The first five years of the "Certification" scheme applicable in British waters has now been completed. During this period offshore technology has continued to improve and the development of offshore areas has necessitated the design and construction of more advanced exploration and exploitation units.
Coincidentally the detailed legislative requirements originally defined have been subject to revision as operational experience has been gained and the technology available improved.
The following paper indicates the extent of offshore engineering development in the North Sea area over the past five years, and refers to the detailed legislative requirements now applicable and comments on service failuresencountered.
It is true to say that a major part of the offshore technology available today has emanated from the Gulf of Mexico where approximately thirty years ago the first fixed offshore structure was installed in 7m. of water.
Starting in 1947 there has been steady development in this particular area with over 25 fixed platforms installed each year. In 1967 the first steel jacket was installed in 100 m. of water and subsequently (1979) the Cognacjacket was installed at 310 m. water depth location.
This steel jacket was constructed and installed in three sections. However, jackets are now being designed and constructed for installation in the Gulf of Mexico as single units in 296 m of water.