The mooring world is changing fast and moving past the simple realm of wire, chain, and anchors. In 2019, expect these three topics to take the forefront on the mooring stage:
Mooring Integrity Management:
With the oil prices diving downwards in the last months of 2018, comes a renewed focus from operators towards capital efficiency and cost consciousness. Mooring integrity management plans, including inspection of the mooring system, vessel position and mooring line monitoring, pro-active equipment procurement, and in-time repairs can help meet these needs as they mitigate the risk of potential mooring system failures.
Moving further than a simple inspection and repair plan, new API standards are now in their final phase of development for publication in 2019. They include comprehensive recommendations for mooring integrity management. They advise collecting inspection data, comparing them to a baseline, monitoring environmental and system performance data, and using analytical predictions to manage the mooring system accordingly.
Renewables and Aquaculture:
With the deployment of Hywind Scotland Pilot Park, the world’s first floating wind farm offshore Aberdeen in 2018, floating wind is expected to grow exponentially in 2019. Other floating renewable energy makers of wave and current converters are also making the headlines. Similarly, aquaculture and fish farms are being poised to become the next world’s feeding grounds and they need moorings too. These new industries are gathering the lessons learned from the oil and gas industry when it comes to mooring – water depth, soil, installation methods, economies of scale…
The 21st century is firmly making its way into the mooring world, and with it anything that has to do with data collection and analysis. Electronic tagging of equipment is becoming more prevalent, as is collection of data through mooring tension monitoring equipment (check out the technology from Pulse Monitoring) and underwater inspection equipment. 2018 also saw the launch of new mooring connectors that are much smaller and lighter than before and that can disconnect a drilling rig from its mooring system with the push of a button with improved reliability and at full load (see our new Inter-M Release connector).
With the push for even more cost efficiencies and the development of new mooring applications, we can expect 2019 to be the scene of improved and more adaptable mooring technologies and methods.