Recent developments in technology and application has seen the emergence of new floating development applications ranging from large scale gas condensate FPSOs, FLNG, semi-submersibles supporting mega sized gas condensate topsides through to dynamically positioned drill ships.

Traditional safety engineering FPSO approaches developed over the past twenty years that apply to oil developments often do not automatically apply to these new floating applications. Inherent safety risks fundamental to the new application and the associated practical solutions needs to be understood and worked using a first principles approach, and may often result in the implementation of solutions involving counter intuitive philosophies and safety in design practices.

These safety challenges of new floating applications involve engineers, fabricators, operators and certifying agencies and apply across all phases of project implementation.

This paper maps out some of the key challenges and risks associated with the new floating structure applications. It also lays out the need for different thinking not only in the design process, but also in fabrication, testing and certification phases.

Also addressed is the requirement for industry participation, as the ever increasing pressure for fast track project implementation continues in a situation where the oil and gas industry will be solving many first of a kind applications.

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