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Understanding Cable Dynamics Leads To A Smoother Operation

[Posted on July 27th 2014 by Bill Stewart]

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Throughout the gas and oil industry, there are a number of pieces of equipment that you require. Especially when you are offshore, you need to make sure you have everything that you require before you escape into the middle of the ocean. Cable dynamics must be fully understood so that you establish the best possible rig.

Cables are only designed to hold so much weight and experience so much movement before they fail. When you are talking about the overall effectiveness of your rig and everything else that is going on out there, you cannot afford to have a cable snap or be ineffective at holding the weight based upon the environmental factors.

Analysis can be done prior to leaving out on the rig so that you know what you are up against. Analysis can factor in wind, waves, ocean depth, and various other aspects of being in the ocean so you know how to prepare. The cable dynamics can then be calculated based upon the environmental factors so that you don’t run into issues.

In many instances, you will use single point moorings and various cables within your rig. There are many sites around the globe where you can conduct offshore drilling. The formula that you used the last time may not be the same formula that you use this time because the factors have changed. Many companies try to eliminate analysis a second-time around as a way to save money.

However, you cannot afford to cut corners when it comes to analysis. You need to understand the cable dynamics to their fullest extent so that you have a comprehensive guide to the type of cables, the length, and even the angles in which they are held at so that you have a rig that is strong enough to withstand the waves, the depth of the ocean, and everything else that it is exposed to while being offshore.

There have been too many marine accidents as a result of companies not doing the research. You don’t want to be one of the companies that have an accident simply because you failed to understand the dynamics of the cabling involved with your rig. You need to establish an anchor, a mooring point, as well as various other aspects to be able to avoid movement in the water while being able to do all of the drilling.

A small amount of analysis can go a long way so that you have a firm grasp on what cabling is required and how it is going to impact the overall effectiveness of the rig. This will allow you to get the job done without having to delay because of having to get additional supplies. You will be able to have a smoother operation from the moment you reach your site when you pay attention to your cabling needs.

Why Anchor Analysis Is A Must Prior To Equipment Procurement

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[Posted on July 16th, 2014 by Bill Stewart]

It’s important that you know what’s going on with your rig. Anchor analysis can be done to help you maintain stability when you’re out on the water. The analysis will help you to account for worst case scenarios, which helps when the waves get rough or the water gets deeper than you anticipated. You don’t want to buy any kind of equipment until you know what you are dealing with so you don’t waste money on equipment that won’t work based upon the environment that you are going to be subjecting your rig to.

When you have an offshore drilling project, you want to make sure you buy all of the right equipment. Prior to buying, however, you need to make sure that you know all about the environment that you are taking your rig into. This includes understanding the waves, the water pressure, the depth and much more – which is why anchor analysis is critical.

You don’t want to get into anchor troubleshooting while you’re out on the water. Too many companies make the mistake of going out onto the water without knowing what they are truly dealing with. An anchor is not supposed to move. If it begins dragging against the bottom of the ocean floor, you’re in trouble.

Anchor analysis can be done to ensure that your anchor stays where you drop it. This will help you to set up your rig more effectively and be able to make sense of cable dynamics throughout the actual drilling process. If you don’t know about the environment that you are about to set up in, it could be catastrophic.

There are a lot of things going on with offshore drilling and the more you know, the better it will be for you.

A significant amount of equipment needs to be procured, but you have to know what to buy. This includes knowing the weight of the cables, the materials that should be used, and much more. A lot of analysis can be performed to tell you about what you need so that you don’t get involved with any kind of guesswork.

You can buy the software to do the analysis on your own or you can trust a third party to help you with the anchor analysis. A third party can often be the best solution to ensure you can rely on the numbers. It can also provide you with an extra set of eyes on the data to capture everything and identify problems.

Wasting money in the oil and gas industry is expensive and never an option. You can avoid all of that by doing the right analysis ahead of time and then deciding on what you need. That is the sure way to save money and make sure that your rig has what it needs to be functional.

Steel Catenary Risers for Off-Shore Drilling

[Posted on July 9th, 2014 by Bill Stewart]

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Steel catenary risers (SCR) are well-known tools used for uniting an ocean pipeline to an oil production platform. SCRs enables the movement of liquids such as water oil, and gasoline. When combined with anchor analysis, SCRs can be used precisely to improve the efficiency of virtually any drilling operation.

Steel Catenary Risers

There are several, basic components which all SCR’s have in common. First off, the SCR is connected to the platform via a coupling known as a flex joint. The riser may lie on the floor of a body of water, hundreds of feet below the surface, for this reason several buoyant must be attached so the SCR will remain buoyant. Increased buoyancy reduces the stress put upon the flex joint. If the joint was forced to support the entire weight of the riser, it would be far more likely to come undone. The riser must also be held in place on the floor of the body of water. Riser anchors must be strategically placed along the length of the riser so currents don’t move it from the desired position.

Why are SCRs Used Underwater

Many people are familiar with the oil production in the Persian Gulf and in the US in states like Texas. However, 3/4 of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, which means most of the viable drilling spots in the world lie beneath the sea. The dry land drilling sites would never be able to satisfy the world’s petroleum needs, which is why off-shore drilling is being discussed so heavily by the governments of the world. Even those who protest the use of fossil fuels still support off-shore drilling. This is because the vast majority of the world’s natural gas also lie beneath the surface of large bodies of water. Steel Catenary Risers can help to improve the world for everyone by making natural gas more accessible to replace harmful fossil fuels.

Other Benefits to Off-Shore Drilling

The US still has a volatile relationship with many of the world’s top oil producing countries. However, the US is also the country most dependent upon the fossil fuels from these countries. Off-shore drilling could make the US less dependent upon all foreign fuel sources, by providing ample petroleum and natural gas. Independence from foreign energy sources is certainly a great incentive for off shore drilling. Many European countries are also exploring off-shore drilling as a means of freeing themselves from dependence upon Russian natural gas. The Moscow based company Gazprom has been accused of using Russia’s natural gas reserves as political weapons which has countries such as Germany seeking more viable solutions. As off-shore drilling becomes more common, the need for steel catenary risers will increase as well.

Single Point Moorings Help Offloading Efforts

[Posted on July 2nd, 2014 by Bill Stewart]

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When drilling platforms need to transfer gas or liquids, single point moorings help their offloading requirements. Properly designed and anchored, these moorings can secure tankers of any size safely.

Offloading crude oil or gas to single point moored tankers is vital to getting platform production from the ocean to land-based ports. This connection between tanker and platform at a single mooring point with proper subsea design and installation makes the critical transfer of platform production easier, faster and more effective. Understanding how  single point moorings work is important to ensuring their subsea design and connections are installed properly effectively holding weathervaning tankers securely prior to and during gas or liquid transfer.

Working Description of Effective Mooring Systems

Three primary components make up mooring systems.

  • A mooring line;
  • An anchor: connecting the mooring line and a floating buoy; and
  • Various connectors, establishing the vital link of tanker and offshore platform.

Mooring lines often use different material, based on subsea and surface environmental conditions, such as wind strength, wave size and motion, and current power and direction. The most popular materials are —

  • Synthetic fiber rope;
  • Steel wire rope;
  • Chain; and/or
  • Combinations of the three materials used together for added strength.

Long-term and permanent moorings typically feature lines using chain, particularly in shallow water (usually defined as up to 100 meters). Deeper water mooring lines often use steel wire rope, maximizing the benefits of its lighter weight and increased elasticity as compared to chain. When light weight is the top consideration, mooring systems feature synthetic fiber rope, for its lighter weight properties.

Deeper water moorings, up to 2,000 meters, suggest using chain or chain and steel wire rope configurations. Combinations of all three popular mooring line materials are often used in deep water, over 2,000 meters, to get the best features of strength and elasticity.

All mooring system success depends on the strength and ‘holding capacity’ of their anchors. Outstanding anchors’ holding ability depends on their digging depth and the soil components of the sea floor. The most popular anchor type is the drag embedment style, used throughout moorings in the Gulf of Mexico.

Installing this anchor involves dragging it along the seabed until it achieves its optimal depth, penetrating sea floor soil and creating necessary resistance to hold it in place. Deep water conditions favor suction pile-type anchoring, since drag anchors lack high performance when heavy vertical forces dominate the environment, such as the pressure generated by deep water.

The third primary anchor type, vertical load devices, while similar to drag anchors perform well when facing both horizontal and vertical load issues. These types are very useful when mooring lines tend to adopt angular positions between anchor and buoy.

Steel catenary risers help the most common mooring system for shallow water allow the line to modify configurations as the surface vessel moves around. Since the mooring line lies on the seabed, it needs to be longer than water depth, increasing its weight, making catenary mooring systems less efficient as water depth increases.

When platform owners want expert advice and analysis of single point moorings, they turn to Stewart Technology Associates, industry leaders in offshore equipment and systems expertise. Our state-of-the-art technology and extensive experience analyzing and designing offshore systems help develop efficient solutions for offshore drilling and production platforms. Analysis of mooring methods is only one area of the many conditions we evaluate for our clients.

Stewart Technology Associates Improves the Seakeeping Analysis for Shipping

[Posted on June 25th 2014 by Bill Stewart]

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Stewart Technology Associates are experts in mechanical and geographical technology of the offshore industries seakeeping analysis processes. This is the essence of the STA marine strategies. This company has brought Jack-ups and liftboats to aid marine offshore businesses for years. It also provides information that leads to correct calculations in the preparation of shipping conditions.

As an expert in the field the president of this resourceful technology company, Mr. W. P. Stewart, is a leading person in the mariner field. Called upon in events concerning sea related accidents, Bill Stewart is a seasoned expert. This company developed the jack-up simulator, both physical and software simulators and provides the service of oil spill clean up. The company is involved with risk assessment for mariner equipment.

Established in 1986, STA is qualified in geotechnical technology. The company’s devices have improved the safety and methods of factoring mooring analysis for vessels and the use of training simulators. This company’s equipment is used to further the preparedness of water safety agencies in many countries. Seakeeping analysis has been a part of Mr. Stewarts training for over twenty years and remains a part of his expertise. This Houston based firm provides offshore training equipment for a long list of mariner companies.

Using the companies design and analysis services to improve sea operations this company caters to a number of clients around the globe, up grading the necessary software and equipment that keeps oil rigs and seafaring equipment moving. The mariner community is limited to a few experts and Bill Stewart of Stewart Technology Associates happens to be one of them. Developing tools that propelled shipping into a better industry, the jack-up simulator and the ballast control simulator, this company is standing on the forefront of mariner innovations.

Stewart Technology Associates has acted as a marine specialist making pipe/pump software packages, these items are updated by the company. Mariner developers around the world use the technology developed by STA, with Jack up simulators distributed as a separate item or connected with the full simulator.

Heavily qualified in Seakeeping analysis, STA has the ability to effectively determine if a vessel is able to maintain its integrity in the sea environment. People trained to deal with oceanic conditions are trained on simulators designed by Stewart Technologies Associates.

Ships and barges are a part of the scenery today out on the sea but these water vessels need trained people and strong materials to keep them afloat. This company has developed a strategy that test equipment, trains people and keeps equipment sea worthy, allowing them to test and calculate a vessels seaworthy ability before it is challenged by the oceans fury.

Riser Analysis Is Important for Platform Production

[Posted on June 20th 2014 by Bill Stewart]

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A thorough riser analysis is important for platform production reasons, particularly for offloading fluids. State-of-the-art marine technology software, such as Orcina’s OrcaFlex package, permits an accurate evaluation, identifying areas that may need improvement.

Risers, vital to oil and gas offshore platform production and transfer, are responsible for the safe, efficient transmission of fluids or gas from drilling facilities to collection vessels, typically tankers. Drilling companies need accurate riser analyses from qualified engineering firms to ensure proper design and installation of these systems.

Some Components of Evaluating Risers

In most cases, this analysis, formerly classified as “static,” has been supplanted by new technology, permitting a more effective “dynamic” evaluation process. State-of-the-art technology has improved the quality of riser evaluation studies.

  • Assess the requirements placed on risers, particularly when facing strong wave action in deeper sea depths.
  • Responses of undersea risers to ocean currents and formidable surface waves.
  • Predictions of dynamic behavior when embroiled in excessive environmental and external loads.
  • Evaluation of the potential external forces, both undersea and surface conditions that can affect riser and deep ocean pipe performance.
  • Transfer efficiency of platform liquids or gas to surface collection vessels.
  • Effects of wave-generated and tidal currents on riser systems.
  • Response of risers to “static axial force” and wave load in normal and extreme environments.

These are some components of riser analysis that produce results that are either encouraging or disappointing to companies with previously installed systems. During the design phase, these analysis results will either confirm or recommend changes in riser installation plans.

In all cases, this evaluation is critical to current and future offshore platform production. For instance, outstanding drilling platform production that faces serious challenges during transfer to surface collection vessels can reduce the true production quotient of the operation.

Current technology is a vast improvement over the classic static analysis of former evaluations. The ability to computers to simulate environments and possible effects enhance the quality of the analysis and its conclusions.

Experience Is Important

Technology alone does not replace experience in analyzing riser efficiency or durability. Experience working with riser designs and real-world installations helps evaluators make more accurate conclusions regarding the risers under study.

For example, Stewart Technology Associates has compiled over 20 years’ experience performing riser analysis. Founder Bill Stewart, P.E., long ago committed to intense study of risers. He has since dedicated his studies to advancing the knowledge base surrounding marine studies of riser technology and performance limitations.

Our company has earned an impressive reputation for excellence in marine analysis and problem solving. One of our specialties is analyzing risers for companies around the world. As a member the Society of Naval Architects, Bill Stewart has a background to match his expertise with riser analysis. This evaluation is similar to a seakeeping analysis in that it identifies the “seaworthiness” of undersea risers.

When combined with extensive experience working with and analyzing risers, current technology, like OrcaFlex software, enables professionals, such as Stewart Technology Associates, evaluate riser systems of any type accurately. The scientific analysis results provided by the technology are interpreted correctly, predicting how the studied risers will perform in all sea conditions and environments.

OrcaFlex Software Has Multiple Talents

[Posted on June 13th 2014 by Bill Stewart]

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Technology plays an important role in offshore and marine industries. OrcaFlex software has multiple talents to help with structural dynamics and hydrodynamic analysis of structures.

Designed by mechanical and software engineers, naval architects and mathematicians, this software was developed by Orcina Ltd. professionals to analyze diverse marine systems.

Some Features of This Software

This top-rated software assists in the design of the following marine systems.

  • Riser systems;
  • Mooring systems for offshore structures;
  • Installation plans for diverse scenarios;
  • Towed offshore systems; and
  • Defense systems, marine renewables and seabed stability solutions.

With its incredible power combined with a wonderful GUI, this software package is the optimum marine services program available today. Its sister software, OrcaLay and OrcaBend work in concert to provide pipe lay and bend stiffener design and analysis.


The software helps with design and installation of production risers. Needed to transfer fluids to and from vessels, these conductor pipe systems are essential to the efficiency of deep water production systems.

OrcaFlex software also offers assistance with both types of drilling risers. When designing and installing marine drilling risers, which typically are used by floating drilling vessels, and tie-back risers, used by fixed drilling platforms in conjunction with surface blowout preventers, help anchor either single high-pressure pipes or sets of concentric pipes.


Also known as single buoy moorings, single point moorings keep one or more tankers stationary while offloading gas or liquid from platforms. The software allows users to plan how to deploy the buoys for maximum efficiency.

CALM (Catenary Anchor Leg Mooring) buoys include multiple legs (tethers) and a turntable, allowing vessels to “weathervane” while accepting the transfer of fluids from platforms. Mooring tankers to these buoys gives platforms more flexibility to transfer gas or fluid in varied weather and sea conditions.

The software’s excellent GUI, graphically displays the alternative deployment options to most mooring designs, allowing users to visualize, analyze and evaluate the best choice for installation. Instead of costly trial-and-error methods, OrcaFlex shows the variety of available options for deployment.

Other Applications

Along with displaying multiple options for the vital deployment of risers and moorings, OrcaFlex offers other applications, making it one of the most versatile programs in the marine industry. Other valuable applications include the following items.

  • Installation evaluation and analysis;
  • Buoy system options;
  • Hose variations, including under-buoy, offloading and floating hose systems;
  • Defense issues, including minesweeping research and helicopter landing options; and
  • Renewable energy systems, including wave power and wind farm modeling.

It is evident that OrcaFlex software helps companies and consultants plan, design and deploy the primary marine systems applying to both vessels and offshore platforms. Stewart Technology Associates specializes in using this technology to deliver our outstanding marine consulting services.

Our extensive expertise, combined with this powerful software package, gives us the tools to design solutions to most marine-related issues. We also feature forensic analysis to identify prior problems or create evidence for expert testimony responsibilities. Combined with our riser and mooring experience, we offer a wide variety of efficient solutions for a myriad of structural and offshore marine systems.

Stewart Technology Associates Excels at Mooring Analysisv

[Posted on June 9th 2014 by Bill Stewart]

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Stuart Technology Associates has been one of the biggest names in mooring analysis for years, and is used by companies from all around the world to conduct this important piece of research for them. Any company that works in the above-the-surface marine industry, be it drilling rigs, modular housing for offshore workers, platforms, or any type of structure that is required to rest on the ocean’s surface, needs a good analysis of their mooring done before beginning to work. If the mooring is off, then the whole structure can become unstable, putting those who live or work on those structures at risk. At Stuart Technology Associates, we have proven to be such a reliable name in this industry that most of our clients now come to us through word of mouth. That is the power behind what we do.

Of course, we don’t want you to just take another company’s word for it. We want you to know why you should choose us to do your mooring analysis. If you are already a client, we want you to know why you should continue to work with us. Here are the main factors that set us above the crowd in the marine technology industry.

Exceptional Reputation

You don’t get a solid reputation for excellence in this industry unless you can actually deliver it. We have proven time and time again that we have what it takes to give our clients the highest quality analysis in the business. You can trust what we tell you, because we have extensive experience and we take what we do very seriously. This is why so many of our clients continue to come back to us for their new projects, and to refer other companies to us.

Our reputation is as good as it is because we are meticulous, experienced, and have a detailed knowledge of what needs to be done. Doing this type of analysis isn’t appropriate for a new company just starting out, as lives are literally at stake on these ocean structures. We have seen every possible situation the sea can throw at an on-the-surface structure, and we know how to plan around it and for it.

Top Technology

We have access to the top technology in the field. Since marine structure technology is always changing, keeping up can be a challenge. However, we do keep up, and we do it well. As technology advances, we move along with it, and are often among the earliest adopters of new methods of doing our job. As an example, we began using OrcaFlex more than twenty years ago, when it was still a new technology for mooring analysis. Other companies are only just now starting to catch up with us in the use of that particular device. You want a company that is on top of things, and that is us.


In addition to having the reputation, experience, and technology to do your mooring analysis correctly, we also pride ourselves on being affordable without cutting corners on safety. You can trust your project in our hands, every single time.

Marine Accident Investigation Expertise is Critical for Answers and Liability

[Posted on May 28th 2014 by Bill Stewart]

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Marine accident investigation events are no simple matter. Unlike the world of land-based transportation, marine accidents can often involve far more factors, especially due to the nature of the weather and water conditions at the time. As a result, a good investigation will include the basics as well as advanced review of the facts and data through hydrodynamic analysis, for example.

There is a reason for the intense scrutiny of marine accident investigation reports and summaries. The National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, is often involved and a key player in any investigations that take place, especially serious accidents that involve multiple injuries or death and a commercial vessel. The U.S. Coast Guard can frequently become involved as well. As a result, it is critical for a boat owner or title holder to make sure that any investigation that does occur is performed with the right skill, experience, background and knowledge. Very often, the results of reports can trigger financial responsibilities as well as serious penalties.

Marine accident investigation work can also include any type of installation or facility on major waters as well. Oil rigs, for example, are a prime facility that could have issues and trigger multiple investigations on an accident, especially if the results have both life and environmental impact on a wider scale, such as the Deepwater Horizon accident.

In both type of cases, the investigation work doesn’t stop with the field review and conclusion of what occurred. Expertise is often needed in the legal matters and potential trials that come later, assigning responsibility and blame. Without a good marine accident investigation expert’s testimony, a vessel or facility owner could be sitting with a big target on his back even if not actually at fault.

Stewart Technology Associates can provide a client assistance in both field review as well as impartial expert witness testimony on a marine accident or accident complex. Their depth and knowledge in marine traffic and operational matters is extensive, and their professionalism often shows itself during some of the most critical points of an investigation. A client utlizing the help of Stewart Technologies will be able to focus on other aspects of operations, recovery and assistance knowing that Stewart’s team will handle the accident review completely and comprehensively, from the initial water site to the courtroom if needed.

So if your firm is finding itself in the headlight glare of a marine accident investigation or you need a second-opinion on reports that have been produced, Stewart Technologies is the expert to call. Don’t wait; it could cost your firm far more.



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