InterMoor is the co-author of two papers presented this year at OTC 2017. The show takes place May 1-4  at Houston’s NRG Center.

Mooring System Considerations for Renewable Energy Standards.

OTC 27870 – Copyright 2017, Offshore Technology Conference

Thursday May 4th, 2017 at 2:00pm, Room 606 


A.R. Cribbs and G.R. Kärrsten, InterMoor, Inc.; J.T. Shelton, Delmar Systems, Inc.; R.S. Nicoll, Dynamic Systems Analysis; and W.P. Stewart, Stewart Technology Associates USA


Marine renewables have made great strides in recent years. The IEC, ABS, and DNV GL continue to generate standards and recommended practices in an effort to formulate approved processes as the renewable products make their way offshore and into the market. There are many similarities in some of the processes and designs when compared to oil and gas structures, especially when it comes to moorings. However, many design areas are uniquely related to renewables, even within the same field of energy conversion (e.g. multiple types of wave energy converters). As more renewable systems are installed, the standards will continue to transition from philosophical to more prescriptive recommendations.

One area in which the lines are blurred between oil and gas and renewable industries is mooring systems. The interdependency between the mooring and power generation systems plays a crucial role early in the design phase. Modeling marine energy converters and the mooring system can be complex due the variability of moving parts, and without proper attention, it may be easy to underestimate the loads and fatigue cycles to which moorings will be exposed. Moorings for these structures should incorporate existing standards and recommended practices to ensure safety and reliability. Inspection, maintenance, repair, and replacement should also be considered.

As the renewable industry continues to move forward from scaled prototypes to farms of devices, the oil and gas supply chain will contemplate when to become involved from a financial and resource perspective. However, there are still hurdles within the US authorization bodies like BSEE, BOEM, FERC, NOAA, USCG, etc. to overcome. This paper addresses the existing mooring related standards and delineates areas that need further refinement or conservatism as the renewable industry moves forward with the installation of offshore energy converters.


Improving Reliability of MODU Mooring Systems through Better Design Standards and Practices.

OTC 27697 – Copyright 2017, Offshore Technology Conference

Wednesday May 3rd, 2017 at 9:30am, Room 606


Kai-tung Ma, Chevron; Robert Garrity, Delmar Systems; Kent Longridge, InterMoor; Hongbo Shu, Insight Offshore Consulting, and Aifeng Yao, Shell; Tom Kwan, Kwan Engineering Services


With a goal to improve the overall reliability of moorings used by MODUs (Mobile Offshore Drilling Units), this paper reviews gaps and issues in design standards and operation practices. MODU moorings stay at one location for a short term, compared to tens of years for permanent moorings on production facilities. While the exposure time to the environment is relatively shorter, mobile moorings have been seen to experience a sizable number of failures ironically. Probability of failure has been high on the order of 10-2.

Improving reliability of MODU moorings may be achieved through two sides, i.e. better design standards and more rigorous operation practices. On the design side, there appears to be a lack of clear guidance on designing a mobile mooring system to a proper return period. The gap is prominent especially for moorings in tropical cyclone (aka hurricane or typhoon) areas. Current industry codes and standards do not have a clear guidance on what return period shall be used as a minimum to account for the risk associated with close proximity and failure consequence. Some guidance is provided in API RP-2SK, but it is limited to applications in Gulf of Mexico.

This paper attempts to close the gap by proposing minimum return periods to be used and requiring a quantitative risk assessment (QRA) to justify the numbers for any region with tropical cyclones. Guidance on performing a QRA is provided, and aspects on how to produce trustworthy results are discussed. On the operation practice side, issues and gaps are identified and reviewed. Often times, MODU moorings do not receive a sufficient amount of attention in system design, deployment, inspection, and equipment maintenance. Common issues are summarized to raise awareness and best practices are presented.