Offshore Technology Research Center


OTRC Project Summary

Project Title:

Comparative Risk Analysis of Spar Based FPSO's

Prinicipal Investigators:

Robert Gilbert and E. G. Ward


Minerals Management Service

Completion Date:

August, 2003

Final Report ID#

B135(Click to view final report abstract)


Complete the comparison of risks for a spar-based FPSO’s with other deepwater production systems for the Gulf of Mexico, and participate in a Workshop on Marine Risks Associated with Floating Production Systems that will be conducted by the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP) in the UK in 2002.


The methodology and data developed for the recently completed Comparative Risk Analysis of Deepwater Production Systems project is being used as a basis for estimating the risks of a Spar-based FPSO in the Gulf of Mexico.  The risk measures are again fatalities (human safety) and oil spills (environmental safety).  This study is using existing data and involving expert opinion from industry and regulatory agencies (MMS and USCG) to assess hazards and risks.  The risks measures are being developed for the various components and operations and will be used to determine the overall system risks.   This study was initiated in the Spring 2001 with 2000-2001 funds.  Industry experts have been identified, and the issue of handling wet oil in the Spar storage tanks has been identified as an issue that needs to be considered in addition to all other systems, components, and operations studied in the previous CRA study.  Information is being gathered, and a workshop process will again be used to mobilize industry expertise to assist in defining risks and to develop and review data, assumptions, and results. 

Results from this study, the recently completed Comparative Risk Analysis of Deepwater Production Systems project, and other ongoing OTRC research (e.g., Mooring and Riser System Risks, Suction Caissons and Vertically-Loaded Anchors, deepwater riser studies) will provide the basis for our active participation in the OGP Workshop.   This participation will enable the more global sharing of ideas amongst the engineering and regulatory agencies, and provide useful input and insight for future OTRC research.


Results of the CRA for Spar-Based FPSO’s will be documented in a report that will be publicly available.  This information should facilitate regulatory and industry discussions and decisions in advance of actual project proposals.  The OGP Workshop will be documented in a brief summary report to the MMS on our participation in the Workshop.  The report will complement the OGP report, and will highlight learnings from the OGP Workshop and compare the OGP Workshop results with the prior MMS sponsored CRA studies for the Gulf of Mexico. The OGP Workshop results may influence ongoing or future OTRC research projects being sponsored all or in part by the MMS. 

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