Bureau Veritas expanding hull condition analysis service

VeriSTAR system has given Bureau Veritas an important foothold in the floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel inspection market.

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VeriSTAR is used on the recently installed Triton FPSO.
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VeriSTAR system has given Bureau Veritas an important foothold in the floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel inspection market. During 1999, BV classed the world's largest FPSO, the 343,000 dwt floater for the Girassol development, built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Korea. That brought its share of the inspection market for FPSOs and other floating installations to over 20%. "We believe that the user-friendliness of the VeriSTAR family has been a major part of our success with FPSOs," says Philip Lanternier, Senior Vice President and head of BV's Energy and Process division.

Another recent FPSO success is the contract to provide asset integrity management and the VeriSTAR Hull database for Canada's Terra Nova alliance (in association with BV-owned ATL Consulting). BV will manage the pre-operational phase and provide technical assistance services for the Terra Nova FPSO delivered from Korea in early 2000.

BV has also won the certification and classification contract for a 114,000 dwt FPSO and two platforms for the Wen Chang project, the first operated by China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to be built in China with full Chinese funding. This means that of four Chinese oilfields now under development, Bureau Veritas is certifying three.

Under another recent contract, Wood Group Engineering and Amerada Hess have opted for VeriSTAR to provide a Hull Condition Management system for the recently installed Triton FPSO. This vessel is moored in the Bittern and West Guillemot fields in the Central North Sea. A complete hull and stability database has been prepared for the vessel. The system will monitor hull condition against design standards, maintain inspection records throughout the vessel's life, and form part of the 24-hour, 365-day emergency response service that BV will provide for the Triton FPSO.

The Triton system is similar to the hull condition management system put in place for BP's Schiehallion FPSO, west of Shetland. "VeriSTAR is so easy to use that operators can apply it as a daily tool to monitor hull condition and maintenance needs," says Lanternier.

Rules update

The VeriSTAR family of software tools was launched in 1996. Today it comprises VeriSTAR Hull, a module which delivers hull design and modeling facilities with a graphic interface, and VeriSTAR Info, which is a real time information and status system. VeriSTAR Machinery and VeriSTAR Chemicals are additional modules applicable to merchant shipping.

VeriSTAR Hull was updated last year as part of a major project to update BV's Rules. Bureau Veritas Rules 2000 are founded on the guiding principle of increasing lifecycle safety in a cost-effective way. This is achieved as follows:

  • At the design stage, through the introduction of new or improved requirements concerning the structural integrity of the ship and also some systems which play an important role in the overall safety of the ship, such as the communication system.
  • During the construction phase, with the introduction into the rules of shipbuilding standards for the construction of the majority of structural details encountered in practice.
  • During the life of the ship in service, giving requirements for the permissible loss of thickness, corrosion protection, and incorporating two additional class notations STAR Hull and STAR Machinery, recognizing a high level of ship's maintenance.

These additional class notations introduce a new concept in the way classification societies deal with maintenance assessment, from a reactive approach based solely on surveys to a pro-active approach based on:

  • An initial approval incorporating extensive finite-element calculations (STAR Hull) or risk analysis of all the systems onboard (STAR Machinery)
  • Periodic review of the maintenance plan followed by the owner
  • Learning from experience (history review)
  • Auditing and monitoring of the systems.

A new version of the VeriSTAR software system will be issued in accordance with BV Rules 2000. That means there is only one tool to manage the ship from her design to the end of her life.

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