A generic characteristic of the Tension Leg Platform (TLP) concept is the interdependencies between the elements of its design, Ref. 1. For example, a change in deck layout and/or weight can affect the center of gravity, which affects platform dynamics, tether tensions, and so on. An important attribute of the concept is its insensitivity to water depth while providing direct access to wells for maintenance.
TLPs can be configured in a variety of ways to achieve different objectives. Hutton1, Jolliet, and Heidrun are three unique applications of the concept, Ref. 2, Fig. 1. The authors' company has through the design evolution and operation of these units, and through studies of other similar TLP concepts, continued to focus on ways to improve its adaptability in different location, environments, water depths and reservoir sizes. Based on the best practices and lessons learned from the existing developments, the advances in related technologies, and knowledge gained from other studies, an even broader range of cost-effective TLP solutions will be possible in the future.
This paper discusses the similarities and differences in three TLPs and the factors that influenced their evolution and adaptation. The paper also reviews the history of the concept, TLP principles, project and operational learnings from each application, and other adaptations of the TLP concept.