In the past 30 years mooring technology has advanced significantly to meet the challenge for floating drilling and production operations in deeper and deeper water. Many technology advances have been incorporated in industry standards such as API, ISO, ABS, and DNV, etc. This paper will give a high level overview of the past development, status of current standards, and the need and approach for future development. The focus is on design standards, not on component specifications or inspection guidelines.
Firstly this paper will summarize the approaches and resources used in the past for the development of guidance on a few key mooring technologies such as analysis method, mooring component strength and fatigue requirements and specifications, anchor design, spar VIM, and fiber rope mooring, etc. The lessons learned and the effort to provide a harmonized international standard will also be reviewed and discussed.
This paper will then give an overview of current mooring standard status such as API, ISO, etc., with an emphasis on API RP 2SK, which is the most widely used mooring design code in the industry. The latest edition of API RP 2SK is about 10 years old, and significant revision is required to meet the industry needs. Potential major revisions of API RP 2SK and ISO mooring standards will be identified and discussed, and an on-going joint industry effort to address our next frontier, Arctic mooring operations, will also be presented.
Finally this paper will summarize current API and ISO activities for further development of mooring standards and difficulties encountered. Based on past experience, potential approaches and strategy to overcome these difficulties will be presented and discussed. It is hoped that some joint industry effort can be initiated to address this important but very complex and difficult issue.