To meet the ever increasing demands for cost and schedule efficiencies in the development of marginal fields it has become necessary to streamline the design process for platforms and employ lean engineering techniques.
The introduction of minimum facilities platforms in conjunction with existing infrastructure or MOPUs has enabled operators to develop marginal assets without the large capital expenditure associated with new permanent production facilities. It has been shown that minimum facilities platforms can be produced at relatively low cost and designed to suit specific fabrication and installation requirements. As a result the popularity of minimum facilities platforms has grown and has heralded a new wave of flexible design solutions for a range of applications and water depths.
The technical challenges involved in the design of minimum facilities platforms include structural strength and fatigue resistance as well as meeting installation constraints. A typical conductor supported minimum facilities platform incorporates topside, conductor legs and a subsea template. Although the external platform loading is dependent on unique local water depth and environmental conditions, the overall platform response is primarily governed in only three ways; topside load, conductor size, conductor free-span. Through the use of pre-qualified designs and methodologies it is therefore possible to quickly develop a range of structural solutions to suit a particular application. This paper explores the potential for a modular approach to minimum facilities platform design with a focus on reducing the cost and schedule for development, fabrication and installation.
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