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Hurricanes Agitate a Decade of Tranquil Waters

Offshore units are often exposed to severe weather events such as hurricanes and loop currents. ABS, based on experience with classing and certifying a large number of these units, has verified that some of the events may cause failures that compromise the structural integrity of the units.

After 2004-2008 with hurricanes such as Rita, Ike and Ivan, the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) has since maintained a relatively quiet decade without severe weather-induced disasters to offshore structures. Fast forward to 2017, and offshore structures in the GoM have experienced a formidable hurricane season highlighted by menacing Hurricane Harvey.

When facing incoming severe tropical storms and hurricanes, it is common for offshore production facilities to activate their operational shut-down and crew evacuation procedures to protect their crew. Facilities are exposed to treacherous conditions due to surging waves, whipping winds and torrential rains, especially in the direct path of the storm. Once crews return to offshore units, operators and lessees can identify major damages and structural failures. Historically, we have seen cranes and drilling derricks with compromised structural integrity and major visible failures. 

 

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Offshore units are often exposed to severe weather events such as hurricanes and loop currents. ABS, based on experience with classing and certifying a large number of these units, has verified that some of the events may cause failures that compromise the structural integrity of the units.

After 2004-2008 with hurricanes such as Rita, Ike and Ivan, the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) has since maintained a relatively quiet decade without severe weather-induced disasters to offshore structures. Fast forward to 2017, and offshore structures in the GoM have experienced a formidable hurricane season highlighted by menacing Hurricane Harvey.

When facing incoming severe tropical storms and hurricanes, it is common for offshore production facilities to activate their operational shut-down and crew evacuation procedures to protect their crew. Facilities are exposed to treacherous conditions due to surging waves, whipping winds and torrential rains, especially in the direct path of the storm. Once crews return to offshore units, operators and lessees can identify major damages and structural failures. Historically, we have seen cranes and drilling derricks with compromised structural integrity and major visible failures.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Luiz Feijo is the Director of Projects, Offshore, and Corporate Offshore Account Managers at ABS.   

 

 

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