Sie sind auf Seite 1von 46

[BookTitle]

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

110

Purpose

This document provides an accurate and consistent procedure for the determination of the ULS of fixed offshore platforms. The document should be used for all ULS computations performed either by Chevron or by consultants. The methodology is applicable worldwide.

The procedure is applicable to new and existing platforms but, in this document, is mostly focused on existing platforms. The focus of this document is ULS for metocean environmental conditions. ULS for seismic conditions is similar but is not covered in this document.

The determination of ULS is essentially a generic procedure for most structures and is the process described in this document. The approaches described are based upon many years of experience performing ultimate strength analysis. The descriptions are intentionally straightforward and concise. They provide sufficient depth to understand the approaches, including their background, without getting bogged down in too much detail, making the document user friendly.

Figure 100-1 provides a brief description of the sections of this document, including purpose and some details of the associated discussion. This can be used as a “roadmap” when using this guide.

The document is part of the Chevron Engineering Standards (CES) developed and maintained by the Floating and Fixed Systems Unit of the Facility Engineering Department.

100-4

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

© 2007 Chevron USA Inc. All rights reserved.

October 2007

[BookTitle]

Fig. 100-1

Summary of ULS Pushover Guide Discussions (1 of 3)

Section

Purpose

Details

 
  • 120 Ultimate

Definition of ULS and

  • a. The ULS of the platform is based upon a pushover analysis that loads the platform laterally until collapse.

Strength

how it is used for

  • b. ULS is used in the assessment of existing platforms or design of new platforms.

Method

offshore platform studies.

 
  • 130 Information

Data necessary for an

  • a. Structural Drawings:

Requirements

accurate ULS analysis.

Jacket, pile, and deck. Ideally, for the existing configuration.

  • b. Geotechnical Report:

Site specific report containing data on soil strength and pile capacity.

  • c. Recent Inspection Reports:

Outlines existing condition of platform. Identifies damage and other data, such as marine growth, number of conductors and risers, and boat landings and bumpers.

  • d. Recent Photos:

Visual confirmation of structure configuration above water. Used to confirm deck framing, deck condition, major equipment, etc.

Can be used to estimate deck elevation.

  • e. Equipment Weights and Layout:

Allows the accurate input of equipment loads in the correct locations.

 
  • 140 Modeling

Process for building a

  • a. Jacket Modeling:

ULS structural computer

Aspects of the model to consider are braces, legs, joint capacity, joint flexibility, conductors, risers, and appurtenances. The

model of the platform.

braces and legs are modeled with nonlinear elements.

  • b. Foundation Modeling:

Nonlinear pile-soil springs from the geotechnical report are used to model the pile-soil interaction. Piles are modeled with

nonlinear properties.

  • c. Deck Modeling:

Simplified in ULS analysis, since the jacket is most critical. Consists of all primary deck members. Neglect secondary structural members (but include their weight). The deck is typically modeled using linear elements, since it is not likely to control platform collapse.

100-5

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

© 2007 Chevron USA Inc. All rights reserved.

October 2007

[BookTitle]

Fig. 100-1

Summary of ULS Pushover Guide Discussions (2 of 3)

 

Section

Purpose

Details

 

Load

Definition

  • 150 The types of loads

  • a. Gravity, Dead and Live Loads, and Buoyancy Load:

applied to the ULS

Constant for ULS analysis.

model for pushover

  • b. Wave and Current Load:

analysis.

The dominant pushover load. The wave load recipe should comply with the most recent edition of API RP2A.

   
  • c. Wind Load:

Secondary pushover load that accounts for 5% to 15% of total base shear at ULS for most platforms. Wind loads may be larger than wave/current loads for shallow water platforms.

  • d. Wave in Deck Load:

Used when the wave crest height is above the height of the bottom of steel of the cellar deck. The load should be computed in accordance with the most recent API approach.

  • e. P-Delta Load:

The effect of gravity “pulling” the structure over as the structure moves laterally during the pushover. This should be included in all pushover analyses.

 

Ultimate

Strength

Analysis

  • 160 Determine the

  • a. 11 Step Procedure:

platform's ability to

See Figure 100-8 for a summary of the 11 steps to determine ULS by static pushover analysis.

resist loading.

  • b. Static Pushover Analysis:

   

The step wise application of increasing static lateral load until the platform collapses. The ULS is maximum load that the platform can resist in a pushover.

  • c. Dynamic Effects:

Considered for platforms in water depth greater than 300 ft. Uses an estimated dynamic amplification factor (DAF) and adds that to the static base shear for the reference loads.

  • d. Quality Assurance (QA):

An accurate understanding of the platform collapse mechanism is the most critical part of the QA process.

100-6

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

© 2007 Chevron USA Inc. All rights reserved.

October 2007

[BookTitle]

Fig. 100-1

Summary of ULS Pushover Guide Discussions (3 of 3)

Section

Purpose

Details

  • 170 Results

 

Description of the types

  • a. Pushover Curve:

of results and the types of conclusions from the

A plot of the pushover load versus the deck lateral displacement that shows the nonlinear response of the platform. The curve should identify the key platform member failures and the ULS.

ULS analysis.

  • b. Platform ULS:

The maximum base shear that the platform can sustain prior to collapse.

  • c. Reference Level Loads:

Reference values used to determine platform acceptability. Examples include the reserve strength ratio (RSR), minimum wave

heights, and minimum base shears.

  • d. RSR:

Defined as the ratio of the platform ULS to the 100 yr metocean condition base shear.

  • e. Identification of a Collapse Mechanism:

By examining the pushover output, the collapse mechanism can be identified. This reveals the critical platform members.

  • f. Damaged and Repaired Capacities:

The effects of damage can be determined by comparing the ULS with and without the damage. The effects of a repair can also be measured similarly.

  • g. Changes in Capacities due to Additional Loading:

Additions to the topside weight and/or additions, such as conductors or risers, increase the loads on the platform. Their

acceptability can be determined by comparing the ULS before and after the additions. Removal of equipment, risers, conductors, boat landings, etc., reduces load and can be similarly used to improve platform performance.

  • 180 Select

 

Provides several key

  • a. These references can be used to obtain further information and details about ULS analysis.

References

references related to ULS.

  • b. The references are organized by topic.

 
  • 190 Terminology

Provides brief definitions of ULS terminology.

Further information on the terminology can be found in the references provided in Section 180.

[BookTitle]

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

  • 120 The Ultimate Strength Method 121

Background

Design Load Levels

Platforms are designed to comply with design codes that use design load levels, such as a 100 yr return period (RP) storm (wave, wind, and current), and factors of safety that allow the structure to perform in a linear elastic manner. This is shown conceptually in Figure 100-2 by the force displacement relationship.

Design Load

A load is applied laterally to the structure in an increasing manner, and the deflections are measured at the top of the structure. The plot of force versus displacement is linear up to and beyond the code based design load shown as Fdesign. This is the desired performance of a structure to loading, in that after loading has stopped (e.g., storm), the structure will return to its initial condition in an “elastic” manner without any permanent displacement or damage. For offshore fixed platforms, this is the design load level. For loadings up to the design load, the platform should remain linea r with no significant damage such that it can operate safely immediately following the storm.

Fig. 100-2

Platform Force Displacement Relationship

Linear Response Force (F) Force (F) Fdesign Fdesign Fyield Fyield Fserviceability Fserviceability Fmax = ULS Fmax
Linear Response
Force (F)
Force (F)
Fdesign
Fdesign
Fyield
Fyield
Fserviceability
Fserviceability
Fmax = ULS
Fmax = ULS
Brittle
Linear Response
Non-Linear Response
Non-Linear Response
Collapse
Collapse
Collapse
Collapse
Ductile
Ductile
Brittle

Displacement (Delta)

Displacement (Delta)

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

[BookTitle]

Yield Load

Because design codes contain factors of safety, the structure will continue to perform elastically, beyond the code design load Fdesign, until the factors of safety are “used up”. At that time some, but not all, of the structure’s components first begin to yield, shown in the figure as Fyield. However, the structural system does not collapse, because there is still resistance provided by these members (they have only partially failed) and because, even if the members completely failed, there are other members that provide redundancy and continue to resist the load. Instead, the structure begins to perform in a nonlinear manner, with a larger lateral displacement in accordance with increment of load than in the linear range. This is shown in Figure 100-2 by the gradual flattening of the force deformation curve. The amount of nonlinearity is a function of material nonlinearity due to the inelastic performance of the members and joints as they yield and fail. The nonlinearity is also a function of geometric nonlinearity, often called P-delta, which tends to pull the platform over as it moves laterally, as defined in Section 155.

Service Ability Limit

As the force increases in the nonlinear response range, the structure begins to incur a permanent deflection if the storm subsides. At some point, this permanent deformation becomes large enough that the structure may no longer be useful, since the lateral displacement will be so large that the wells can no longer be serviced, or the structure may be tilted and no longer capable of operations. This is shown as Fserviceability in Figure 100-2. However, this is not always the case, and many platforms are serviceable at displacements up to their collapse state.

Maximum Force

At some point of loading, the structure reaches the maximum load that it can resist, shown as Fmax, and this is called the structure’s ULS. As described later, this is the critical parameter in an ultimate strength analysis and is used to determine acceptability of the platform.

Collapse—General

At a displacement equal to displacement associated with Fmax or at a displacement greater than that of Fmax, the structure collapses. There are two general types of collapse modes—brittle and ductile.

Brittle Collapse

A brittle collapse occurs at a small additional displacement after Fmax, when the structure quickly loses the ability to sustain load. A brittle collapse mode is also sometimes characterized by a small amount of displacement, if any, between Fyield and Fmax. There is no Fserviceability due to the rapid collapse; in other words, the structure collapses quickly once the load is equal to Fyield. Certain types of platform bracing configurations, such as “K” bracing, tend to have brittle failure modes, since there is no alternative load path once several of the K braces fail.

[BookTitle]

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

Ductile Collapse

In contrast to brittle collapse, a ductile collapse occurs when there is a larger amount of additional displacement after Fmax and a slower reduction in load carrying capacity. A ductile collapse mode is typically characterized by a larger amount of displacement between Fyield and Fmax in a gradual manner and is the preferred mode of failure for a platform design. A platform with “X” bracing tends to have a ductile collapse mode, since the compression tension pairs of the braces fail at different load levels, providing a redundant load path.

Static Pushover Analysis

A special type of engineering approach, called a nonlinear “static pushover” analysis, is commonly used to determine the ULS of structures. The approach is called a static pushover, since dynamic effects are either excluded from the analysis or included as a multiplier of the static forces, and the forces are applied as incremental static loads until the platform collapses. The procedures and associated technical background to perform static pushover for a fixed jacket on Chevron projects worldwide are contained in this document.

Static pushover is a common methodology used to design new structures, as well as assess existing structures for extreme loads, such as storms and earthquakes. Static pushover is used in the offshore structure industry (API and ISO), as well as the onshore building industry (FEMA 356 for earthquakes).

  • 122 When to Use Ultimate Strength Methods

ULS is one of the key metrics to evaluate the structural performance of a platform. ULS can be used to help make decisions for the assessment of existing platforms or design of new platforms, although the more typical use is for existing platforms. ULS is also used to design platforms in earthquake regions, but the focus of this document is for regions where the platform design is dominated by waves.

Several specific reasons to determine a platform’s ULS that are common in the industry are summarized in the following seven subsections.

Determine ULS (Platform Capacity)

ULS provides a specific measure of the platform’s maximum strength that can be used to determine its performance against some measure of adequacy. The measure can be in terms of a specific load value (kips) or normalized parameter, such as RSR (defined in the next subsection). These values can then be compared to minimum values to meet Chevron or regulatory requirements.

Determine RSR

RSR is a formal definition that is consistent with API and ISO and is the ratio of a platform’s ULS to the load acting on the platform for a 100 yr RP storm condition (in accordance with API standards). If the 100 yr storm is the design criteria for the platform, RSR is defined by the ratio of ULS/Fdesign in Figure 100-2. RSR therefore provides a measure of the factor of safety inherent in the platform, above

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

[BookTitle]

the design point. Hence, an RSR of 2.0 means that the platform can take twice the loading of the 100 yr storm before it fails.

RSR for a new Gulf of Mexico platform is typically in the range of 1.6 to 2.5. RSR for North Sea platforms is typically in the range of 2.0 to 3.0, due to the flatter slope of the North Sea metocean hazard curve. Existing older platforms may have RSRs as low as 0.5, due to the inadequacies of the earlier generation fixed platforms, such as the use of lower RP waves (25 yr), lack of joint cans, and lower deck elevations. Platforms with an RSR less than 1.0 are at risk of complete failure in a 100 yr storm.

Damage Assessment

The effect of structural damage to a platform can be determined by comparing the ULS of the platform in the intact condition to the ULS of the platform in the damaged condition. Examples of common damage include dented or missing members, corrosion, holes, and cracks. Since offshore steel jacket platforms have redundant framing, ULS does not always decrease significantly when a member is

damaged. It usually requires several damaged members or damage to a key member such as a leg, to reduce the ULS significantly. As an example, API specifies that a

  • 10 percent ULS reduction should be considered as significant damage (dented, bent,

or missing members), such that further evaluation, including repair, may be

required.

Platform Additions

ULS analysis can be used to determine if additional weight (e.g., new drill package) or storm loading (e.g., extra conductors or risers) can be added to the platform.

Platform additions can also occur if there is a change of use for a platform, such as the addition of a quarters building. Much like a damage assessment (described in the previous subsection), ULS analysis can be performed with and without the new equipment to determine the change in ULS. The addition of topsides equipment tends to not significantly change the ULS, since ULS is more greatly influenced by lateral load than by vertical load. However, changes in vertical load can influence a platform that has a ULS controlled by pile axial loading. The addition of wells and risers may affect the ULS dramatically, since added wells and/or risers directly increase the load acting on the platform. Similar to platform damage, API considers a change in vertical or lateral loading as significant if the change is more than

  • 10 percent. Significant increases in loading require a structural assessment to

determine if the platform can adequately sustain the increased loads.

Survival Event Check

A platform may be required to survive storm conditions of a specific RP (e.g., 1,000 yr storm). This can be determined by comparing the ULS capacity with the load acting on the platform (measured as base shear) for a range of storm conditions. The storm with the base shear matching the ULS capacity is the storm that would cause the platform to fail. Ba sed upon metocean studies for the platform region, this storm condition can be associated with a specific RP or metocean condition, such as wave height. If the platform does not collapse for a load equal to or less than this RP (or wave height), the platform passes the assessment. API

[BookTitle]

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

requires that an existing platform be shown to be able to survive a storm with specific conditions, primarily based upon wave height.

Reliability Based Studies

ULS can be used to determine the reliability of the platform, which is often used in risk and economic studies. The reliability can be determined based upon the probability that the platform will experience the survival event (defined in the previous subsection). Once the survival event and its associated RP are known, the RP can be converted to a failure probability, which can be used for platform reliability studies. Several examples of approaches to determine platform reliability are contained in the references (refer to Section 180).

  • 123 Ultimate Strength in Offshore Codes

Several worldwide offshore codes use ULS as a basis for decision making for existing and new platforms. These are summarized in the remainder of this section. Code requirements and additional description of ULS approaches and guidance can be found in these documents.

API RP2A

API RP2A, Section 17, provides guidance for assessment of exiting platforms. The API RP2A, Section 17, approach for waves that allows a ULS check was first published in 1993 as API RP2A, 20th Edition. ULS can be used to check the adequacy of the platform. API provides specific “ultimate strength” wave heights that the platform must be shown to be able to survive. The user needs to demonstrate that the platform will survive a base shear equal to or larger than the ultimate strength wave conditions (based upon the platform’s water depth).

API RP2SIM

A pushover analysis is typically used to determine the platform's ULS to compare to the ultimate strength wave base shear. Prior to performing a ULS check, the user can perform a “design level” check, which checks the platform using a linear method, much like new design. However, if the ULS wave has a crest elevation that reflects the platform’s cellar deck, a ULS analysis is always required. API RP2SIM is an emerging API document that will replace API RP2A, Section 17, in 2007 or 2008. The API RP2SIM ULS technical approach will be similar to API RP2A, Section 17.

ISO 19902

ISO 19902 provides guidelines for the design of offshore steel platforms. ISO 19902 has a section related to assessment of existing platforms that is similar to API RP2A, Section 17, and allows ULS approaches. ISO 19902 also has a convenient section for computer modeling of damaged members (refer to Section 141).

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

[BookTitle]

Other Codes

DOE, NPD, and others address ULS for platform design, but the details are not covered here. Some of these codes also use a long return period metocean criteria, i.e., a multiple of the elastic design criteria, such as 1,000 yr or 10,000 yr to demonstrate the platform has adequate ULS characteristics. This process is essentially a “collapse check” for design of new platforms, i.e., in addition to elastic design (for example, 100 yr conditions). The platform will also not collapse for these long return period conditions, although it may be damaged.

Seismic Design

API RP2A and ISO 19901-2 provide guidance for design and assessment of platforms for earthquakes. A two level approach is used to design platforms for earthquakes. The first is a design level approach (DLE) that is much the same as the 100 yr storm for metocean design. The platform is designed using factors of safety, using an earthquake with an RP of 200 yr (Fdesign in Figure 100-2). However, the platform is also designed using a ULS approach so that it does not collapse (ULS in Figure 100-2) for a larger earthquake, typically on the order of 1,000 yr to 3,000 yr RP. ULS for earthquakes is typically computed using a nonlinear time-history analysis or a pushover analysis, similar to that described in this document. The key difference in an earthquake pushover is the development and shape of the pushover load profile, which is based on a distribution of mass in the platform and associated earthquake accelerations. Refer to ISO 19901-2 for further information.

  • 124 ULS Software

There are several software programs that perform ULS pushover analysis for offshore steel jacket platforms in a semi automated manner. In almost all cases, the user needs to carefully develop the associated computer models, apply the pushover load, and interpret results in order to ensure an accurate answer. Examples of programs are:

SACS. EDI, Kenner, Louisiana. The COLLAPSE module of SACS is commonly used worldwide for pushover analysis. http://www.sacs-edi.com

USFOS. http://www.usfos.no

CAP. This is the PC version of the SEASTAR/INTRA code originally developed by PMB Engineering. http://www.capfos.com

EDP. Digital Structures, Berkeley, California. This is similar to CAP and is a variation of the INTRA code. Digital Structures Inc., 2855 Telegraph Ave. #300, Berkeley, California 94704.

MICROSAS. http://www.jraymcdermott.com/jrme

General Purpose Software. These programs are less commonly used for offshore ULS analysis but can do the job.

ABAQUS. http://www.abaqus.com

ANSYS. http://www.ansys.com

[BookTitle]

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

Other software can perform ULS analyses that are not listed here; however, they may not have the special features of the software listed here. If using another code, be sure that it uses a documented approach to perform the pushover. The code should be tested or calibrated to perform the specific type of ULS analysis for fixed platforms as described in this document. The user should ask if there has been prior ULS work that can be reviewed or whether there are any benchmark problems to demonstrate the software’s ULS capability. Of particular interest is how the software handles wave loading, member buckling (tubular members), tubular joint capacity, large deformation (P-delta), and pile capacity (lateral and axial), as these are some of the controlling and unique factors for offshore platforms ULS analysis. The use of software that does not have the automated wave loading and nonlinear pile-soil spring features found in offshore platform codes, such as SACS, USFOS, and CAP, can be very time consuming because these loads have to be entered manually into the program.

  • 130 Information Requirements

    • 131 Basic Information Needed

The information needed for a ULS analysis is similar to that needed for new design or any type of design check for an existing platform. This is primarily data related to the primary structural framing, the site soils, and the platform equipment loads. For existing platforms, it is important that this data reflect the platform in its current condition.

Main frame jacket, deck, and pile drawings

As built drawings should be used, if possible. The drawings should also reflect the current configuration of the platform, since structural changes may have occurred since the platform was installed.

Geotechnical report

Site specific data, including shear strength profile and pile axial compression and tension capacity curves, are updated to modern API recommendations. Pile driving records may be available to determine actual pile penetration.

Topside weights

Report the actual topsides currently on the platform. Area loads (e.g., 200 psf) can be used in lieu of equipment, often conservatively modeled as a large load on the structure. However, actual loads are preferred, since too large or too small a load influences the pile foundation's ultimate capacity and can lead to inaccuracies in the actual ULS if collapse is controlled by pile axial failure. Area loads, if used, tend to be too heavy and provide a conservative (low) ULS. Area loads should only be used for “screening” purposes to determine the approximate ULS adequacy of a platform. In some cases, a topside survey is performed to confirm the location and sizes of major topside equipment. The analysis should also consider whether there

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

[BookTitle]

are any planned future changes to the topsides that should be accounted for, such as new drilling or production equipment.

Latest inspection results

Inspection reports provide information about the current state of the platform, including damage, if any, such as dents, cracks, holes, or corrosion. The inspection report should also be used to establish actual marine growth (versus code based marine growth that may be used for new design). In some parts of the world, marine growth is cleaned periodically, and this needs to be considered. In most cases, but not all, the inspection report also contains information, such as the number and location of risers and caissons, location of boat landings, platform orientation, verification of the platform underwater elevations (which can be checked against the drawings to see if the platform has subsided), and other useful information.

Photos

Above-water photos of the platform are critical for the engineer to provide a “feel” for the platform, such as overall configuration and size, but they also provide visual confirmation of the amount of deck equipment, orientation, number of boat landings, number of risers and conductors, and deck elevation and overall platform condition, such as corrosion. These and other items that can be seen in the photos should match what is in the drawings. If there is no match, these items need to be field verified.

Appurtenances

Report the actual number and location of conductors, risers, boat landings, bumpers, and other appurtenances. These are usually found on the drawings but are best confirmed via the inspection reports and photos. The number of conductors actually installed on the platform tends to routinely vary from the number of slots and should be independently verified. Sometimes there are fewer conductors, sometimes there are more conductors that have been added over the years but have not been well documented.

Future use of the platform should be considered in the ULS analysis. Drill rig or additional conductors that are to be added to the platform should be considered for the analysis. Otherwise, the analysis will have to be redone when these new loading elements are added.

  • 132 Availability of Data

General

The required data is not always available for all platforms, especially older platforms installed prior to 1980. The major structural drawings are typically available for most platforms, either in whole or in part. What tends to be missing are some of the details. If the drawings are completely missing, the member sizes and thickness will have to be determined by underwater inspection. This is very costly and time consuming and is only warranted in very special cases. A partial set of drawings can typically be used to infer the missing data. For example, if only one

[BookTitle]

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

or two rows of the vertical elevation drawings are available, the other rows can be estimated, since most platforms are symmetric in design. Likewise, the horizontal elevations are typically of common configuration. Drawings from other nearby similar platforms can sometimes be used to replace missing information, especially items, such as pile size and pile penetration.

Original Sources

The original platform owner (if the platform was acquired) or the original design firm for the platform may have copies of the platform drawings, specifications, and installation records and should be contacted. The local regulator may also have this information.

Geotechnical Criteria

The most common missing data is the geotechnical criteria (borings) for the site. These are usually in a separate report that tends not to be stored with the drawings. Note that the pile size and penetrations are usually with the structural drawings. In such cases, Chevron geotechnical experts should be contacted to assist in the development of the “most appropriate” criteria for the site. For example, soils from a nearby platform can be used if site specific soils are not available. In areas where the soils are known to be generally uniform, nearby borings can be used to “interpolate” reasonable soil strength, as determined by a geotechnical engineer. Sensitivity studies may be performed to determine the effect of the soil strength on the ULS. For example, if the platform failure mode is controlled by the strength of the jacket, the soil capacity is not critical. In some regions, the local regulator may specify the foundation information requirements. In the Gulf of Mexico, the MMS requires the use of soil reports that are within 500 ft of the platform, although studies by a geotechnical engineer or sensitivity studies can be used in lieu of a site boring. However, in some cases, the soils information may just not be adequate, and a new boring should be taken, particularly for platforms with planned upgrades.

Discrepancies

There can often be a discrepancy between the drawings and the current known platform configuration. For example, the number of conductors or risers may differ or there may be deck extensions (including subcellar decks) that were added at a later date. These can typically be easily surveyed in the field, and it is recommended that this be done (versus assuming which of the data is correct) in order to ensure an accurate ULS analysis.

Marine Growth

If the marine growth is not available in the inspection report, the code based criteria can be used. For example, 1.5 in. of marine growth on the radius from the waterline to 150-foot water depth in the Gulf of Mexico is a typical code specification.

Steel Strength

The nominal yield strength of the steel used to fabricate the platform is not always provided on the drawings or associated specifications. Mill certificates are typically not available for older platforms. Nominal steel yield strength, if not available,

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

[BookTitle]

should be taken as 33 ksi for platforms installed in 1975 or earlier and 36 ksi for platforms installed after 1975. The platforms should first be analyzed with the nominal steel yield value throughout the entire structure, including the joint cans and piles. If there are members or joints or piles that have high stresses and the platform is not meeting the required acceptance criteria (design level or ULS), a 15 percent increase in the nominal yield strength can be included for those locations to account for adjustment of nominal to mean yield strength. If the nominal steel yield strength is 50 ksi, only a 10 percent increase can be applied. For high consequence and/or platforms deemed critical to operations, a material sample and appropriate testing should be considered to confirm the steel yield strength.

Grouted Piles—General

A grouted leg-pile annulus increases the ULS. The combined leg-pile cross section results in a stiffer leg and also serves for better performance of the brace-leg joints in terms of strength, as well as fatigue. It is not always clear whether the leg-pile annulus was designed to be grouted, and if it was designed for grouting, whether the grout was installed. There have been numerous examples of platforms that were supposed to have a grouted leg-pile annulus but did not. A grouted leg-pile is evidenced by notes on the drawings, drawings of grout piping running along the legs to near the mudline, or by installation records. Installation records are the only sure method to confirm whether the legs are grouted based upon existing data. A grouted leg-pile can be verified during routine underwater inspections by using ultrasonic testing (UT) to determine the leg wall thickness.

Grouted Piles—Verification

UT will show a thicker leg if the leg-pile is grouted. Each leg should be verified that it is grouted, as sometimes only some of the legs are grouted (due to weather, mechanical breakdowns, etc., during installation). The grout verification needs to be done only once in the platform’s life. It is recommended that the presence of grout be verified in this manner, especially where the presence of the grout controls the platform collapse mode or results in a significant increase in the ULS. If the grout is not verified via installation records or UT inspection, the results of such analysis should be used with caution. Confirmation of grout should also be performed for high consequence platforms.

Cellar Deck Elevation

The elevation to the bottom of steel (BOS) of the cellar deck is a critical value and should always be field verified as part of the ULS assessment, if it is not available from prior work. If the crest of the ULS wave is above the deck BOS, the platform loading is very different and needs to be handled separately. Many platforms experience subsidence over their life, and this can often be seen in photos of the platform by examining the elevation of the first elevation of the waterline, typically approximately 10 to 15 ft above the waterline. If this looks off by approximately two or more feet, field verification should be performed. The elevation can be scaled in a photo using common member sizes as a reference, such as a 24 in. diameter brace visible in the photo.

[BookTitle]

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

Missing Data

If data is missing and an estimate needs to be made because field verification is not possible, the estimate should be conservative. For example, if it is unclear whether a conductor is 26 or 28 in., use 28 in. Generally, estimates for one or two items do not have a significant impact on the ULS results, although estimates for critical structural members, such as leg wall thickness, should always be done with caution.

140

Modeling

Most ULS software will automatically develop the nonlinear ULS model from a typical linear model used for design. While this is convenient, the user needs to be aware of the different types of elements used and their shortcomings.

Figure 100-3 shows an overall view of an offshore platform that has been specially modeled for ULS analysis. The figure shows some of the key features of the model including the typical nonlinear member force displacement response for the primary platform components. Further discussion is contained in the following sections divided by Jacket, Foundation, and Deck.

Fig. 100-3

Specialized Nonlinear Modeling for ULS Analysis and Typical Member Response Mode

Linear Elastic s e DECK s Buckling s Bending & Axial Yield or Local Buckling e
Linear
Elastic
s
e
DECK
s
Buckling
s
Bending & Axial
Yield or Local
Buckling
e
BRACES
e
LEGS
Full
Nonlinear
s
Response
s
Bending & Axial
Yield or Local
Buckling
e
e
SOIL-PILE
PILES &
CONDUCTORS

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

[BookTitle]

  • 141 Jacket Modeling

The ULS jacket model is generally the same as a typical model for new platform design in terms of the overall platform geometry, member sizes, and gravity loading. The key difference is the use of nonlinear elements in the ULS model, versus linear elements in a new platform design model.

The following sections identify the key platform components and how they should be modeled:

braces,

legs,

joint capacity,

joint flexibility,

conductors,

conductor guide framing,

risers,

appurtenances, and

damaged members.

Braces

Braces are usually the controlling factor for lateral jacket capacity. If the diagonal braces fail, the jacket bay loses the ability to transfer lateral load. The jacket bay is defined as the associated jacket structure from one horizontal elevation to the next (e.g., 100 to 130 ft). The braces are primarily long and slender and are therefore prone to buckling at failure, and this must be properly captured in ULS analysis. Buckling is a quick and sudden failure in a brittle manner with the brace quickly losing its ability to carry additional load. This is in contrast to shorter members or heavier braces that do not buckle but instead fail in axial yielding or bending in a more relaxed ductile manner. Figure 100-4 shows a typical force deformation plot for a brace that buckles and one that fails by yielding.

Fig. 100-4

Brace Failure by Buckling and by Yielding

Yielding (Ductile): short heavy braces Brittle: long slender braces FORCE
Yielding (Ductile):
short heavy braces
Brittle:
long slender braces
FORCE

DEFORMATION

[BookTitle]

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

The buckling type of brace is often called a “strut”, since it carries predominately axial loads. There is bending in the member, but it tends to be small, since the member is flexible. The brace is, therefore, often modeled using this strut approach and either neglects the moment in the member or adjusts the buckling capacity to account for the moment. The buckling capacity is determined from empirical or experimental data. The most common and thought to be the best method for buckling capacity was developed by the Structural Stability Research Council (SSRC), which publishes a specific formula for axial capacity of tubular members. This formula is also used by API in the LRFD version of API RP2A (refer to Equation D2.2.1). This formula provides a convenient quality assurance (QA) check of the expected buckling load of a member by removing the API LRFD factors of safety from the equation.

Some software uses an alternative approach that subdivides the member into a “super element” that divides the member into approximately 10 segments and uses a special nonlinear analysis subroutine to mimic the member nonlinear performance. Figure 100-5 shows a super element in a platform model. The software uses a “sensing” routine that initially models all members as linear and then monitors their load during the analysis. If a member approaches nonlinearity, the member is replaced by the super element to perform the nonlinear calculations. The advantage of using super elements is that it is an automated and user friendly approach.

However, the user needs to pa y special attention to the results, as the super elements can end up with some unusual member failure modes, that are theoretically correct but do not make sense (although this is typically not the case). The other problem is that, in order to properly mimic buckling, the super element requires an initial out of alignment (called eccentricity) in a brace model. The segmented member then uses the axial load eccentricity combination to continually displace the member out of plane until it eventually buckles. The user can define the eccentricity directly, or some codes will estimate it automatically. A typical value of one to five percent eccentricity of the member diameter should be used. Examples of software that use this approach are SACS and USFOS.

Legs

Platform legs are heavier with thicker walls and have lower slenderness ratios than braces and therefore generally fail in bending. These types of members are not typically prone to global buckling, although local buckling (in the form of a bulge) has been observed to be a problem in some older platforms if the wall thickness is thin. Global buckling of the leg is also seldom a problem, since the enclosed pile prevents the leg from buckling. The legs are commonly defined using nonlinear beam columns, although the automated super element previously discussed for braces is also used for legs. If the leg-pile annulus is grouted, the leg properties should be a combination of the leg and inner pile. Most software has a routine to account for this, which increases the leg wall thickness to account for the pile, often limited to 1.75 to 2 times the leg thickness. A grouted leg-pile annulus also provides substantially stronger joint capacities, especially in compression. Platforms with grouted leg-pile annuluses have been observed to perform better in hurricanes than similar ungrouted platforms. Refer to Section 182 (Puskar, F.J. and Spong, R.E., Energo, 2006). In situ grouting of a leg-pile annulus is a common

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

[BookTitle]

Fig. 100-5

Super Element Representing a Brace in a Platform Model—The brace is divided into segments as shown, each with its own nonlinear finite element properties. The resulting “super element” can mimic nonlinear behavior in bending, compression (including buckling), and tension.

*Reference: SACS at www.sacs-edi.com
*Reference: SACS at www.sacs-edi.com

technique to improve the performance of existing platforms (that were not grouted at installation).

Joint Capacity

Joints should be included in the model using specific empirical formulation. The most common available options are the API RP2A joint equations (without the factors of safety) and joint ultimate capacities determined from the Joint Capacity JIP (refer to Section 181). The SACS software, as well as others, has the equations and capacities built in with an automated checking process to determine if the joint or the brace fails first. The software monitors the load on the joint from the brace using one of the empirical formulations, and when the brace load exceeds the joint capacity, the brace is “disconnected” and eliminated from the ULS computer model.

Joint Flexibility

Most structural programs consider joints as rigid when computing the forces in a member, particularly moments at the member end. In reality, the joints are “flexible” and the members at a joint rotate relative to one another based upon relative stiffness. Generally, joint flexibility is neglected due to the added numerical complexity, and this is conservative, since the loads in the members are higher without the joint flexibility. Since the loads in the members are higher, they fail sooner, and the global ULS of the platform is conservatively lower. Joint flexibility reduces the loads in members and increases the ULS on order of a few percent up to 10 or 15 percent, depending upon the platform geometry and relative stiffness of the legs and braces. Simple formulations to compute joint flexibility by hand calculations can be found in Section 183 (Bouwkamp, J.G., OTC Paper 3901, 1980). Joint flexibility is also a built in option in some structural software programs.

[BookTitle]

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

Conductors

Conductors should be included in the ULS platform strength model, particularly in terms of their contribution to foundation resistance. This is contrary to a new platform design model, where the conductor hydrodynamic loading is included, but the foundation resistance is typically neglected. Instead, the conductor load goes though the jacket into the soils, resulting in a conservative platform design. For ULS analysis, the inclusion of the conductor foundation resistance is a closer representation to the actual load transfer and is typically included. The amount of platform resistance and effect on the ULS of the conductors is partly a function of the presence of the conductor framing at the mudline. If the conductor framing is present, the conductor also helps to restrain the jacket at the mudline and, hence, contributes to the overall platform ULS. If the conductor framing is not present, the conductors move independently of the jacket at the mudline, and they provide less resistance to global platform loads, other than their own loading. The conductors should be modeled as linear members, since they typically include internal drilling pipes that are grouted to the conductor. Hence, their element capacity is difficult to determine and, it is, therefore, best to treat them linearly. The conductors should be modeled to move independently in the vertical direction through the conductor guides as is done for a design model. SACS uses a special element called a “wishbone” for this. The conductor foundation should be the same as for piles with full nonlinear pile-soil springs (refer to Section 142).

Conductor Guide Framing

Conductor guide framing should be modeled in detail at each elevation in order to provide proper load transfer from the conductors back into the primary jacket framing. The small guide tubulars are modeled individually to form the conductor guide grid pattern. The plated area and the cone guide can be replaced by stiff tubular X brace members (e.g., 24 by 1 in.), with the center of the X the location of the center of the conductor. The conductor “wishbone” type of element then connects to the center of the X and allows the conductor to move freely (vertically), but lateral metocean loads go into the center of the X and are then distributed to the guide grid framing. The steel plating and guide cones found in many conductor trays strengthen the guide framing and generally prevent failure of these members but are difficult to model accurately. Therefore, for ULS analysis, this grid work of guide framing is usually assigned to be elastic in order to prevent early failure of these members during the pushover analysis.

Risers

In most cases, risers are excluded from the ULS (or design) model in terms of strength and are only included in terms of their contribution to wave and current loading. Most programs have the ability to perform this type of modeling by putting the member in the model but identifying it as a “dummy” member, which accepts hydrodynamic load and allows it to be carried into the ja cket but does not contribute to the strength of the platform. In some cases, the riser is an integral part of the structural framing, for example, a J tube or curved conductor. In these situations, they should be modeled as a load carrying structural component.

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

[BookTitle]

Appurtenances

Similar to risers, the boat landings, barge bumpers, and other appurtenances are not included in the platform strength model. They are also modeled as non load carrying “dummy” members (refer to the Risers subsection). In some cases, appurtenances may be considered as part of the structure and contribute to its strength. For example, a launch runner along a leg adds to the strength of the leg. This type of appurtenance strength modeling needs to be considered on a case by case basis, since it adds to the complexity of the structural model (especially during the modeling effort), and the added strength may be marginal, having little effect on the ULS and not worth the effort.

Damaged Members

Damaged members should be modeled where appropriate. As an initial check that is conservative, the member can be completely removed from the computer model in order to determine if the platform performs adequately. Because of the redundant framing in a typical offshore platform, the damage of one or even a few braces typically has only a small effect on the ULS. If there is a need to model the member in its damaged state, there are several formulations provided in ISO 19902 that provide a partial strength approach to mimic the damage.

  • 142 Foundation Modeling

Pile Steel

The foundation should be modeled using structural elements to model the pile steel and nonlinear springs to model the pile-soil interface. The pile-soil springs are commonly called p-y springs for lateral pile loading, t-z for vertical pile loading, and q-z for pile tip loading.

The pile steel must be modeled using nonlinear beam type members that can mimic the bending of the pile below the mudline. One of the key platform failure modes is pile bending below the mudline, typically due to a combination of small pile (30 in., for example), with little bending resistance and weak soils that provide little lateral restraint. The maximum pile bending moment is typically located a distance of 5 to 10 times the pile diameter below the mudline, and this is often the location of the first pile yield. Most platforms have a thicker pile wall or sometimes higher yield strength for this length to prevent this type of bending failure, but the thicker section is not always present or is insufficient in older platforms. Therefore, it is important to model the pile accurately below the mudline in order to capture these effects.

Pile-Soil Springs

The pile-soil springs (p-y, t-z, and q-z) are either provided in a geotechnical report for the site or are computed automatically by the software using API or another code. They are called “pile-soil” springs, since they represent the specific type of behavior of the pile and the nearby soils. Hence, they are a function of the pile and the soils. Larger piles result in stronger pile-soil springs. Similarly, stronger soils result in stronger pile-soil springs.

[BookTitle]

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

The pile-soil springs are provided in a “static” (sometimes also called virgin) or “dynamic” (sometimes also called “degraded”) format. The degraded value should be used for pushover analysis. This represents the pile-soil capacity after a large number of waves have passed the structure, causing the jacket-pile system to move back and forth, effectively degrading the soil capacity. Since the largest wave is expected at the peak of a storm, after numerous other smaller waves have passed the platform, it is reasonable to use the degraded strength. The amount of degradation depends upon the type of soils but is on the order of 20 to 35 percent.

Soil-springs that are based upon the geotechnical report are input using explicit p and y values that are a function of the de pth below the mudline (similarly for t and z and q and z). If they are to be determined by the ULS program, the typical input is the soil strength as a function of depth (shear strength for clays and friction angle for sand), combined with the soil unit weight. These are typically provided in the geotechnical report. The geotechnical report often includes pile compression and tension axial capacity as a function of depth. Most software will also output these values. It is good practice to compare the ULS model axial capacities with the geotechnical report capacities, as these should be reasonably close. Chevron geotechnical engineers should be consulted if there are any concerns with pile-soil modeling.

Sensitivity Studies

Investigation of platform failures following hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico shows that there are few, if any, documented pile failures. However, results of ULS analyses on some actual platform failures, as well as platforms that survived, indicates that pile failure, either lateral bending or axial (or a combination), should have occurred. This indicates that there is conservatism in the pile-soil springs or in the overall ULS method related to pile capacity, particularly for the soft clays typical in the Gulf of Mexico. Therefore, if the platform failure mode is controlled by the foundation, some sensitivity studies should be performed, including variation of the pile-soil strengths used in the ULS analysis.

  • 143 Deck Modeling

General

The deck structure can be simplified in most ULS analysis, since the jacket structure is the most critical component to resist lateral metocean loading. The deck structure model serves as a method to interconnect the deck legs, apply gravity, wind, and topside loads, and input wave in deck loading (if any), for which detailed modeling of every structural member is not required. Simplification of the deck structure is also often a requirement in order to reduce the size of the structural computer model.

Simplified Deck Structure

A simplified deck structure consists of all of the primary deck members, including the deck legs, truss rows, and major lateral bracing. Secondary bracing related to smaller deck beams and bracing to support floor loads, as well as deck plating, can

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

[BookTitle]

be neglected (although, the weight of this secondary bracing needs to be included). Such floor bracing sometimes provides the lateral stability to the deck, and removal of the secondary bracing may make the deck unstable to torsion loads. In this situation, the deck framing can be replaced with an X brace to adequately stiffen the deck in plan.

Structure Element Type

The deck is almost always modeled using linear structural elements, since failure of the deck structure itself is not an issue. The only time that the deck may include nonlinear elements is if there is a special case of deck loading, and local failure of the deck members is a concern. This is seldom the case. The use of linear deck elements simplifies the deck modeling and structural analysis process. Note that the deck legs must be nonlinear, since they can be the cause of failure of the platform, especially for wave in deck cases.

Subcellar Decks

Subcellar decks that are located below the cellar deck, such as a scaffold deck, spider deck, or sump deck, should be modeled in sufficient detail in order to capture the wave loads that may be acting on them and to transfer these loads back to the cellar deck. This can be accomplished by modeling of the main members of the deck, including their hydrodynamic area. If the subcellar deck includes more than a few pieces of equipment or if the equipment is large, the additional hydrodynamic area of this equipment should also be included.

API Simplified Procedure

The API simplified procedure for wave in deck loads is typically only used for the cellar deck and above. This procedure uses an equivalent projected area combined with the kinematics of the pushover wave crest to determine lateral wave loads. Refer to Section 154 for more details.

  • 150 Load Definition

    • 151 Gravity and Buoyancy (Not Ramped)

Gravity and buoyancy loads are applied in the same manner as for new platform design. These loads are constant for the pushover analysis and are not ramped. Gravity loads are also discussed in Section 155, describing P-delta.

  • 152 Wave and Current (Ramped)

Wave loading is the dominant pushover load. The specific wave height used should be combined with the associated storm surge, current, and wind. Current loading is not as significant as wave loading. The methods for computing these loads on a platform are in accordance with API RP2A 20th edition or later. The metocean kine- matics factor, drag coefficient (Cd), inertia coefficient (Cm), and other variables are all the same as for new platform design as defined in API.

[BookTitle]

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

The wave height may vary by direction, although this has little effect on the ULS, since ULS is predominantly a function of the platform strength. The wave height does influence the reference base shear acting on the platform, for example, the RSR. Hence, a platform may have a different RSR for different directions, depending upon the platform orientation.

Wave and current loads are ramped during pushover analyses. Additional discussion of wave and current pushover loads is provided in Section 161.

  • 153 Wind (Ramped)

General

Wind is usually a secondary pushover load and accounts for 5 to 15 percent of the total base shear at ULS for most platforms. The wind acts primarily on the topsides, especially for a pushover, where the wave crest is almost to the lower deck elevation. Hence, there is no need to compute wind loads on the deck legs, boatlandings, etc., as these will all be underwater. In some cases, the wind load can be comparable or higher than the wave load, for example, quarters platforms that have large wind areas or shallow water platforms, where most of the platform is above water. In these cases, the user should pay greater attention to the computed wind loads.

Computation

Wind loads should be computed in accordance with API RP2A, in the same manner as new platform design, where a combination of wind loading area and wind speed are used to determine the wind force. The wind speed should be approximately consistent with the wave being used for the pushover. For example, if the pushover wave is a 100 yr condition, the wind speed associated with the 100 yr wave should be used. If a 50 yr wave is used, the wind speed should be the associated wind of that event. The wind area used in the model should consider any future planned topsides equipment and structure.

Source of Wind Data

In practice, such detailed wind information may not be available (but check with Chevron metocean experts). Usually only one or two wind speeds are available, for example, just the 100 yr and, in some cases, the 50 yr, as well. Since the wind is a small percentage of the pushover load, it may be easier to use the conservative 100 yr (or other value) for all of the pushover cases. This reduces the time required to determine the wind speed for each pushover wave, as well as the time required to recompute the wind loads.

Wind Load Ramping

The wind load will be ramped in parallel with the wave and current loads during the pushover analysis. Several programs, such as SACS, will automatically determine the wind loads based upon the user defined wind speed and the exposed wind loading area of deck members and user defined equipment. While this is a convenient feature, the user must make sure that these loads are adequately ramped

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

[BookTitle]

with the hydrodynamic loads on the platform during the pushover. An alternative is to compute the wind loads by hand and apply them to the deck as a static load that is ramped (i.e., increased incrementally) with the wave and current loads.

Shallow Water Structures

For some shallow water structures (less th an 50 ft WD) with large topsides, the wind load can be a greater percentage and may even control design. Additional care should be taken to compute wind loads more accurately for these platforms.

  • 154 Wave Load on the Deck (Ramped)

API RP2A, Section 17, provides a simplified approach to determine the hydrodynamic loads acting on a platform deck when hit by a wave. The approach determines the wave kinematics velocity at the crest and uses this velocity along with the expected wetted area (termed “silhouette area”) for the topsides and a drag factor to compute the wave load on the deck (refer to Figure 100-6). The drag factor is adjusted to account for a heavily, moderately, or bare equipped deck. The wave in deck loads should be computed separately for each pushover direction studied, since the deck structure may have a different profile for different directions (including diagonal). Details are provided in API RP2A, Section 17.

Fig. 100-6

API Silhouette Area for Computing Wave in Deck Loads—Scaffold deck can be modeled directly to incur hydrodynamic loads, or alternatively, it can be part of the silhouette area as shown.

Silhouette Area Shown in Gray Deck legs and braces are part of deck area Deck legs
Silhouette Area
Shown in Gray
Deck legs and
braces are part
of deck area
Deck legs and
braces are part
of jacket
Crest of Wave
Main Deck
Cellar Deck
Scaffold Deck

The API RP2A, Section 17, wave in deck approach is conservative. Alternative wave in deck loading algorithms are available, as provided in Section 180, and may predict lower wave in deck loads. These rely on explicit calculation of the deck wave load areas on a member by member basis, combined with application of wave kinematics near the crest and drag factors. However, these can be very time

[BookTitle]

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

consuming to implement, and it is recommended to start with the API approach and only use these more elaborate methods if necessary.

  • 155 P-Delta Effect

ULS analysis should consider a phenomenon called “P-delta”, where P is defined as the resultant of the gravity load, and delta is the lateral displacement (refer to Figure 100-7). In simple terms, P-delta is the effect of gravity pulling the structure over as it moves laterally during the pushover. As a structure moves laterally, the center of gravity (CG) is also moved laterally due to the displaced shape of the platform. This causes an eccentricity between the original CG location and the displaced CG location. This eccentricity, combined with the resultant gravity load, results in an overturning moment at the base of the platform. The larger the lateral displacement, the larger the overturning moment will be. In other words, as a structure is displaced laterally, it tends to “pull itself over” and at some point will topple due to the moment caused by P-delta. In structural analysis terms, P-delta is called “large deformation theory”, is available in most ULS programs, and is applied on a member by member basis in order to determine the global effect on the platform. P-delta can, however, lead to numerical instability, especially as the displacements in the pushover become larger. P-delta is not normally used for the design of new platforms.

Fig. 100-7

P-Delta Effect—Note that displacements are exaggerated to more clearly show the P-delta effect.

P

Delta
Delta

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

[BookTitle]

The P-delta effect is created as the platform moves laterally, creating an eccentricity (delta) between the platform's original center of gravity and the CG of the displaced shape. The result is an overturning moment that increases with displacement (hence, the nonlinear effect) and tends to pull the platform over.

A platform analyzed with P-delta has a lower capacity (lower ULS) than a platform without P-delta. Effects of P-delta begin to be significant for platforms in water depths greater than approximately 150 ft and should always be used for platforms in water depths greater than 300 ft. Shallow water platforms have little P-delta effect (approximately less than five percent total lateral load), since they are stiff laterally and fail at relatively small lateral displacements (inches), therefore having a small P-delta overturning moment. Deeper water platforms have a large P-delta effect (for example, 10 to 20 percent total lateral load), since they are less stiff laterally and fail at much larger displacements (tens of inches). Likewise, platforms with heavy decks have a large P-delta effect.

  • 160 Ultimate Strength Analysis

    • 161 Pushover Load Approach

This section provides a general description of the pushover approach to determine the platform ULS. The process takes a static snapshot of wind/wave/current acting on the platform and monotonically increases this snapshot until the platform collapses. Vertical gravity and buoyancy loads are held constant through the process. Most ULS programs have an automated process for developing the pushover load profile and for performing the analysis. This is often called “load ramping” or “wave ramping”. The wave ramping term comes from the fact that the wave size is modified (typically ramped up) until the collapse load matches the base shear of the wave.

The process assumes that the ULS computer model is prepared, a quality assurance check has been completed (to be sure that the model matches the drawings and other information like material strengths and topsides loads), and the model is ready for analysis. The discussion also assumes that a single direction is considered, although a pushover is typically run in several directions (as described later). Figure 100-8 provides a convenient summary of the ULS analysis with the key items for each step.

100-29

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

© 2007 Chevron USA Inc. All rights reserved.

October 2007

[BookTitle]

Fig. 100-8

Summary of the Eleven Steps of the ULS Analysis Approach

Step

Description

 

Comments

1

Structural Model—Select an

a.

Typically, the first step in a platform assessment may be a design level check (in accordance with API RP2A, Section 17) using a

existing model or develop a

linear model. This model can often be converted for ULS analysis.

new model for analysis.

b.

An existing model should be verified to ensure that it accurately reflects the drawings, specifications, topsides weight, and current

condition of the platform.

c.

A model may also be developed from scratch specifically for ULS analysis.

2

Gravity and Buoyancy

a.

Gravity dead and live loads should reflect the existing platform configuration, including adjustments for future plans (e.g., new

Loads—Apply gravity, dead,

compression skid).

live, and buoyancy loads.

b.

These loads are held constant during the pushover analysis and are input separately from the metocean loads.

3

Select Metocean

a.

The design wave for the region (e.g., 100 yr) is a good starting point. The associated wind, current, and storm surge need to be

Conditions—Initial estimate of

included.

the metocean conditions that

b.

In the USA, API provides specific criteria (A-1, A-2, and A-3) for assessment of existing platforms that are convenient for the initial

will cause platform failure.

conditions.

4

Develop Pushover Load

a.

Using the initial metocean conditions from Step 1, determine the metocean loads acting on the platform. The load profile is typically

Profile—Develop the load

automatically generated by the software, based upon the maximum base shear as the wave passes the platform.

profile of jacket lateral loads.

b.

The API wave load recipe should be used to determine the metocean loads.

5

Wave in Deck—If necessary,

a.

Determine whether the wave used in the pushover has a crest elevation higher than the bottom of steel of the cellar deck. If so,

determine Wave in Deck loads.

continue with this step. If not, go to Step 6.

b.

Wave in deck load should be computed in accordance with the API simplified (but conservative) procedure and is a function of the

crest elevation, crest kinematics, “silhouette” area of the deck, and the amount of equipment on the deck that blocks the wave from

 

passing.

c.

Wave in deck load is computed separately for each pushover direction.

d.

For simplicity, apply the wave in deck load by equally dividing the total load by the number of legs and adding this amount to each

leg at the cellar deck nodes. If the deck is braced with vertical diagonals from below, the wave in deck load should be applied to the

cellar deck nodes where the wave would first impact.

6

Initial Pushover Loading

a.

A small percentage (e.g., 10%) of the pushover load profile is applied to the platform.

Apply the initial pushover load.

b.

The platform displaces accordingly, and loads are developed in platform members.

c.

The platform response is linear during the initial application of load (in some cases there may be a small nonlinearity due to the

pile-soil p-y nonlinear response).

100-30

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

© 2007 Chevron USA Inc. All rights reserved.

October 2007

[BookTitle]

Fig. 100-8

Summary of the Eleven Steps of the ULS Analysis Approach

Step

Description

Comments

7

Increment Pushover Loads

  • a. The pushover load profile is increased from the initial load in a stepwise manner until the platform collapses (see definition of

Increment the pushover load

collapse in Section 164).

profile until the platform

  • b. The load steps can be large at first, since the platform performs in linear manner (other than some small pile-soil nonlinearity) at

collapses—this is called load

loads below the first member failures.

ramping.

  • c. The load steps should be decreased after the first member failures to provide a more stable solution for the software and

adequately capture the member failure sequence.

  • d. Most software uses an automated load stepping process, but the user should intervene as necessary to improve results and

provide a better understanding of the platform ULS.

8

Preliminary ULS—Determine

  • a. Defined as the maximum base shear acting on the platform during the analysis. The ULS may or may not be at the point of

the preliminary platform ULS by

collapse.

checking the Load Factor.

  • b. The user should determine if the pushover load profile used in the analysis is appropriate by determining the load factor, defined as

the ratio of the ULS to the base shear of the load profile. Ideally, the load factor is equal to 1.0 in a pushover analysis.

  • c. The load factor should be within 20% of 1.0 (e.g., 0.8 to 1.2). Otherwise, the initial metocean conditions used to develop the load

profile are not an accurate representation of the ULS condition. Another concern is if there is wave-in-deck loading.

  • d. If the load factor is in this range, the pushover load condition is reasonably accurate, and there is no wave in deck, proceed to

Step 10. If it is not in this range, proceed to Step 9 to select a new pushover wave profile.

  • e. If there is wave -in -deck and the load factor is less than 1.0, also proceed to Step 9.

9

Iterate Process (as

  • a. The load profile needs to be adjusted down if the load factor is less than 0.8, since the pushover wave is too big. This provides an

necessary)—Iterate the

overly conservative result.

metocean conditions of the load

  • b. The load profile needs to be adjusted up if the load factor is more than 1.2, since the pushover wave is too small. This provides a

profile as necessary—this is

result that is not conservative.

called wave ramping.

  • c. To save time, use a wave height that creates a base shear that is close to the ULS. This can be found by running a few sample

waves past the platform to determine their base shear and then selecting the wave with a base shear that is close to the ULS base shear.

10

Final ULS—Determine the final

  • a. The final ULS capacity is determined once the iterative process has reached a point when the load factor is in the range of 0.8 to

ULS.

1.2.

  • b. For cases with wave in deck, the load factor needs to be in the range of 1.0 to 1.2.

11

Other Directions—Rerun

  • a. The ULS is typically determined for three platform directions: broadside, end-on, and diagonal, depending upon the platform

pushover for other directions.

geometry and symmetry.

  • b. The user must carefully consider the direction of the platform bracing when deciding which directions need to be run. Consider

whether bracing will be placed in tension and compression as these may give a different ULS.

[BookTitle]

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

  • 162 General Process for Pushover Analysis

The general process for a pushover analysis is described by the following 11 steps.

Step 1: Structural Model

The first step in any analysis is to select an existing model or develop a new model to be used for the analysis. An existing model is sometimes available from prior work on the platform or as part of the design level linear assessment check in accordance with API RP2A, Section 17. Such models are almost always linear and will need to be converted to a nonlinear model for ULS analysis. If using a program, such as SACS, the conversion is rather straightforward (refer to SACS users guide). For other software, the conversion may be more cumbersome.

In any case, an existing model should be verified as accurate by ensuring that the:

model reflects the platform configuration in accordance with drawings and specifications;

associated topsides loads (weight and wind area) are correct;

model represents the specific configuration of the platform under study (i.e., current configuration, including any damage, or a future configuration being studied).

Other similar quality assurance checks should also be made as necessary. A new ULS model can also be developed from scratch if there is no existing model available.

Step 2: Apply Gravity (Dead and Live Loads) and Buoyancy Loads

These tests are computed in accordance with Section 151 and applied to the platform at 100 percent in accordance with the first load step, which is separate from the later pushover load steps. These loads are not ramped during the pushover, since they are constant.

Step 3: Select Metocean Conditions for ULS Check

The user needs to make an initial estimate of the metocean conditions that will fail the platform. Since the wave height is the most dominant factor, this is usually the control parameter (wind may control in shallow water less than 50 ft deep). The wave height used to develop the pushover load profile should create a base shear that is reasonably close to the ULS (within 20 percent of the ULS). If not, the pushover profile is not a realistic representation of metocean loads acting on the platform. For example, a 25 ft wave should not be used to develop the pushover load provided, when, in fact, the platform collapse is equal to a 75 ft wave, since the load distribution of forces acting on the platform will be dramatically different for the two waves. The centroid of load for the 25 ft wave would act much lower on the platform than the ce ntroid for the 75 ft wave (therefore putting less overturning moment on the platform), and the ULS will be different. Hence, a 70 ft or 80 ft wave would be a more realistic and acceptable representation in this case. As indicated in Step 9, the user may have to iterate on the pushover wave height, but a reasonable first estimate (as explained in the beginning of this step) can help. It

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

[BookTitle]

usually converges in three attempts. This is called “wave ramping”, since the user is using different wave heights for each pushover.

One convenient method to select the initial load profile is to use the new platform design wave height and associated metocean conditions for a region, such as the 100 yr, since most platforms have an RSR of 1.0 or greater. API RP2A, Section 17, wave heights for the USA are also a convenient starting point. If the platform is designated as A-1, start with the A-1 ultimate strength wave height. The same applies for A-2 and A-3 platforms. In fact, if the platform does not collapse at the point where the pushover profile has a load factor of 1.0 (i.e., it has been applied 100 percent), technically the platform passes the API RP2A, Section 17, ultimate strength check. Once the wave height is selected, the associated wind, current, and storm surge/tide need to be defined.

Step 4: Develop Load Profile of Jacket Lateral Loads

Using the initial metocean condition from Step 1, determine the metocean loads acting on the platform as described in Section 152. Usually the point of the maximum base shear acting on the jacket is used to define the load profile. The maximum overturning moment can also be used as the defining value. This is essentially a static “snapshot” of lateral metocean loads resolved back to the nodes of the platform.

Step 5: Determine Wave in Deck Loads (if applicable)

The user needs to determine if the pushover wave of interest has a crest elevation below or above the BOS of the cellar deck. If the crest elevation is below, there is no need for wave in deck loading for this iteration of the wave height (it may be needed later). If the crest elevation is above, the wave in deck load should be computed separately in accordance with Section 154, in accordance with the amount of crest that extends above the BOS cellar deck. A single, combined lateral load profile should be developed using the Step 4 pushover load profile and the Step 5 wave in deck loads.

The wave in deck loads are most simply applied to jacket by equally dividing the total wave in deck load by the number of legs and adding this amount to each leg at the cellar deck nodes (because the deck is so stiff, it would equally divide the load anyway). If the deck has vertical diagonal bracing below the BOS, the wave in deck force should be applied only to the leg nodes at the cellar deck row first affected by the wave, since the deck may not equally distribute the wave in deck load in this case.

Step 6: Apply Initial Pushover Load

The pushover load profile developed in Step 4 (or Step 5 with wave in deck loads) is applied to the platform on an initial small percentage basis, for example, 10 percent. The platform then displaces accordingly, and loads are developed in the platform members. This is the first step in the pushover analysis and is the initial incremental “ramping” of the load profile acting on the platform.

[BookTitle]

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

Step 7: Increment Combined Loads until Platform Collapse

The software will apply more load in an increasing manner (20, 30, 40 percent, etc.) up to and above a factor of 100 percent until platform collapse. As the load becomes large, components of the platform begin to fail, and the platform incurs a larger displacement for each load increment, since it is no longer acting in a linear manner (it is now nonlinear). This is the reason that the pushover curve begins to flatten out as shown in Figure 100-2, as well as in other example pushover curves in this document.

Most software automates the load ramping process, and the user need only define the number of increments to ramp the load. Some software, such as CAP, have an automated load stopping process that increases or decreases the size of the load steps, depending upon how easily the software is converging to an answer. If there are no or few nonlinearities, for example, at the beginning of the analysis, when small loads act on the platform, the software uses large load increments. If there are a lot of nonlinearities, such as near collapse when there are numerous members failing, the software uses small increments to more adequately seek a stable numerical solution and determine collapse.

Step 8: Determine the Preliminary Platform ULS

The preliminary ULS is defined as the base shear acting on the platform at the point of collapse. Collapse is further defined in Section 164. The load factor is defined as the ratio of the base shear at the time of the ULS to the base shear from the pushover wave (Step 2, Step 3 with wave in deck). This is considered the preliminary ULS, since the pushover wave load profile may or may not match the initial load profile used for the analysis. If the load factor is 0.8 to 1.2, the pushover wave is approximately correct, and there is no need to revise the pushover wave and rerun the analysis. If it is outside these bounds, the pushover wave should be rerun as discussed in Step 9.

If the load factor is greater than 1.0, the ULS wave will have a higher wave crest (than used for the pushover), and there is a chance that this wave crest may affect the deck. This needs to be checked and the pushover rerun if the increased wave height would affect the deck. As previously discussed, wave in deck loading results in a dramatic change in the way the loads are applied to the platform, and this needs to be included in the analysis, even if the load factor is between 1.0 and 1.2. However, if wave in deck loading is already included in the pushover load profile, the result will be acceptable.

Step 9: Iterate Process as Necessary

If the load factor is less than 0.8, the wave load profile should be adjusted to a smaller wave. If the load factor is greater than 1.2, the wave load profile should be adjusted to a larger wave. The next logical wave is one that has the same base shear as the preliminary ULS. The user may have to run a few sample waves past the platform to find a wave with a base shear equal to the ULS. The refinement need not be precise, and whole increments of wave height in feet are adequate (i.e., fractional wave heights, such as 72.3 ft, are not necessary; 73 ft would be adequate).

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

[BookTitle]

Step 10: Determine the Final Platform ULS

The final ULS capacity is determined once the iterative process has reached a point when the load factor is approximately 0.8 to 1.2, since further refinement of the pushover wave does not result in significant changes in the ULS.

Step 11: Rerun Pushover for Other Directions

Usually, a pushover does not always have to be run in all directions for the platform. The user should take advantage of platform symmetry, and only three or four directions may need to be run. These are typically the two orthogonal and the diagonal direction. An additional case may be needed to align the platform with the maximum expected wave direction or some other platform geometry consideration. The need to run a pushover only in one of each of the platform perpendicular directions assumes forward-backward symmetry. In other words, no matter which direction the pushover is run, the ULS is the same. This is not always the case, and the user should look carefully at the direction of the platform bracing. If one direction puts all of the braces in compression and the other in tension, the ULS will be different, and a pushover needs to be run for each direction. Note that directionality of waves does not influence the ULS of the platform. Rather, it influences the RSR and other similar platform performance metrics (refer to Section 170).

  • 163 Dynamic Effects

Dynamic effects need to be included for certain types of platforms. This includes deepwater structures in water depth greater than 300 ft and some damaged structures.

Deepwater Structures

Deepwater structures are defined within API RP2A as requiring dynamics to be considered. Simple single degree of freedom approaches can be used to estimate a dynamic amplification factor (DAF), based upon the platform’s natural period, which should be applied to the static base shear for the reference loads, such as the API RP2A, Section 17, A-1 or A-2 base shear requirement. The natural period of these structures is typically greater than three seconds. For example, a typical DAF may be 1.1 to 1.2 for a 400 ft water platform.

The DAF is not applied to the pushover load. It is instead used to adjust the reference level base shear upward, such as that created when using the A-1, A-2, or 100 yr wave. This, in turn, lowers the RSR for the platform. More sophisticated dynamic analysis approaches are available, but the simple DAF approach is adequate for most cases.

Shallow Water Structures

A shallow water damaged platform can also become “dynamic” if it has broken braces across several vertical bays. The net result can be a significant loss of lateral resistance in one of the platform’s major directions, with lateral resistance provided primarily by portal action of the legs. If this occurs, the user should determine a

[BookTitle]

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

DAF for the platform in the damaged state, and this should be applied to the reference load (e.g., A-1 or A-2 base shear). Dynamic effects should be considered if the damaged platform’s natural period is three seconds or greater. Damaged platforms that may have a dynamic issue are often those that are reported as “moving”, even in small seas after the storm has passed. Refer to Figure 100-14 for an example of how the DAF can be incorporated into the ULS results.

  • 164 Collapse Definition

The specific reason for the collapse of the platform should be defined and rationalized for each pushover analysis. In most cases, the collapse can be traced to failure mechanisms that occur in the jacket/deck or that occur in the foundation piles. A good understanding of the collapse mechanism and the fact that it makes sense for the loads applied provides an initial quality assurance of the overall results. However, as discussed previously and shown in Figure 100-2, the collapse load may not always be the ULS. The ULS is the maximum load that the platform is able to withstand prior to collapse.

Collapse occurs when one or more locations in the platform are no longer able to resist the applied vertical or lateral loads. For example, the deck legs fail due to large bending loads causing plastic hinging at the top of jacket due to large wave in deck loads. Another example is multiple members failing at the same leg joint, which leaves the platform without the ability to carry lateral loads in that region. However, collapse modes are not always apparent and are more of a mixed mode type with multiple members and or piles failing all at once. The primary collapse modes are defined in the following four subsections.

Jacket Failure

There can be failure of the bracing or legs (including deck legs) such that the jacket can no longer support vertical loads. In most cases, it takes multiple failures of the braces to collapse the jacket, due to the redundant framing. Refer to Figure 100-9 as an example of K brace failure in the jacket controlling the platform ULS.

Pile Axial Failure

A pullout or plunge of piles due to inadequate pile axial capacity along the pile-soil interface and at the pile tip results in pile axial failure. Refer to Figure 100-10 for an example of pile lateral failure (double hinging) controlling the platform ULS.

Pile Lateral Failure

A bending failure of the piles below the mudline caused by weak piles or soft soils (or a combination) results in pile lateral failure. This is sometimes in the form of a single bending or “hinging” of the piles. In other cases, it is double hinging of a pile or piles. Refer to Figure 100-10 for an example of pile axial failure controlling the platform ULS.

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

[BookTitle]

Combination

In many cases, a combination of jacket failure, pile axial failure, and pipe lateral failure occurs almost simultaneously near collapse, and it is difficult to determine that one or the other is the specific cause of failure.

Fig. 100-9

Jacket Failure Controlling ULS During Pushover—Metocean load is acting from left to right. The colored braces indicate member nonlinearity, with red being the largest. Red arrows identify the buckled braces in the middle figure. The sequence of buckled K braces in the transverse direction is the collapse mechanism.

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms [BookTitle] Combination In many cases, a combination

A common problem in defining collapse is that the platform displaces a considerable distance laterally (several feet) and has not yet failed. Such large displacements are typically the result of analytical aspects of the analysis and are not true representations of the likely field performance of the platform. For typical four leg to eight leg fixed platforms in water depths up to 300 feet, any results that have lateral deck displacements more than two ft (24 in.) should be viewed with caution. Deeper water structures and tripods or other slender platforms may have larger displacements, but care should be taken in QA of results.

  • 165 Quality Assurance (QA) of Results

QA of nonlinear ULS type models is more difficult than for the more common linear models. For a linear model, once the general computer modeling problems

[BookTitle]

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

Fig. 100-10

Pile Failure Controlling ULS During Pushover—The figure on the left shows a lateral pile failure when a double hinge occurs below the mudline. The figure on the right shows an axial pile failure by a combination of piles plunging and pullout.

[BookTitle] 100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms Fig. 100-10 Pile Failure Cont rolling

(such as node fixities) have been worked out of linear platform models, as used for new platform design, the element force and displacement relationships are gener- ally correct. There may be problems due to inaccuracies in deck loadings or member sizing, as compared to the platform drawings, but these are typical problems faced by every developer of platform models.

With a linear model, an applied force in one direction generally results in displacement in that direction and “linear” displacements of the platform. This can be seen in Figure 100-2, whereas load is applied up to Fyield, the resulting displacement is linear. There may be some slight curve to the response due to the nonlinear pile-soil foundation, but it is generally linear and is more easily verified. If the response is not linear, there is a problem with the platform model.

Nonlinear analysis is much more difficult to determine if the results are correct. This is because it almost always gives some sort of answer—but is it correct? Users will often just determine the platform capacity and not pay attention to the platform collapse mechanism, when, in fact, understanding the collapse mechanism is the

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

[BookTitle]

most important part of the QA process. At a minimum, the user should QA the following situations as defined in the next five subsections:

  • 1. Platform Collapse,

  • 2. Platform Member Failure Sequence Prior to Collapse,

  • 3. Platform Displacements,

  • 4. Stress Strain Relationships in the Failed Members, and

  • 5. Sensitivity Checks Confirm Results.

Platform Collapse

This is probably the most direct QA. If the failure mode is in the jacket, the associated failed braces should be slender and thin walled and likewise for piles that fail laterally. Piles that fail due to axial loads are generally in soft soils and/or shallow penetration. Alternatively, the deck loads may be very heavy. Platforms that fail at the brace joints should be ones with no or very thin joint cans. The user needs to absolutely have a good understanding of the platform collapse mechanism and the physical reason why.

Platform Member Failure Sequence Prior to Collapse

Proper pushover analysis results in initial member failures followed by load redistribution to alternate load paths. The resulting member failure sequences should make sense. The members should fail in the expected order. This cannot always be determined in all cases, but an attempt should be made nonetheless.

Platform Displacements

The platform that is being pushed in the longitudinal direction should move in that plane, and there should be very little motion out of plane in the transverse direction. This seems simple, but a fixed node or load that is applied out of plane during the ramping process can easily twist the platform. An out of plane motion should be investigated and the cause rationalized. Out of plane and twisting motions of the jacket typically only occur near collapse as multiple members have failed. The platform displaced shape throughout the pushover and especially near collapse should be scrutinized. Animations should be used where available. Review of the displaced platform shape is often the most informative QA procedure but is often the most overlooked.

Stress Strain Relationships in the Failed Members

Review of the loads and displacements of the individual members that become nonlinear in the pushover should be reviewed to ensure that the members are acting as assigned. For example, the axial loads at which the most critical braces buckle in the pushover should be hand checked against simple formulas in API or AISC. The hand checks should be reasonably close to the buckling loads in the computer model. The maximum pile top axial load at failure (if the foundation fails) should be checked against the pile compression and tension capacity curves typically available in the associated geotechnical reports.

[BookTitle]

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

Sensitivity Checks Confirm Results

Additional sensitivity analyses should be run to assist in confirming results. One method is to increase the wall thickness of the members controlling collapse. This should result in an increase in ULS or a switch to an alternative collapse mode. If it does not, the suspected collapse mechanism is not likely correct.

170

Results

171

General

There are several key types of results that should be shown, including the relevant acceptance criteria. These are discussed in this section. Figure 100-11 shows the eight leg, 150-ft water depth ULS platform model used to demonstrate the example results.

Fig. 100-11

Example Platform Used to Show Pushover Results—Typical ULS model of Gulf of Mexico platform with eight legs in 150-ft water depth

[BookTitle] 100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms Sensitivity Checks Confirm Results Additional sensitivity

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

[BookTitle]

  • 172 Pushover Curve

In this document, a plot of the pushover load applied to the platform as a function of the deck displacement, as previously shown in Figure 100-2 and as shown in Figure 100-12, is for an actual platform. The associated pushover load can alternatively be determined as the resistance base shear at the mudline. The form of the curve is linear initially until member failures begin to occur (K braces fail in this example), and the curve flattens until the platform collapses. Refer to Section 121 for a detailed description of a pushover curve.

Fig. 100-12

Example Pushover Curve

Base Shear (kip) 5 0 10 15 30 50 35 20 25 45 40 K-Brace Failures
Base Shear (kip)
5
0
10
15
30
50
35
20
25
45
40
K-Brace Failures
1000
2000
3000
4000
5000
Ultimate Capacity Curve
from Pushover Analysis
Collapse
Platform
ULS
0

Deck Displacement (in)

  • 173 Platform ULS

This is the maximum base shear that the platform can sustain at collapse. This specific ULS value is used to judge adequacy of the platform and to compute the RSR.

  • 174 Reference Level Loads

These loads are not specifically an output of the ULS analysis but instead are computed to help evaluate the ULS results. These are the specific load acting in the platform for different types of reference design conditions, such as the 100 yr storm used for many platform designs. These values are used to measure the adequacy of the platform as determined by the ULS capacity, either as a direct comparison (e.g., the ULS is higher than the API A-1 requirement) or as a ratio measure, such as the RSR. They are computed separately from the ULS and are simply the base shear

[BookTitle]

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

acting on the platform for the associated metocean conditions. Typical reference level loads include:

100 Year Storm Base Shear

This is the same as the API L-1 high consequence category and is used to compute the RSR. There are also L-2 medium and L-3 low consequence categories. Caution is suggested in direct comparison of the ULS to any of these conditions as they represent design wave heights, applicable when the appropriate factors of safety are used. There are no factors of safety considered in a ULS analysis.

API Existing Platform Ultimate Strength Conditions

A-1, High Consequence, Full Population Hurricane

A-2, Medium Consequence, Sudden Hurricane

A-3, Low Consequence, Winter Storm

Reference level loads can be presented in a table with numerical values or in the pushover plots directly (or both). Figure 100-13 through Figure 100-15 show results for the example platform where the API RP2A, Section 17, values are shown. In this case, the platform is categorized as A-2 and passes the assessment, since its capacity is higher than the A-2 ultimate strength requirement. It is also helpful to put the associated wave heights on the reference level loads as noted in order to provide a physical meaning to the load levels. This type of presentation works well, in that it provides a sense of how close (or how far) a platform is from these reference levels.

Fig. 100-13

Pushover Curve with Reference Level Loads Indicated

2000 5 0 10 15 30 50 35 20 40 45 25 Base Shear (kip) 1000
2000
5
0
10
15
30
50
35
20
40
45
25
Base Shear (kip)
1000
K-Brace Failures
3000
4000
5000
from Pushover Analysis
Ultimate Capacity Curve
Collapse
Platform
ULS
A-1 Full Population Storm Base Shear (Wave Ht = 67 ft )
A-2 Sudden Hurricane Base Shear (Wave Ht = 56 ft )
A-3 Winter Storm Base Shear (Wave Ht = 47 ft )
0

Deck Displacement (in)

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

[BookTitle]

  • 175 RSR

RSR has been previously defined as the ratio of the ULS to the 100 yr storm condition base shear. A specific minimum target RSR (e.g., 1.5) is often the goal. Similar to the reference level loads, the acceptable RSR may also be shown on the pushover plot as a horizontal line.

  • 176 Identification of Collapse Mechanism

General

The predicated collapse mechanism for the platform should be described.

Primary Collapse Mechanism

As noted in Section 164, there are three primary types of collapse mechanisms:

  • 1. Jacket Failure—Failure of the bracing or legs in the jacket such that it can no longer support vertical loads.

  • 2. Pile Axial Failure—Pullout or plunge of the piles due to inadequate pile axial capacity of the soils.

  • 3. Pile Lateral Failure—A bending failure of the piles below the mudline caused by weak piles or soft soils (or a combination).

Combined Collapse Mechanism

A combination of the primary collapse mechanisms occurs almost simultaneously near collapse.

  • 177 Graphic Sequence of Platform Collapse

Figure 100-14 shows an example of the progressive collapse of a platform. These images improve the understanding of the collapse mode and provide additional QA of results, as the failure sequence should make sense. For example, unexplained movement of the jacket, such as twisting as it collapses (assuming that symmetric loads are applied and the jacket is symmetric), means that there may be an error in the computer model. Some software programs also provide the collapse as an animated file that is similarly useful.

  • 178 Identification of Critical Platform Members

The initial failure of one or two braces or other platform members usually begins the collapse sequence. These members should be identified, and an explanation should be apparent that these members are the first to fail. For example, these members may be undersized, or they may be the main members for load transfer, such as the deck legs, if there is wave in deck. This assists in the QA of the results, as there should be a reasonable explanation why these members failed first. This type of information can be used to develop underwater inspection plans, as these critical members can be checked during future inspections to be sure that they are

[BookTitle]

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

still in good condition. However, for some platforms, there are several simultaneous jacket and or pile failures, and it can be difficult to determine the exact member failure sequence, but even in these cases, the members or piles that are failing should make sense.

  • 179 Damaged and Repaired Capacities

The effect of damage to a platform can be determined by comparing the ULS without the damage and with the damage. This can be done by direct comparison of the ULS numerical values, including on a percent basis, such as a 25 percent reduction in capacity. Alternatively, it can be done graphically by comparing the pushover curve for the undamaged or “intact” as built condition with the damaged condition, as shown in Figure 100-14. In this case, the damaged platform barely meets the A-3 criteria. Note also that the controlling collapse mode changes from K brace failures to a lower vertical diagonal (VD) brace failure, due to the damage, which changes the load path in the platform. Conversely, a comparison of the damaged and repaired platform ULS can be made, although, in this case, it is a gain in strength due to the repair. The repair is seen to return the platform to its original pushover curve and, hence, ULS. If the damage to the platform results in a dynamic effect and resulting DAF, as described in Section 163, the reference level loads should be increased by the DAF. For example, Figure 100-14 shows the adjusted A-3 condition assuming a 15 percent increase for DAF. In this case, the damaged platform no longer meets the A-3 requirement.

  • 1710 Change in Capacity due to Additional Gravity Loading

This includes the addition of topside weight, e.g., additional process packages or a new drill rig that is heavier than the original design. These additional loads need to be checked for local structural support in the deck areas, such as local beams, bracing, and stiffeners, but they should also be evaluated for the global load on the platform. These additional weights often do not make a large change to the ULS, since lateral loading generally controls the ULS. However, if the jacket failure mode is pile axial plunging, these can reduce the ULS, as the additional vertical loads reduce the amount of available pile axial resistance that can be used to resist lateral loading.

  • 1711 Change in Capacity due to Additional Lateral Loading

This includes primarily the addition of conductors or risers that increase the lateral loading on the platform. Other items that can change the lateral load are new boat landings, barge bumpers, or other items near the water line, but these generally have a lesser effect than conductors and risers. In most cases, these ties do not change the ULS but instead change the reference load acting on the platform that is used to determine if the platform is acceptable. Figure 100-15 shows how the addition of two conductors to the platform does not decrease the capacity of the platform but instead increases the A-2 reference load acting on the platform. In this case, the platform has gone from being acceptable to being unacceptable by the addition of the conductors.

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

[BookTitle]

Fig. 100-14 Presentations of Pushover Results for Repair of a Damaged Platform—The repaired platform is shown
Fig. 100-14
Presentations of Pushover Results for Repair of a Damaged Platform—The repaired platform is shown to
actually improve the platform ULS to a higher level than its original as built configuration. In this case, the repair
includes strengthening of several weak joints that caused premature failure of the jacket, and this increases the
overall platform ULS. The platform was damaged in hurricane Katrina in 2005.
A-1 Full Population Storm Base Shear (Wave Ht = 67 ft )
5000
A-2 with Two New Conductors
ULS
Platform
Repaired
Collapse
4000
K-Brace Failures
A-2 Sudden Hurricane Base Shear (Wave Ht = 56 ft )
3000
Ultimate Capacity Curve
from Pushover Analysis
Damaged
A-3 base shear using D.A.F.
A-3 Winter Storm Base Shear (Wave Ht = 47 ft )
2000
Lower VD Brace
1000
0
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
Deck Displacement (in)
Fig. 100-15
Increase in Reference Load by the Addition of Two Conductors—In this example, the two additional
conductors increase the A-2 base shear above the ultimate capacity.
Base Shear (kip)
4000 5 0 10 15 30 50 35 20 25 45 40 Base Shear (kip) 1000
4000
5
0
10
15
30
50
35
20
25
45
40
Base Shear (kip)
1000
2000
3000
Lower VD Brace
5000
Ultimate Capacity Curve
from Pushover Analysis
Collapse
Damaged
Repaired
ULS
Platform
A-1 Full Population Storm Base Shear (Wave Ht = 67 ft )
A-2 Sudden Hurricane Base Shear (Wave Ht = 56 ft )
A-3 Winter Storm Base Shear (Wave Ht = 47 ft )
A-3 base shear using D.A.F.
A-2 with Two New Conductors
0
K-Brace Failures

Deck Displacement (in)

[BookTitle]

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

1712 Specific Member Information

The specific member force deformation relationships for critical members should be as expected. For example, long slender members should buckle, and the legs should fail in bending. Plotting and review of this information for critical members to ensure that the failure mode is correct, as well as the member buckling at the proper load, are critical steps in QA of the results. If the ULS analysis is being done for a repair, the loads acting in the members at collapse can be used for the design of a replacement member.

  • 180 Select References 181

Codes

  • 1. API RP2A-LRFD, “Recommended Practice for Planning, Design and Constructing Fixed Offshore Platforms—Load and Resistance Factor Design”, 1st Edition, July, 1993.

  • 2. API RP2A-WSD, “Recommended Practice for Planning, Design and Constructing Fixed Offshore Platforms”, 21st Edition, Errata and Supplement 2, October 2005.

  • 3. API RP2SIM. This API publication is pending and is under development by the Joint Industry Project, “Recommended Practice for Structural Integrity Management (SIM) of Fixed Offshore Platforms”, MSL Services Corporation, Final Report, 2007.

  • 4. DTI, United Kingdom Department of Trade and Industry—Commercial Code of Practice.

  • 5. FEMA 356, “Pre-standard and Commentary for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings”, November 2000. Federal Emergency Management Agency.

  • 6. ISO 19901-2. Specific requirements for offshore structures—Part 2: Seismic design procedures and criteria.

  • 7. ISO/CD 19902, Draft E June 2004, International Standards Organization, Petro- leum and Natural Gas Industries—Offshore Structures—Part 2: Fixed Steel Structures.

  • 8. NPD, Norwegian Petroleum Directorate—Resource Management Regulations.

  • 9. Digre, K.A., Puskar, F.J., Aggarwal, R.K., Irick, J.T., Kreiger, W.F. and Petrauskas, C.; “Modification to and Applications of the Guidelines for Assessment of Existing Platforms Contained in Section 17.0 of API RP2A”. Proceedings 27th Offshore Technology Conference, OTC No. 7779, May 1995.

100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

[BookTitle]

  • 182 Assessment of Existing Platforms

    • 1. Bea, R.G., Puskar, F.J., Smith, C., and Spencer, J.S.; “Development of AIM (Assessment, Inspection, Maintenance) Programs for Fixed and Mobile Platforms”, Proceedings 20th Offshore Technology Conference, OTC No. 5703, May 1988.

    • 2. Kreiger, W.F., Banon, H., Lloyd, J.R., De, R.S., Digre, K.A., Nair, Dl, Irick, J.T., Guynes, S.J.; “Process for Assessment of Existing Platforms to Determine Their Fitness for Purpose”, Proceedings 26th Offshore Technology Conference, OTC No. 7482, May 1994.

    • 3. Petrauskas, C., Finnigan, T.D., Heideman, J.C., Vogel, M., Santala, M., and Berek, G.P.; “Metocean Criteria/Loads for Use in Assessment of Existing Offshore Platforms”, Proceedings 26th Offshore Technology Conference, OTC No. 7484, May 1994.

    • 4. Puskar, F.J. and Spong, R.E., “Assessment of Fixed Offshore Platform Performance in Hurricanes Andrew, Lili and Ivan”, Energo Engineering, Inc., Final Report, January 2006.

    • 5. Stewart, G., Moan, T., Amdahl, J., and Eide, O.I.; “Nonlinear Re-Assessment of Jacket Structures Under Extreme Cyclic Storm Loading - Part I: Philosophy and Acceptance Criteria”, Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering Conference, Glasgow, 1993.

    • 6. Stewart, G., and Troman, P.S. “Nonlinear Re-Assessment of Jacket Structures Under Extreme Cyclic Storm Loading—Part II: Representative Environmental Loading Histories”, Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering Conference, Glasgow, 1993.

  • 183 Overall Platform Modeling for ULS

    • 1. API RP2A-LRFD for CRC formula for buckling capacity of tubular members.

    • 2. Bouwkamp, J.G., “The Effects of Joint Flexibility on the Response of Offshore Towers”, Proceedings 12th Offshore Technology Conference, OTC No. 3901, May 1980.

    • 3. Kallaby, J., Lee, G., Crawford, C., Light, L., Dolan, D., Chen, J.H.; “Structural Assessment of Existing Platforms”, Proceedings 26th Offshore Technology Conference, OTC No. 7483, May 1994.

    • 4. SSRC, Structural Stability Research Council, “Guide to Stability Design Criteria for Metal Structures”, Latest Edition, http://campus.umr.edu/ssrc/html/guide.htm.

  • [BookTitle]

    100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

    190

    Terminology

    The following acronyms and definitions are used in this document. Most are common industry terms. Some are used solely as a matter of convenience in this document.

    • 191 Acronyms

    AISC—American Institute of Steel Construction

    BOS—Bottom of Steel (Typically used in the definition of the deck elevation as the lowest point of the cellar deck beams [bottom flange].)

    CES—Chevron Engineering Standards CG—Center of Gravity DAF—Dynamic Amplification Factor DLE—Design Level Approach DOE—Department of Energy JIP—Joint Industry Project MMS—Minerals Management Service (The USA regulator of offshore platforms.) NPD—Norwegian Petroleum Directorate QA—Quality Assurance

    RP—Return Period (Used to define the recurrence interval of metocean conditions, e.g., 100 yr RP waves.)

    RSR—Reserve Strength Ratio (Computed as the ratio of the ULS capacity to the load acting on the platform for the 100 yr storm.)

    SSRC—Structural Stability Research Council (Provides information on the ultimate strength of structural members.) ULS—Ultimate Limit Strength (The capacity of the platform at collapse.) UT—Ultrasonic Testing VD—Vertical Diagonal WD—Water Depth

    • 192 Definitions

    Cellar Deck—The lowest major deck on the platform that typically extends between the platform legs. See API RP2A for an expanded detailed definition.

    Change of Use—A formal API definition related to a platform that is modified such that its primary use has changed. For example, a drilling platform that becomes a hub for deepwater pipelines.

    100 Ultimate Limit Strength (ULS) of Fixed Offshore Platforms

    [BookTitle]

    Elastic—The displacement of a structure in a linear manner for each applied load increment. For elastic behavior, the platform will return to its original position prior to load application.

    Inelastic—The unequal displacement of a structure for each applied load increment. For inelastic behavior, the platform will not return to its original position prior to load application but will instead have a permanent deformation. Also known as material nonlinearity.

    Load Factor—Ratio of the ULS to the base shear of the wave used to generate the pushover profile (including wave in deck loads).

    Nonlinear—The response of a structure to applied loads that results in unequal displacement in accordance with each equal load increment. Ca used by inelastic (material nonlinearity) and/or P-delta effects (geometric nonlinearity).

    P-Delta—Overturning effect created by gravity load as the platform is displaced laterally, causing an overturning moment at the mudline, which tends to pull the platform over. Also known as geometric nonlinearity.

    Quality Assurance—The verification of the computer model to ensure that it accurately reflects the platform configuration, topsides loading, current condition (such as damage and marine growth), and other important factors.

    Subcellar Deck—A small deck located beneath the cellar deck. Sometimes called a spider deck.

    Ultrasonic Testing—The use of acoustic waves to determine the thickness of members. This can be used to determine the leg wall thickness. UT will show a thicker leg if the leg-pile is grouted.

    Wave in Deck—A special case of extreme waves with a crest elevation that is higher than the BOS of the cellar deck.