Floating production, storage and offloading systems (FPSOs) have been widely used for the development of offshore oil and gas fields because of their attractive features. They are mostly ship- shaped, either converted from existing tankers or purposely built, and the hull structural scantling design for tankers may be applicable to FPSOs. However, FPSOs have their unique characteristics. FPSOs are sited at specific locations with a dynamic loading that is quite different from those arising from unrestricted service conditions. The structures are to be assessed to satisfy the requirements of all in-service and pre-service loading conditions. The fundamental aspects in the structural assessment of FPSOs are the buckling and ultimate strength behaviors of the plate panels, stiffened panels and hull girders. The focus of this paper is to address the buckling and ultimate strength criteria for FPSO structures. Various aspects of the criteria have been widely investigated, and the results of the design formulae proposed in this paper have been compared to a very extensive test database and numerical results from nonlinear finite element analysis and other available methods. The procedures presented in this paper are based on the outcomes of a series of classification society projects in the development of buckling and ultimate strength criteria and referred to the corresponding classification society publications.

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