The Structural Performance Joint Industry Project (JIP) was initiated to enhance the current understanding and decision making capability for future project teams or current integrity management groups working for operating companies and responsible for managing hull structural integrity for FPSO/FSO type assets. The JIP has collected a comprehensive set of corrosion data, observed fatigue damage as well as coating and repair performance for 10 FPSOs and FSOs currently in operation throughout the world. Geographic regions covered by this representative set of units include the North Sea, West Africa, South America and Asia. While there have been other queries and participant survey type data collection efforts for floating production units, this JIP represents the first wide-ranging and detailed collection and evaluation of FPSO/FSO performance data from the various regions of the world, operating companies as well as for new and converted vessels. Of equal importance, the research has gathered lessons learned and success stories obtained from a review of vessel operations, maintenance/inspection, and repair records as well as interviews with the personnel who know best; the operations staff. In order to better understand hull structural performance, vessel operational data including design and observed environmental conditions, tank loading sequences and service conditions, were also obtained. This information has provided valuable insight into possible factors influencing the structural performance.

This paper presents a brief overview of the project as well as key findings from the collection end evaluation work. Specifically, the paper reports on findings in the following areas:

  • Description of different hull integrity management approaches

  • Observation of most prevalent corrosion and fatigue integrity issues faced by operators today

  • Investigation into contributing factors impacting hull integrity

  • Advice on key items to address during conversion or new construction of FPSO/FSO's

FPSO/FSO operators safely and effectively manage hull structural integrity, generally with minimal impact to operations. However, there is ample evidence from the JIP collection and evaluation effort that hull integrity problems do occur and require actions to be taken covering additional inspection, monitoring, or repair. Most of these decisions are required to be made on-site with minimal or no impact to production, but it can be costly, time consuming and difficult to manage. The JIP provides insight into the preventative measures that have the most impact on these types of problems. The collected experience-based data will facilitate the development of rationalized approaches to the decision-making regarding FPSO design, and inspection.


The popularity of the FPSO/FSO offshore facility is evident in the ever increasing number of operating units and future planned units. As of mid-2004, there were approximately 97 FPSOs operating around the world with another 19 under construction [1]. Furthermore, there are numerous other FPSO/FSO facilities planned or under study for future field developments. Of this fleet of FPSOs, the majority of the vessels are converted from trading tankers, primarily older vintage single hull tankers, but there is an increasing trend for new build FPSOs as tanker conversion candidates become more difficult to obtain.

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