europe, ensuring each achieved Certificate Of Conformity (COC).

Bureau Veritas was able to undertake this work as a result of its 25 years’ experience in flexible Type Approval Certificate (TAC). This covers design rules and tools validated against performance tests, as well as material selection and manufacturing process for a flexible pipe family.



Helping offshore operators maintain assets in good condition and at full production is a key role for classification societies. That is why Bureau Veritas has invested heavily in strategic partnerships to extend and focus its Asset Integrity Management Services  (AIMS). The most recent is a partnership with France’s Dassault Systèmes, under which Bureau Veritas is integrating Dassault’s 3D EXPERIENCE platform and its Catia and Enovia 3D CAD tools with Bureau Veritas’ existing VeriSTAR calculation tools and AIM systems.

Dassault Systèmes is a world leader in 3D modelling and CAD solutions, with a massive presence in aerospace. 

The new partnership is part of a digital transformation project with Bureau Veritas and builds on successful partnerships with APSYS, an aerospace specialist in Reliability Centred Maintenance services, with StuartWright,  a specialist in Well Integrity Management and with HydrOcean, a specialist in Computerized Fluid Dynamics. HydrOcean has now been fully acquired by Bureau Veritas and forms part of the group’s core services.

Traditionally, classification societies act as recognized independent bodies for classification, certification or verification. A development of that is to provide technical assistance, especially in the area of risk management.

The expertise inherent in acting in an overseer and verifier role helps inform the requirements of a focussed approach to AIM. Bureau Veritas has developed services for Structure Integrity Management (SIM), Reliability Availability and Maintainability (RAM), Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) of static equipment and load bearing structures, Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM), Safety Integrity Level (SIL), Noise & Vibrations assessments and Pipeline Integrity Management (PIM) and combines these into tailored AIMS packages.

The Dassault partnership and the digital transformation underway in Bureau Veritas take AIMS to a new level. Its new digital AIM system is built on a complete digital twin model of the actual asset and a virtuous virtual loop, which will keep it updated automatically so that it continuously reflects the actual condition of the asset and equipment.

On the input side the digital twin will interface automatically with connected surveyors, inspection and testing data, and in the future, live data from sensors on the equipment. On the output side the interface will be with operator’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), with Bureau Veritas’ powerful structural calculation tools and with RBI planning tools. This will enable continual refinement and focusing of inspection effort.


INPEX has awarded the Hull Inspection Management services contract for its ICHTHYS development to Bureau Veritas. The contract follows several major oil and gas companies in Australia, which have already trusted Bureau Veritas to provide Structural Integrity Management services.

Structure Integrity Management (SIM) is one of Bureau Veritas’ main strengths, built on its leading 3D diffraction/radiation hydrodynamics software, HydroSTAR, and its dedicated 3D Finite Element software VeriSTAR Hull and HOMER for design, condition strength and fatigue assessments. These software packages provided support to in-operation units through the VeriSTAR HLC (Hull Life Cycle) and VeriSTAR SIM packages.

Ram studies for fsrus - hdr

Additional capabilities recently built in, based on 3D modelling and digital power, extend the VeriSTAR SIM modules to help with decision making concerning the go/no-go of life extension/redeployment of FPSOs and assessing potential conversions of gas carriers into FSRUs. This has been possible thanks to statistical analyses of existing ultrasonic thickness measurements (UTMs) and forecasts.

Also supported by the 3D model capability of VeriSTAR HLC is criticality ranking of hull structure findings in order to allow objective and cost-effective decision making on the corrective actions to carry out. VeriSTAR SIM already allowed 3D risk-based inspection planning of fixed platforms and topside structures, anticipating the now in-force API RP2SIM code. VeriSTAR HLC built on that with the preparation of intervention scopes and the subsequent presentation of findings and thickness measurements taken.



Bureau Veritas has developed guidelines for walk-to-work (W2W) Offshore Access Systems (OAS) which are used to transfer industrial personnel to and from offshore installations. Guidance Note NI629 Certification of Offshore Access Systems provides a clear and comprehensive overview of the safety principles and technical requirements for the design, manufacturing and operation of reliable and dependable equipment for the safe transfer of personnel at sea.

Getting people safely onto and off unmanned platforms and wind turbines offshore has become a big issue. Actively motion-compensated W2W OAS can provide significant safety, operability and/or cost advantages over more traditional personnel transfer methods such as personnel basket or capsule lifts, step-over from high speed crew transfer vessels and helicopter transfers. A new generation of innovative offshore service vessels equipped with motion-compensated gangways is emerging and it is imperative that the industry has a standard against which to assess their safety and to support the development of new designs.

News in brief...

CFD tackles green water and wind loads
Bureau Veritas group subsidiary HydrOcean has recently extended the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to provide quick and economical modelling and assessment of very complex green water wave loads over an FPSO, in order to define the loads on the topside elements and the wetted areas. In a separate case CFD was used to model the wind loads and the wake flow for the topside of an offshore platform, taking into account all the details of the geometry.

The use of advanced numerical solvers, such as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), is spreading as Bureau Veritas invests in increasing the application range of well-known potential flow solvers to non-linear and complex challenges facing projects.

Bureau Veritas has recently set up a Chair and entered a Euro 7.4 m partnership with Ecole Centrale Nantes to work on CFD applications. HydrOcean and Bureau Veritas now have at their disposal the most advanced and complete numerical tank and wind tunnel, dedicated to the evaluation and optimization of the performance and security of offshore structure designs. CFD can be used to assess not only green water loads and wind loads, but also for gas dispersion risk assessment, air-gap evaluation, flow assurance simulations and sloshing evaluation.


sub sear

Bureau Veritas subsidiary MatthewsDaniel has developed a new program to enhance mobile offshore drilling units (MODU) safety based on analysing past rig performance in specific locations. The Rig History Database (RHD) is a web-based database, that organizes information that includes historical worldwide spudcan penetration records. To date, RHD has a collection of more than 11,000 records. This information will provide accurate predictions for expected performance when siting on location to increase MODU safety.

Each historical penetration record includes MODU details, location description, coordinates, leg penetrations and loads.  The program can perform a search in and around a geodetic coordinate and plot the records within the search radius using Google Maps© for an interactive spatial view of the records around a search point.

For the past 40 years, MatthewsDaniel has provided warranty approvals for siting MODUs on location.  In the last 5 years alone, MatthewsDaniel has issued approvals for more than 2,000 locations for jack-ups, mat-supported units and semi-submersibles.

Once RHD has located available records within a designated geographical site, MatDan’s in-house geotechnical team can use this information to better evaluate soil conditions for MODU siting. Based on rig type, load, and historical penetrations, geotechnical engineers can hindcast MODU foundation performance data to reduce the uncertainty in soil laboratory test data to more accurately interpret soil parameters. The refined soil parameters can be used to provide improved penetration predictions.