New hull design meets ultra-deep challenges

A new hull design proposed by OPE Inc. could be the answer to ultra-deepwater challenges around the world. Nicholaas Vandenworm, vice president of business development, explained the merits of the satellite services platform (SSP) design at the Offshore West Africa conference in Windhoek, Namibia.

A new hull design proposed by OPE Inc. could be the answer to ultra-deepwater challenges around the world. Nicholaas Vandenworm, vice president of business development, explained the merits of the satellite services platform (SSP) design at the Offshore West Africa conference in Windhoek, Namibia.

OPE's hull design is a departure from the traditional ship-shaped hull used in FPSOs. And in its departure, the new design delivers advantages, Vandenworm said.

Among those he enumerated were a simplistic fabrication concept, a scalable hull form, and no restriction for weather criteria. The SSP has improved stability over ship-shaped hulls, better motion characteristics, no fatigue sensitive areas, and does not experience vortex-induced vibration difficulties. "The symmetrical hull form also eliminates the need for a turret system," Vandenworm said.

Another application of the SSP is that it can be used as an early production platform, Vandenworm said. "It's a plug and play solution."

In addition to its performance characteristics, the SSP offers cost efficiency. The symmetrical hull offers 35% steel savings over conventional ship-shaped FPSOs, Vandenworm said.

03/13/03

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