Use Riser Analysis To Avoid Incidents In The Water

[Posted on March 26th 2014 by Bill Stewart]

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Accidents happen with oil rigs and offshore drilling all of the time. There are a lot of variables at sea and you want to take them all into consideration with your drilling facility. Riser analysis is critical to ensure you have thought of everything and that all is going to go smoothly when you make it out to the sea and set up a pipeline.


There are accidents at sea every day and many of them could have been avoided. Many people simply take to the sea without giving consideration to the amount of waves, the depth of the ocean, and even the temperature of the water.


With riser analysis, you can ensure that you don’t experience any kind of disconnect. Essentially, the risers are in place to be a conduit for transferring materials from the seafloor to your drilling rig at the top of the water’s surface. If you don’t establish the riser and all of the connections properly, you can experience an oil spill as well as various other problems.


Oil drilling and other offshore projects are expensive. It is important to get in the habit of strength testing a riser before you even make it out to the water to ensure that it will perform as you need it to. If there are issues, you want to know about them as soon as possible so that you can make changes to the overall design.


A marine accident investigation is going to take place if you have an issue with your riser or any other aspect of your rig while on the water. Instead of being counteractive, you want to find out about what could go wrong and then take the necessary precautions to ensure that they don’t happen. This requires riser analysis, which can be done with sophisticated software.


Your entire rig design can be entered into a computer. This includes noting where you will be setting up your facility, the length of your boat, and how far you will be anchored from the actual drilling site. Various variables will then be entered in including the depth of the water and the wave activities. It’s nearly impossible to tell what the actual depth of the water will be when you get out there as well as how high the waves can get.


This is why a ‘worst case scenario’ is going to be drafted as well. By doing this, you can get the most in-depth riser analysis so you can focus on preparing your rig to withstand all of the forces that could be experienced while you are at sea. This will prevent you from having an accident and potentially damaging your equipment or injuring your crew.


Taking the steps to order analysis before you go out can save you money and ensure productivity.

Orcaflex Takes Ocean Engineering To A New Level

[Posted on March 19th 2014 by Bill Stewart]

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It’s important to work with a company that can provide you with detailed analysis any time you are doing work in the ocean. Orcaflex is an advanced software program that can provide you with significant analysis for marine events. This includes details to provide you with insight for any offshore drilling projects that you may be working on.

You may not always have professionals with a background in ocean engineering on staff. This means that you need to find another way to learn about the effects of currents, waves, and even the salt water environment on what you are working on.

If you have an oil rig going out into some of the deepest waters of the ocean, you need to have riser analysis performed to ensure all is being set up properly. Every material that you use can be impacted by the salinity of the water, the depth, the temperature, and various other factors. Orcaflex can provide you with reports to show you what you need to be concerned with.

There is more offshore technology than ever before. With this technology, you can ensure that you are developing the best possible methods so that your rig can withstand the forces of the waves and even protect your risers against corrosion.

Offshore drilling and other marine projects can be a significant undertaking in terms of cost and time. You don’t want to purchase supplies only to have them damaged by the first large wave because of not having valuable analysis at your fingertips. The better solution is to work with a firm that uses Orcaflex so you can find out what you are going to be up against before you get into the water.

There are a lot of things that you can do and prepare for when you know the worst case scenarios. For example, you don’t know exactly how deep the water is going to be until you get out there. However, you can ensure that you are making the best possible calculations when you have advanced software as well as professional engineers running the numbers for you.

When you place risers out from the rig, you want to be sure they stay connected. These are essentially your lines between the ship and the bottom of the ocean floor. If something goes wrong with these, you may have the next biggest marine accident on your hands and this is negative press that you and your company do not need.

Orcaflex has been tested time and again and is capable of providing you with advanced engineering reports to ensure that you have a strong rig that can go up against the environment that you are placing it in. This will help you maximize your productivity and eliminate potential problems when you are in the ocean.

Get the Right Service Using Hydrodynamic Analysis

[Posted on February 26th 2014 by Bill Stewart]

A large part of marine technology consultancy when offering services comes in the hydrodynamic analysis. Marine engineering as a broad discipline has to do with ships and rigs. Hydro means water, and dynamics means the forces and torque caused from the movement of water. Liquids in motion in the case water makes for wear and tear on ships and structures in marine environments.

Handling the Pressure

A basic course in physics will teach the ins and outs of fluid dynamics. Fluid dynamics comes as the basis of hydrodynamic analysis. Fluid constantly flows and has states. A day at the beach shows typical fluid dynamic issues. Beaches have erosion as waves come and go. Depending on the winds and how currents flow when standing in ocean water a person feels different patterns pounding on their body at different levels as water swirls around and past them. Make a change such as more wind or a motor boat come by and it all changes in an instant. A person like you can leave the water anytime but imagine a structure or ship that constantly has water rubbing it. Think about the conditions a typical storm may bring and one begins to realize that erosion on the beach happens to structures and ships. Finding ways to minimize the damage becomes a key element in hydrodynamic analysis.

Flexible Risers

Offshore oil production systems deal 24/7 with fluid dynamics of ocean water, but also the oil being pumped out of the seabed floor. Flexible risers serve as a key component of linking the platform and the well head of an offshore oil production system.  Vibration comes as a constant with all the movement of the fluid through a pipe under pressure. Keeping it all in balance to maintain maximum efficiency and productivity becomes the venue that analysis can help with. Knowing the way the process sequences will help show how to facilitate fluid movement in a way that keeps all flowing well makes the company and the bosses most happy.

Computer Models

Companies use software to input data from the client’s fluid dynamics. This allows a simulation of what occurs when water sweeps past solid material. It makes predictions of durability and erosion if the fluid dynamics continue at that level. A good analysis of the data will show ways to strengthen the material, how to make fluid flow faster or slower, and if a change in process or protocol would help move the product where it needs to go in a timely manner. It takes experts and companies with the right service to make it happen in such a complicated environment. Identify your issues today, and call a service in for your analysis. It puts more money in the pocket and increases safety.

Mooring Analysis: Critical for Selecting the Right Mooring

[Posted on March 12th 2014 by Bill Stewart]

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As any marine organization can tell you, installing mooring systems is more than anchoring a single CALM buoy or setting a fixed tower on the sea bed. It is critical to know how ships of different weights and sizes will react in the given location under different circumstances. Doing a mooring analysis is critical to determine the best mooring option and its placement.

Take tanker loading and offloading as an example. Takers are extremely sensitive to wave direction in an open water situation. In most cases, spread mooring would not work due to this movement. Tankers often use single point moorings that allow them to move around the single point based on the direction of the waves and movement of the water flow.

Determining what kind of single point mooring is appropriate to a specific application requires careful analysis. Here are a few mooring options:

  • Fixed towers with a slew ring work well in some single point applications. It works best in shallower areas where wave action is not heavy. At greater depths or in areas with heavy wave action, the tower can begin to bend. These towers are also susceptible to damage from even minor tanker bumping.
  • A catenary anchor leg mooring (CALM) are not as sensitive to water depth and wave action as a fixed tower mooring is. It is able to handle some bumping from tankers without sustaining extensive damage. Major tanker impacts though can cause damage that can put the CALM out of commission for a good length of time and cost a lot to fix. The mechanical components are also subject to extreme weather which requires ongoing, sometimes expensive, maintenance.
  • A SALM (single anchor leg mooring) solves the problem of expensive damage that CALMs can experience due to major tanker impact. They do this by placing the mechanical systems in an underwater arrangement at a depth below a ship’s keel. The simple surface buoy is easy to replace if its hit by a tanker. The biggest issue with the SALM is the maintenance difficulty and cost.
  • An Articulated Loading Column (ALC) is a mix of a fixed tower and a SALM. The tower holds the swivel and hoses above the likely point of impact with a ship. There is an articulated joint below water attached to a concrete base embedded in the bottom. This joint helps the mooring move in heavy wave action.

Determining which mooring application is right for a particular situation requires the ability to model the many factors that influence the ship and the mooring. A mooring analysis tool is essential in this process. It allows for quick and thorough modeling of a number of scenarios. Here at Stewart we use Orcaflex when we do a mooring analysis. This software package is the best marine engineering software package on the market today.

What to expect during a marine accident investigation

[Posted on March 5th, 2014 by Bill Stewart]

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Every year, the United States Coast Guard maintains records of various types of marine accidents, both commercial and recreational. Depending upon the severity of the accident, an investigation is requested. Our main goal while conducting a marine accident investigation is to prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future. Items we look at during an investigation include the loss of a ship, number of deaths, any serious injuries, any missing persons, material damage to ship and other ships, damage to area marine structures and the possibility of pollution.

After an accident has been reported, our inspectors head out to gather as much evidence as possible. We use this evidence to determine how to proceed with the marine accident investigation.  During the evidence collection process, our investigators will take photographs and video of the scene, vessels involved and any damaged equipment. In addition to photographing evidence, our investigators comb through logbooks, records and verify the qualifications and certificates of the crew.

In addition to evidence collected at the scene of the accident and from the vessels involved, we conduct interviews with witnesses and others directly involved in the incident. We may request to speak with crew, passengers, shore staff and other witnesses. During the interview process, we ask questions about the accident, as well as request any documentation the crew or witnesses may have, including photographs, sound recordings and video.

Our investigators will use the information collected to try and reconstruct the events leading up to the accident. It also helps investigators get an idea of what happened during and immediately after the accident occurred. This makes it possible to determine if the accident could have been prevented. Models, diagrams and landmark charts are used as visual aids in our reconstruction process. Computers and CADD programs help to digitally recreate the boats, structures and events leading up to the accident.

Other items we consideration during a marine accident investigation include looking into any recent safety recalls or reports of faulty equipment. We also check to see if the boat was secured to a dock prior to the accident. We will conduct a mooring analysis to ensure the vessel was tied up properly.

Documentation we use to assist with the investigation process include boat handling books, boat manufacturers owner’s manual, engine owner’s manual and various US Coast Guard instruction materials.

All information collected during the investigation will be used to determine the cause of the accident and who may be responsible. All discoveries will be listed in an investigation report that will be available to all parties involved with the accident, including stockholders and owners. In the final report, our investigators will give their recommendations for preventing similar accidents from occurring in the future.

The investigation is a long process and we make sure to cover everything from start to finish. We take pride in our investigation services, knowing we can help make a difference and hope to prevent similar accidents from happening again.

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