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OTC 14309 DICAS Mooring System: Practical Design Experience to Dismystify the Concept

Ricardo B. Portella, M.Sc. / PROJEMAR S.A. ; Cristiane Mendes, B.Sc. / PROJEMAR S.A.
Copyright 2002, Offshore Technology Conference This paper was prepared for presentation at the 2002 Offshore Technology Conference held in Houston, Texas U.S.A., 69 May 2002. This paper was selected for presentation by the OTC Program Committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper, as presented, have not been reviewed by the Offshore Technology Conference and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect any position of the Offshore Technology Conference or its officers. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper for commercial purposes without the written consent of the Offshore Technology Conference is prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper was presented.

Abstract An overview of the DICAS (Differentiated Complacent Anchoring System) mooring system and its practical utilization is presented based on some of the projects where PROJEMAR S.A. took part and its adoption was required or considered as the mooring system best solution. A description of the mooring system concept, the evaluation of the methods and computational tools normally used on the mooring system calculation, design criteria, model tests and the practical design solutions adopted on 3 (three) different projects designs are discussed to show why and when this solution can be considered a mooring alternative for FPSOs and FSOs operating in mild environmental conditions. Introduction The DICAS (Differentiated Complacent Anchoring System) was initially presented as an alternative solution for deep water mooring systems of FPSOs and FSOs intended to operate in mild environmental conditions by PETROBRAS during the 1997 Offshore Technology Conference [3]. During 5 (five) years of continuous development, several mooring systems designs have been conducted considering this new semi-weathervane concept, including some new platforms that are under construction/conversion and will be operating quite soon on the offshore field. The paper intends to present a resume of the learning obtained conducting some of these mooring systems designs. 3 (three) different project designs developed for 3 (three) different units operating in 3 (three) different offshore oil fields give the basis for the conclusions achieved, and besides the fact that not all of them came true, the experience acquired on their development gave an excellent back ground to deep discuss the DICAS mooring system concept and its practical application.

First project considers the use of a small FSO with one flexible riser to operate offshore Brazil in 150 m of water depth, the second project considers a medium size FPSO with 37 (thirty seven) flexible risers to operate offshore Brazil in 700 m of water depth, and the third project is a large FPSO derived from the conversion of a VLCC with 107 (one hundred and seven) flexible risers in a free hang configuration to operate offshore Brazil in 800 m of water depth. Each of the projects analyzed is related to a different size of unit operating in a different water depth with a different risers system configuration, what gives a great overall view of the practical possibilities for the adoption of this brandy new mooring system concept, showing some of its advantages and limitations and trying to dismystify its utilization. The DICAS Mooring System Concept Developed by PETROBRAS [3] to be an alternative for permanent mooring systems on FPSOs and FSOs intended to operate offshore Brazil, the DICAS (Differentiated Complacent Anchoring System) concept is in fact a sophistication of the very well known spread mooring system concept. What differs a DICAS mooring system from a conventional spread mooring system is that different stiffness are applied on the mooring lines located at the bow and at the stern of the vessel, allowing the system to be partially weathervane. A DICAS mooring system can be classified function of the acceptable mean yaw angle. The Small Yaw System (SYS) where the mean yaw angle is limited up to 30o (thirty degrees) in extreme conditions and the Large Yaw System that allows mean yaw angles up to 80o (eighty degrees). On this paper all analysis considered the adoption of Small Yaw DICAS Systems. The differences in stiffness between the bow and stern are obtained with different patterns and pre-tensions for each set of mooring lines. The mooring system allows the vessel to have considerable large yaw angles according to the direction of the environmental resultant forces. Different stiffness levels of the mooring lines will give to the unit different critical angles of the environmental incidence, what will result in a better fitting with the weather most frequent direction and with extreme storm direction.

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Figures 1 and 2 show the semi-weathervane concept of the mooring system on its initial equilibrium position without the action of the environmental forces and under the action of a beam sea environmental condition with wind, waves and current. The different stiffness at the bow and stern allows the unit to have a mean yaw angle of about 25o to 30o , reducing the incidence angle of attack of the environmental loads.

The heading of the platform moored with a DICAS system shall be defined in accordance with the dominant environmental direction at the installation site. Normally the bow is towards to the worse environmental direction to reduce the platform roll motion on a heavy weather situation. On the Brazilian coast, the more severe storms come from the South and Southwest directions, and the most frequent environmental direction comes from the Northeast. In view of this the best heading for the FPSO/FSO will be around the SSW direction (202.5o from North). Figures 3 and 4 show the common distribution of wave occurrences by directions and the 100 years storm wave height distribution by directions normally found offshore Brazil.

N NW W SW S
Figure 3 Number of wave occurrences by direction

NE E SE

Figure 1 Initial position of the vessel in equilibrium without environmental forces

Significant Wave Height (m)

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 N NE E SE S SW W NW Wave Direction

Figure 4 100 years wave height distribution by direction

Mooring System Design and Analysis The dynamics of a DICAS mooring system has a very nonlinear behavior, in such a way that some special care shall be taken when designing the system and performing the mooring system analysis. Environmental Conditions In order to define the most critical environmental conditions for the design, it is necessary to perform a detailed analysis for, at least, the eight main compass directions (South, Southeast, East, Northeast, North, Northwest, West and Southwest). Generally for a DICAS mooring system the collinear situations with wind, waves and current in the same

Figure 2 Equilibrium position of the vessel under the action of beam seas mean environmental forces

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direction give the most severe solicitations to the mooring legs. Figure 5 shows a typical set of environmental directions to be considered on the mooring analysis. Mean environmental loads have to be evaluated in terms of mean current, wind and wave forces and moments acting on the FPSO/FSO hull and for the riser and mooring systems. Current loads shall be derived for the complete FPSO/FSO hull based on wind tunnel test data or statistic data for ship shaped tankers [5]. If statistic data is used, additional margins shall be adopted in order to consider differences on the underwater part of the hull. For the risers and mooring systems, current forces considering the correct current profiles and also the catenary restoring forces can be derived from a static analysis of the flexible lines. Wind loads shall be derived for the complete FPSO/FSO hull, based on wind tunnel test or calculated from the combination of statistic data for ship shaped tankers [5] and the above deck modules. Especially for FPSOs, wind tunnel tests are strongly recommended. If the wind loads are derived in an early stage of the design, additional margins are recommended in order to consider the possibility of modifications on the topsides arrangement. Wave induced forces and motions and hydrodynamic coefficients like Response Amplitude Operators (RAOs), Mean Wave Drift Forces, Added Mass and Potential Damping, used on the analysis, shall be obtained by a diffraction / radiation model of the FPSO / FSO hull. Care shall be taken on the calculation of wave induced forces on ship shaped hulls, it is not unusual to obtain underestimated values for these forces on beam seas situations. If model tests are available the motion and mooring analysis can be adjusted in accordance with the model tests results.

considered to establish the design criteria. Permanent mooring systems are normally required to be classified and the Classification Society rules and recommendations shall also be consulted when defining factors of safety. It shall be noted that in view of the non-linear behavior of the mooring system, dynamic analysis shall be performed. The calculation consists of intact, damaged and transient dynamic extreme response analysis. Offsets and line tensions shall be determined with a time-domain simulation of vessel motions and the safety factors are the appropriate for dynamic analysis. The safety factors normally adopted for a DICAS mooring system analysis are described on table 1. Mooring Condition Safety Factor
Intact system 1.67 Damaged system (1-line broken) 1.25 Transient 1.05 Table 1: Mooring system design safety factors

For permanent mooring it is required to conduct a complete fatigue analysis of the mooring system, what shall be done very carefully due to the very high cyclic loads imposed to the mooring lines by the in plane and out of plane ship motions. Calculation Methodology Dynamic simulations for each environmental condition is the only acceptable calculation methodology to evaluate the mooring line tensions and vessel offsets imposed to the system. Several techniques, depending on the software available, can be used to obtain the maximum expected values for mooring lines tensions and vessel offsets, but due to the large amplitude ship motions it is imperative to consider both first and second order motions on the simulations. When performing the time domain analysis it is recommended to run, at least, 5 (five) random simulations for each environmental condition. Maximum line tensions taking in account low and wave frequency motions and standard deviations of the time series shall be computed as well as the maximum distance from the equilibrium position. For the computation of the vessel offsets, not only the centre of gravity shall be calculated, but also the offsets for the risers position, that can vary significantly from those calculated for the cog. Most of the programs used for mooring analysis that are available on the market are not able to include on the computation of the mooring line tension the effect of the line dynamics, that can not be neglected. Some methods can be used to compute this effect, since the simple inclusion of a empiric dynamic amplification factor (daf), to calculate a statistic value of excedence for the mean of maximums [2], or to perform a dynamic analysis of the mooring line using a non-linear finite element program. To perform a full dynamic analysis of the mooring line it is possible to excite the mooring line model with the 6 DOF fairlead motion time history computed on the mooring system response time domain simulations. The time history includes

Figure 5 Environmental directions for the mooring analysis

Design Criteria The mooring system has to be analyzed in accordance to the normal criteria established for the mooring design. The API Recommended Practice 2SK [1] is the most used standard

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the LF and WF motions of the fairlead correctly phased in the time domain, the maximum line tension value from each realization is recorded and the design maximum is computed by the average of the results. Model Tests The main objective of a model test program for a mooring design is to perform a design check of the system to prove the feasibility of the unit to operate at the specified location under the design environmental conditions and to obtain consistent data to calibrate simulations programs. Model tests are strongly recommended for any complex mooring system design, and the non-linear behavior of the DICAS system is a point to be considered. Preferably the model shall include the complete system, including risers and mooring lines, but scale effects have to be observed for deep waters and truncated models shall be used when the scale become to be greater than 1:150. The data to be obtained during the tests shall include at least the platform motions and offsets, mooring lines and risers tensions and observations of the green water occurrences on the exposed deck. For the calibration of simulation programs it is recommended to conduct a set of decay tests in calm water with and without current and decay tests in irregular waves in order analyze the platform global damping. Wave only tests shall also be run for the main platform directions to investigate the first order motions response and the magnitude of the wave drift forces. Figure 6 shows a picture from a model test conducted for a FPSO moored with a DICAS system with the complete risers and mooring systems.

until a certain point, get aligned with the resultant of the environmental forces, reducing the angle of incidence of the incoming waves. The main objective of this is to have a better motion behavior in comparison to a conventional spread mooring system First Order Motions In terms of the platform first order motions, the great advantage of the adoption of a complacent mooring in relation to a conventional spread mooring system is the reduction of the roll motion response due to the reduction of the angle of incidence of the incoming waves in beam seas extreme conditions. The time domain simulations and also the model tests performed show that under extreme design environmental conditions acting on the platform beam seas, the ship will have a mean yaw angle of about 30o (thirty degrees), reducing the roll motion response. In addition to the semi-weathervane behavior, large than usual bilge keels [6] have been used to increase the roll motion damping coefficients, reducing the final roll angle. These large bilge keels can be fitted on either spread mooring systems, DICAS systems or turret systems to improve the roll motion response under swell conditions, when the mooring system configuration will have no effect on the roll motion response. Risers Design The risers design are mainly governed to the FPSO/FSO motions, and this will be the one of the main concerns when designing the mooring system. Due to the large environmental forces, ship shaped platforms have larger offsets than semi-submersibles and the risers design will, in many cases, govern how much stiff the mooring system shall be in order to give reasonable offsets for the risers design. In a FPSO moored with a DICAS system the risers location is one of the variables that can be handle to reduce the offsets for the risers design. Risers located at the bow region will have smaller offsets than risers located amidships, but at the same time the combination of heave and pitch motions can result in a very large vertical motion, unfavorable to the riser design. Deck Wetness During model tests it was observed some significant occurrences of green water on the main deck, what lead to some additional analysis regarding the phenomena. First point to be noted is that green water occurrences were noted mainly due to waves coming to the stern of the platform, what is an unusual situation for ships. Equipment located on this area shall be dimensioned accordly and attention shall be paid on access location. The process plant deck shall be constructed at a level at least 4 (four) meters above the main deck in order to avoid the incidence of water on its equipment.

Figure 6 Model test of a FPSO moored with a DICAS system

Motion Behavior The FPSO/FSO moored with a DICAS system will have a semi-weathervane characteristic; i.e. the ship will be able to,

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DICAS MOORING SYSTEM: PRACTICAL DESIGN EXPERIENCE TO DISMYSTIFY THE CONCEPT

From a comparison between a stochastic analysis performed and model tests results, it was noted that the condition of the freeboard be overcame by the water is a necessary but not a deterministic condition for green water occurrence on the main deck. Generally only when the freeboad is exceeded for more than 1 (one) meter of water some water flow could be observed on the main deck, what means that the real effect of the deck wetness is much smaller than the predicted from a simple stochastic analysis. Practical Design Experiences During the last few years PROJEMAR S.A. has been involved in several FPSO or FSO designs where the utilization of a DICAS mooring system was required by our clients or considered the most adequate mooring solution. These designs cover a large range of Units sizes and utilization, giving a considerable background practice on its utilization. From the projects we work with, 3 (three) were selected to give an overall view of the possibilities of the system utilization. A small FSO for a marginal field, a medium size FPSO for early production systems or small fields development and a large FPSO for the long-term development of large fields in deep waters. Restricted to be used only in mild environmental conditions, the DICAS system is a consistent alternative to be considered when selecting a mooring system for a FPSO or a FSO in regions like Brazil and Africa. Small FSO First project analyzed is a small FSO (Floating Storage and Offloading Unit) with 34000 m of crude oil storage capacity, designed to operate in a region with an average water depth of 150 meters. The permanent mooring system designed for the FSO is a Differentiated Complacent Anchoring System composed by 8 (eight) mooring legs in a catenary configuration. 4 (four) legs are located at the FSO bow region and 4 (four) legs are located at the FSO stern region. The basic configuration of each mooring line consists of a HHP anchor device, 800 m of a bottom chain segment and 200 m of a top chain segment. Designed to operate in a small marginal field during 7 (seven) years, this FSO is what we call a low cost project. Main requirement for the mooring system was to be simple and cheap. In fact the water depth of 150 m is not the most convenient for a DICAS system, that usually works better in water depths of more than 300 m, but the simplicity of the deck arrangement adopted and the zero maintenance cost of the system were decisive for the selection of the mooring system. Simplicity was a key on this design, mooring lines coming direct from the main deck to the water at the bow and stern, one flexible riser arriving at the ship side coming from a small production platform, an offloading system with a floating house installed amidships and a large than usual bilge keel to improve the roll motion response were the unique modifications made to convert the ship into the FSO.

Figure 9 shows the main deck arrangement adopted for the FSO, which is expected to be operating offshore Brazil on the second half of 2002. Medium Size FPSO The second project is a FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading Unit) with 145000 m of crude oil storage capacity and capable to produce up to 65000 bpd of oil. This FPSO was designed to operate in a region with an average water depth of 700 meters with 37 flexible risers in a free hanging catenary configuration. The FPSO is intended to be permanently moored by a DICAS mooring system composed of 14 (fourteen) mooring legs in a catenary configuration. 8 (eight) mooring legs are located at the FPSO bow region and 6 (six) mooring legs are located at the FPSO stern region. The design life of the system is 15 years. The basic configuration of each mooring line consists of a HHP anchor device, 1350 m of a bottom chain segment, 900 m of polyester rope and 110 m of a top chain segment. Offloading operations were planned for a shuttle tanker up to 150,000 DWT in a bow to stern or a bow to bow tandem configuration. For this a shute house with 2 (two) extremities was designed to be installed at the side of the FPSO main deck. This system was designed to have the mooring lines coming direct from the main deck to the water on the FPSO stern and to have the mooring lines hanging from bell mouths installed on the bottom at the FPSO bow. The flexible riser system was installed at the FPSO bow inside ballast tanks. I tubes guides bring the risers from the main deck to bell mouths installed on the bottom of the ship. Installed at the bow, close to the high stiffness mooring lines, the risers will have reduced offsets in comparison to the platform centre of gravity, giving a better behavior for the flexible risers design. With some analogy to the turret design, the same pull-in arrangement is used for both risers and mooring lines system at the FPSO bow. At the stern a vertical shaft mooring winch was designed for the mooring lines pull-in system. Figure 7 shows the main deck arrangement adopted for the FPSO, that had its installation cancelled. Large FPSO The third project is a large FPSO resulted from the conversion of a VLCC tanker into a FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) Unit with 320000 m of crude oil storage capacity and capable to produce up to 150000 bpd of oil. The FPSO was designed to operate in an average water depth of 800 m with 107 (one hundred and seven) flexible risers in a free hanging catenary configuration. The permanent mooring system of the FPSO is a DICAS system composed by 18 (eighteen) mooring legs in a semi-taut leg configuration. 10 (ten) legs are located at the FPSO bow region and 8 (eight) legs are located at the FPSO stern region. The basic configuration of each mooring line consists of a suction pile anchor device, a bottom chain segment, a

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polyester rope intermediate segment divided into 3 subsections connected by 5 m chain sections and a top chain segment. The design life of the system is 20 years. The mooring lines pull-in arrangement is based on two vertical shaft mooring winches capable to pull on both directions installed one at the FPSO bow and one at the FPSO stern. Offloading operations were planned for a 150,000 DWT or a VLCC size shuttle tanker in a bow to stern or a bow to bow tandem configuration. For this a shute house with 2 (two) extremities was designed to be installed at the side of the FPSO main deck. Sophisticated underwater fairleads equipped with chain stoppers were installed at the shipside on the FPSO stern and bow. The use of these fairleads will minimize the risk of interference between the offloading hawser and the mooring lines and will also reduce the amount of reinforcement needed on the main deck. The riser system was installed outboard at the side of the FPSO main deck to accommodate 107 flexible lines in only one line. Installed close to the process plan manifold modules the amount of piping is reduced, but the location close to the amidships increase the risers offsets and the result of this was the necessity of higher stiffness on the mooring system. Figure 8 shows the main deck arrangement adopted for the FPSO, which is expected to be operating offshore Brazil in 2003. Conclusions What motivated us to write this paper was the quantity of concerns we found in many people when talking about our experiences with DICAS mooring systems. We felt that the sophisticated name given to the system causes a non-realistic impression of the complexity of the system. In view of this the intent of the paper was to present this mooring system concept as a feasible alternative for FPSOs and FSOs that are going to operate in mild environmental conditions. It was not our intention to say that the system is better or worse than any other conception, but show, with our experience, that it is a realistic option that can be applied in any kind of ship shaped floating offshore units.

References
1. American Petroleum Institute (API): Recommended Practice for Design and Analysis of Stationkeeping Systems for Floating Structures API RP 2SK second edition, 1997 2. Bureau Veritas (B.V.): Recommended Practice Quasi-Dynamic Analysis of Mooring System - 1997 3. F. Kaster, M. Barros, R. Rossi, I. Masetti (Petrobras) and E. Falkenberg, S. Karlsen (Marintek) and I. Waclawek (Brasflex): DICAS A New Mooring Concept for FPSOs, OTC paper 8439 1997. 4. Masetti, I.Q.: "Dynamic Analysis of Ships Moored with Differentiated Compliance" Doctor Degree Thesis, COPPE, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 1997. 5. OCIMF: Prediction of Wind and Current Loads 2nd edition 1994. 6. Souza Jr. J. R., Fernandes A.C., Masetti I.Q., Silva S. da, Kroff S. A. B.: "Nonlinear Rolling of na FPSO with Larger-Than-Usual Bilge Keels" OMAE 1998

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DICAS MOORING SYSTEM: PRACTICAL DESIGN EXPERIENCE TO DISMYSTIFY THE CONCEPT

Figure 7 Medium size FPSO to operate in 700 m of water depth

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Figure 8 Large FPSO to operate in 800 m of water depth

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DICAS MOORING SYSTEM: PRACTICAL DESIGN EXPERIENCE TO DISMYSTIFY THE CONCEPT

Figure 9 Small FSO to operate in 150 m of water depth

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