Technology advancements and business changes are leading operators to look at extending the service life of their offshore facilities. To go beyond the originally approved design life, the operator requires the approval the regulating bodies. To obtain this approval, the operator needs to demonstrate that the facility can be maintained fit-for-service for the new life span. Developing a life extension plan requires careful re-evaluation of the design and new extrapolations of expected future damage mechanisms, including fatigue and corrosion. The challenge is to provide assurance that an old design that has been in an operating environment for a prolonged period will meet future needs and can satisfy demanding new regulations and design criteria.

This need can be answered through life extension studies for complex offshore floating facilities. Work to date has involved structural evaluations and developing rehabilitation and in-service inspection plans to obtain regulatory approvals. This has included developing novel solutions for maintaining structural integrity and controlling corrosion. It has been critical to for the team to develop in-depth understanding of the impact of changing regulations and design criteria and a careful understanding of the structural and material performance issues. Developing enhanced corrosion management plans also has been critical to demonstrating the feasibility and practicality of life extension.

This paper describes the approach taken by ABS Consulting to create practical and effective life extension programs that meet the operator's needs as well as the requirements of the regulatory bodies.

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