The paper will first give a brief summary on the technological developments of offshore loading systems and a prediction of future trends and challenges.

Based on previous studies of several different design concepts, the paper will deal with the methods applied in the analysis and factors contributing to the unavailability of offshore loading systems.

The following categories are discussed:

  • Environmental factors limiting the availability of the plant.

  • Structural failures, non-scheduled repairs and inspection.

  • Process system and operational failures and the associated repiar, causing off hire.

The result of the availability analysis will be identification of components and conditions contributing to availability.

It will be shown how the knowledge in turn can be utilized in formulating redundancy and more specific design related criteria and guiding inspection and maintenance during operation. The use of the analysis in evaluating relative value of different design solutions will be discussed.

The last part of the paper will give specific guidance and recommendation on design, fabrication and operation of offshore loading systems based on many years of involvement in ail phases of offshore loading systems, i.e.

  • research

  • conceptual evaluation

  • certification

  • in-service inspection

  • rule and guidance development.

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