In certain geographical areas, FPSO propulsion machinery is increasingly becoming important as well as more complex, when retained in a minority of converted FPSO projects. FPSO propulsion could be retained with an aim to avoid weather conditions or re-positioning requirements. Tighter schedules, distance from shore, anticipated environmental conditions and crew availability onboard, demand that when the FPSO retains propulsion, it should be reliable, economic in operation and maintainable by a small number of crew and in the shortest time possible. Since most FPSOs are converted from existing tanker vessels, it is more than likely that its propulsion will be a conventional low speed diesel engine with a single shaft. This paper presents a systematic approach for the conduct of a reliability analysis for one such propulsion case. The paper discusses available analysis methods, discusses challenges and value of a qualitative analysis and introduces a step by step systematic qualitative analysis approach, with examples. Although a specific case is discussed, the approach can be applied to other cases as well.

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