Video: Preparing Offshore Facilities for Seismic Events
- Robert Sheppard (Energo Engineering, a KBR Company) | Patrick Carson (Energo Engineering, a KBR Company)
- Document ID
- Offshore Technology Conference
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- 2017. Copyright is retained by the author. This presentation is distributed with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this video.
- 4 Facilities Design, Construction and Operation, 4.5 Offshore Facilities and Subsea Systems, 4.5 Offshore Facilities and Subsea Systems, 4.1.7 Electrical Systems, 6.3 Safety, 4.1 Processing Systems and Design
- Preparedness, Equipment, Seismic, Topsides, Integrity
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Seismic design approaches for offshore assets focus on structural response, with the ultimate goal of preventing catastrophic collapse under intense ground motions. This is a prudent approach and places the emphasis on life safety. However, it does not address the operational and safety aspects of nonstructural component response. It is possible that a facility can survive an earthquake with little or no structural damage but be unsafe to man or unable to operate due to damage to the equipment and systems supported by the structure.
After the Gulf of Mexico hurricanes, Ivan, Katrina, Rita, and Ike, in the 2000s, it was recognized that topsides damage to permanent equipment was a significant problem for offshore assets, and guidance was produced by the industry to proactively address the issue. While there have been no significant earthquake impacts on offshore assets in seismic regions, there is still a need to prepare for their occurrence so that damage can be prevented.
This paper addresses the seismic vulnerabilities of mechanical, piping and electrical systems and equipment on offshore facilities and how operators can prepare their assets to safely withstand earthquakes with limited interruption to operations. The approaches presented build on the experience of the onshore power generation industry and field investigations of earthquakes impacts on industrial and commercial facilities going back over 40 years. Emphasis is placed on practical investigation of vulnerabilities, and mitigations to limit the kind of damage that is known to occur for various equipment types.