Construction of the first steel jacket-type offshore structure began in 1947, in shallow water, in the Gulf of Mexico. Both design and installation techniques have progressed to the point that a fixed platform now stands in a water depth of over 300 meters.

By today's standards, the early design calculations were rather crude. As electronic computers became available, more sophisticated analysis tools were developed. Still further enhancements have been developed in design technology to take into account the dynamic characteristics of both the load application and the structural response. Parallel improvements have also been made in the construction engineering phase of design which insures that the installation can be safely performed as planned. Improvements in fabrication and installation capability have kept pace with the developments in design technology. New, "third generation", large capacity derrick barges and pile hammers as well as construction techniques are now available which make the installation of large structures in rough water a routine procedure.

In all previously developed offshore areas, the fixed platform has proven to be the most dependable and efficient support for drilling and production operations. There is no reason why similar structures cannot be equally successful in the offshore waters surrounding the People's Republic of China.

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