November 18, 2016

Marine equipment like oil drilling rigs, oil tankers, oil risers, mooring systems, pump systems, anchors, underwater pipelines, hydroelectric systems and off-shore wind farms must be designed properly to withstand the forces at work in a marine environment, including wave action, tidal forces, high winds, variable temperatures, high pressures and inclement weather. Failure to properly compensate for any of these forces the design of marine equipment can lead to increased maintenance costs, premature failures, environmental damage or even accidents and injuries.

Hydrodynamic analysis can be used to test the design and function of such equipment in simulated conditions that reliably mimic real-world scenarios, allowing any flaws in the design to be corrected before production and eliminating many of the costs involved in development and testing. It can also be used to evaluate existing designs or to determine an exact point of failure after a marine accident.

To perform a comprehensive hydrodynamic analysis, experts with plenty of experience in the marine industry are required, as well as specialized software and equipment. It is typically more cost-effective to have a professional perform a hydrodynamic analysis than make the investments in equipment and personnel necessary to do it yourself.

Top considerations for choosing qualified engineer consultants

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No matter how great your team is, there’ll come a time when you’ll need an outsider’s perspective.; when you’ll need to seek outside engineer consultants to help your firm. When that day comes, you’ll want to know what to look out for to ensure you get the best engineer consultants for the job.

Here are a few important considerations to keep in mind:

  • Begin with research : There are several ways to find a fitting engineering consultant. You might speak with colleagues or advertise in known trade journals. Once you’ve received their resumes, be sure to review client testimonials, licensing information, and the type of services they offer to ensure they’re right for your company.
  • Proficiency with new technology and software :Engineering is a field that has increasingly become refined by technological upgrades. Be sure the engineer consultant you’re considering is well-versed in the unique technology and software relevant to your operation.
  • Knowledge of a specific discipline : You don’t want yours to be the first job an engineer has done in your discipline. Be sure to pick an engineer consultant who has a demonstrative knowledge of the field in question as well as presenting an ongoing education of related matters. The best consultants should be able to prove their expertise within the confines of a discipline relating most to your situation.

September 14, 2015

Published by Stewart Technology Associates

Safety issues and environmental impact head the list of concerns regarding moored vessels. Proper analysis can help an oil company avoid a host of problems as well as suggest the best ways to improve safety and function of anchor technology. Oil spills, property damage, capsizing, and loss of life can be prevented with an accurate study and the right recommendations. Mooring age, vessel size, weather, and sea conditions all have an impact on mooring stability. A company may need to modify existing mooring structures, or at the very least have contingency plans in place in the event a mishap occurs.

Experience and current technology is needed to address these issues before they become problematic. Prevention is and will always be the best way to deal with potential problems. Stewart Technology Associates has the know-how to find out what those problems are and help a company implement the necessary fix.

A good series of anchors is as integral to a ship as its engine. Your collection should include stockless, kedge, and BBI-Delta type anchors. In addition, you should have hundreds of feet of all-chain rode ready to be deployed with your anchors of choice. But how do you choose which anchor and what length of rode when the time comes to anchoring?

While some sailors are adept at selecting the right ground tackle according to the necessary and complex calculations that combine seabed type, ship length, weather outlook, etc.; using a proper anchor analysis is the only way to ensure your ship is anchored safely. The following are two of the most common (and most hazardous) problems that can be avoided with a proper anchor analysis:

  • Dragging.  Deploying too light or the wrong type of an anchor for the seabed soil conditions, weather, and current (or failing to put out enough rode) can and often will cause your ship to drag. As any captain knows, dragging is a dangerous event that can cause your ship to collide with other boats, reefs, and other marine and land hazards.
  • Fouled anchor.  Deploying too heavy an anchor with too much rode in certain seabed soil conditions can cause your anchor to be burdensome, and in the rare instance impossible, to recover. A fouled anchor can also occur if you opt for a two-anchor hold but fail to take into account frequent wind and current changes in a given anchorage. 

February 6,2016

What type of problems can be avoided with a proper anchor analysis?

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Stewart Technology Associates

Two of the biggest concerns for every offshore oil company are ensuring safe operation and low environmental impact. Both of these concerns become especially heightened with moored vessels that, when not properly anchored or otherwise tethered can lead to huge problems like oil spills, capsizing, property damage, and seafloor damage. In extreme weather and unsafe operating conditions, poorly moored vessels may even lead to unacceptable loss of life. 

A proper anchor analysis is simply one of the best ways to avoid such catastrophes. Such an analysis will account for a vessel's size, the weather conditions, sea conditions, and age of mooring or ground tackle to assess a mooring's stability. Technology created by Steward Technology Associates inputs such information and runs scenarios determining the best estimated amount of stress that the anchors will be subject to due to the current waves, tidal currents, seabed soil conditions, winds, and tonnage. The anchor analysis will then determine the most ideal anchoring system for the present time, whether it's a single anchor leg mooring, catenary anchor leg mooring, or something else entirely. 

Only once the ideal anchoring conditions and equipment have been selected, can an oil tanker safely and securely deploy their anchor and begin the loading and offloading of equipment and oil with confidence. Such proper mooring ensures that even in turbulent waters and intense winds, anchors will hold.

October 6th, 2015

What are the benefits of professional anchor analysis?

Published by Stewart Technology Associates

Anchors are a critical component for any marine vessel, including oil rigs, tankers, fishing vessels, container ships and military vessels, and every ship has different characteristics that must be considered for a safe and effective anchor to designed and deployed properly. There are multiple forces acting on a ship’s anchor at any given time, including the weight of the vessel, the weight of the cargo, the action of the waves, tidal forces, winds and inclement weather. A professional anchor analysis can be used to model these force on a given anchor design in real-world conditions, allowing you to identify weak points in the design and improve it to reduce structural failures. Here are a few of the tangible benefits of having a professional anchor analysis performed on your design:

  • Improved design with minimal prototyping, testing and development costs
  • Safer anchor design that reduces accidents, injuries and property damage
  • Anchor analysis performed by a professional with extensive marine engineering experience
  • Sound advice about design deficiencies and how they can be eliminated
  • No need to invest in expensive software, equipment and personnel to perform the analysis yourself

In many cases, a professional anchor analysis will be the most cost-effective and reliable option.

January 18, 2016

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With a single point mooring (SPM), a floating buoy or other object is anchored offshore to facilitate the easy handling of volatile liquid and gas cargo like petroleum products. An offshore facility would primarily use a SPM in areas where it's unfeasible to have a more secure loading and unloading space for liquid and gases. This means they're generally found in places that are several miles away from a shore facility and are connected using undersea pipelines. 

How Single Point Mooring Offshore Systems Work:

Single Point Moorings are created by mooring the buoy body to the seabed using a complex mooring arrangement that includes heavy duty anchors, anchor chains and excess line, and chain stoppers. This arrangement is designed to allow the buoy to move freely within a given parameter. 

A part of the above-water buoy body consists of a rotating part that can be connected to operational vessels such as oil tankers (all single point mooring systems and the method of securing vessels to these systems should adhere to special offshore operation standards established by the Oil Companies International Marine Forum). Generally, a hawser-styled arrangement will attach boat to buoy. 

Once securely attached to the SPM, a product transfer system located at the center of the floating buoy body is also connected to the tanker with floating hose strings equipped with special breakaway couplings that'll prevent oil or other liquid spills. The necessary valves will be opened when all connections have been made and the liquid cargo is then able to be transferred from the central location to the tanker. 

March 6, 2016

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The primary aspect of the single point mooring (SPM) offshore operation is a special loading buoy that’s anchored offshore. This buoy is designed to allow vessels to easily moor alongside for the efficient transfer of liquid freight, such as petroleum.

  • Location : Single point moorings are most useful in areas where dedicated offshore facilities aren’t available for the regular loading and unloading of cargo. For example, a SPM might be anchored several miles from an onshore base
  • facility : A series of sub-sea pipelines then connects the base facility with the SPM. The benefits of this offshore connection include the ability to facilitate extra large vessels with high drafts, as well as saving on the time otherwise spent for ships to navigate an inlet and dock for traditional loading and offloading.
  • Mooring arrangement : Single point moorings are secured to the sea floor through a series of anchors, anchor chains, chain stoppers, and other ground tackle components. The anchor point secures to the sea floor, which connects to the anchor chains, which then connects to the buoy itself. The anchor points are set up according to the unique sea and wind conditions of the location. Once properly moored, the SPM is capable of moving freely within a set limits according to the wind, current, waves, and other extraneous factors such as the ship conditions.

How can OrcaFlex apply to my offshore operations?

Published by Stewart Technologies on June 10, 2016

OrcaFlex has rapidly become the model software for a variety of offshore operations. If you’re looking for a robust solution to meet your marine system’s needs then just consider the following applications of OrcaFlex:

  • Risers: OrcaFlex is a huge asset in situations like modeling the emergency disconnect of a drilling riser. This software can correctly model the riser’s recoil to ensure the appropriate equipment is chosen to prevent against traveling stress that can cause damage to the drill rig during disconnect.
  • Moorings: OrcaFlex software can also be utilized to model a branched mooring system and help operators understand the dynamics of sea drifts, winds, and vessel weight in order to create an ideal mooring system.
  • Installation Analysis: Offshore operations worldwide choose OrcaFlex due to its unique capability to show dynamic simulations of how various installations will work on a given seabed template. This includes showcasing the unique dynamics of the lowering wire, vessel maneuvering, and winch control. 
  • Towed Systems: Towing objects isn’t simple. OrcaFlex can be used to model towing dynamics; from the vessel doing the towing, to the object being towed. This full package solution includes tools to control for the depth of the array as well as its weight.

February 18, 2016

The oil and gas industry has long been a technology pioneer. After all, concerns of how to improve equipment efficiency, better employee safety, and increase extraction rates all rank high on company interests, and what better way to address such concerns than with specialized technology?

Here’s a snapshot of some of the newer software the Oil and Gas industry has to offer:

  • Floating systems design and offshore installation : The design, modelling, and installation of modern offshore floating structural systems requires great planning with thorough analysis and simulations to ensure longevity in some of the world’s harshest environments. New software designed for hydrostatic and hydrodynamic analysis helps users understand and map real-world activities to create effective design and safe installation procedures.
  • GIS (Geological Information System) :GIS software enables users to visualize, question, analyze, and interpret various data to better understand and correlate relationships, patterns, and trends. The Oil and Gas industry has refined GIS software to enable operates to more effectively and efficiently manage the development and extraction of resources for optimal production and security of said resources.
  • Piping analysis : New software for piping analysis gives users the confidence in the safety of engineering designs with accurate simulations that examine potential loading scenarios to view stresses, forces, deflections, and moments. This has the added benefit of ensuring projects comply with regional design standards.

July 18, 2016

If you’re still unsure about why you need fully comprehensive oil and gas software, check out these three key reasons:

  • Increase Communication :Having oil and gas software that is capable of integrating with your accounting system will help you increase communication both internally, between various departments and individual staff members, and externally, between your business and your outside accounting firm. Keep data accurate to the minute and run reports whenever you need them.
  • Improve Quality Control:Such automatic integration also facilitates quality control processes between your bookkeepers and your accounting firm. This reduces the chance of information being lost among departments and decreases the risk of costly data errors. Of course, it isn’t just about keeping current processes in check. Oil & Gas software also includes forward-thinking tools that’ll enable you to build predictive algorithms to estimate future financial returns while also helping you to manage your long-term accounting needs.
  • Lower Overall Costs:Keeping costs low and profits high is the nature of every business. Integrating oil and gas software can actually help you with cost-cutting measures as it reduces hiring and training needs and with a better organized financial system you can streamline your financials throughout the year.
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