The Offshore Mexican hydrocarbons production area is located in the south of the Gulf of Mexico. In this region around 200 platforms and 1800 km of pipelines have been installed, producing 2.1 mmbpd (334 km3/ d) of crude oil and 1100 mmscfpd (31 Mm3/d) of gas.
These facilities suffered the effect of two very strong hurricanes named Roxanne and Opal, on October 12th, 15th, 16th and 17th, 1995. Consequently, the structural integrity and remaining life of those facilities have been assessed, according to API-RP-2A Section 17.
The assessment mentioned before is presented in this paper, involving the following tasks: metocean criteria review, subsea and surface inspection work, and analytical structural simulations.
Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) operates approximately 190 offshore platforms in Campeche Bay, in southern Gulf of Mexico. The total production of the area (around 2 100000 BPD of crude oil and 1100 MMSCFPD of gas) is driven through approximately 1800 km of pipelines that deliver oil and gas for local consumption and heavy crude for exportation. The geographic characteristics of the region makes it less vulnerable to hurricanes, but more exposed to moderate and strong winter storms when compared to the governing environmental conditions in the northern Gulf of Mexico (US area). This derives in milder overall meteorological and oceanographic (metocean) conditions.
Most of the structures installed in Campeche Bay are conventional jacket type platforms clustered in complexes that concentrate housing and all the process equipment to handle production from local and satellite drilling platforms. Eight-legged jackets are commonly used for different services and tripods are used mostly as well protectors and for bridge support.
Last year the Campeche Bay suffered the effect of the two back to back hurricanes Opal and Roxanne.
The latter was more intense and exhibited a highly anomalous behavior that induced extreme forces on the structures and generated the necessity of platform and pipeline requalification due to the damage found. For that purpose, PEMEX and Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo (IMP) created a special engineering group to take on the assessment process, knowing that despite API-RP-2A (WSD) Section 17 draft had been issued, hard work was required to refine such methodology and to adapt it to the local environment. The special group is coordinating the whole assessment process, as well as the two engineering firms hired to perform the structural analyses.
The PEMEX/IMP group and the engineering firms have worked together with several experts on different fields to reach the aimed goal.
Right after Roxanne took place,