2014. The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers
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A life extension project was initiated when the mooring system of the Benchamas Explorer FSO reached its design life of 10 years. An extensive engineering study determined that the six- strand wire ropes needed to be replaced by new sheathed spiral-strand wire ropes. An innovative installation technology was developed, and special equipment was built to facilitate the change-out operation in a safer and more reliable way. Installation of the new ropes was successfully completed without interrupting production and offloading operations and more importantly without injury or incident. Upon recovery of the original wire ropes and chains, lab tests were conducted which found Microbially Influenced Corrosion (MIC) on a select number of chains at the touchdown point. The corrosion was found to be within acceptable limits and thus the chains were not in need of replacement. There were multiple lessons learned during this operation with the key lesson learned being that upgrades or modification in the operation phase tend to be significantly more costly than that in the initial execution phase. In conclusion, the Benchamas Explorer’s mooring wire ropes were replaced using an innovative technology, and the life extension project was completed successfully.
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