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OTC 23558

Insights into Using the 22nd Edition of API RP 2A Recommended Practice


for Planning, Designing and Constructing Fixed Offshore Platforms Working Stress Design
Digre, K. A., API Consultant/John M. Campbell & Co. and Zwerneman, F. J., Mustang Engineering

Copyright 2012, Offshore Technology Conference


This paper was prepared for presentation at the Offshore Technology Conference held in Houston, Texas, USA, 30 April3 May 2012.
This paper was selected for presentation by an OTC program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been
reviewed by the Offshore Technology Conference and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Offshore Technology Conference, its
officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Offshore Technology Conference is prohibited. Permission to
reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of OTC copyright.

Abstract
This paper provides insights and interpretations regarding the use of API RP 2A-WSD 22nd Edition. In 2010, OTC
paper #20837 discussed modifications being made to and reasons behind the changes to API 2A-WSD in conjunction with
other new API standards, 2MET, 2EQ, 2SIM and 2GEO and the elimination of API Bulletins 2INT-MET, 2INT-DG and
2INT-EX. In this paper, emphasis is placed on use of the 22nd Edition in combination with the other new standards.
General
API RP 2A-WSD 22nd Edition was balloted in 2011 and approved by 96% of the votes cast. There were over 339
individual comments (the vast majority editorial) with some 21 still in final resolution by API TG13 at the time this paper was
written. This has resulted in the API RP 2A-WSD 22nd Edition final table of contents to include the following (with reference
to the 21st Edition Section in parentheses):
Section 1: Scope
Section 2: Normative References
Section 3: Terms, Definitions and Acronyms
Section 4: Planning (21st Edition Section 1)
Section 5: Design Criteria and Procedures (21st Edition Section 2)
Section 6: Structural Steel Design (21st Edition Section 3)
Section 7: Strength of Tubular Joints (21st Edition Section 4)
Section 8: Fatigue (21st Edition Section 5)
Section 9: Foundation Design (21st Edition Section 6)
Section 10: Other Structural Components and Systems (21st Edition Section 7)
Section 11: Material (21st Edition Section 8)
Section 12: Drawings and Specifications (21st Edition Section 9)
Section 13: Welding (21st Edition Section 10)
Section 14: Fabrication (21st Edition Section 11)
Section 15: Installation (21st Edition Section 12)
Section 16: Inspection (21st Edition Section 13)
Section 17: Accidental Loading (21st Edition Section 18)
Section 18: Reuse (21st Edition Section 15)
Section 19: Minimum and Special Structures (21st Edition Section 16)
Annex A (Informative): API 2A-WSD 21st Edition vs. 22nd Edition Cross-reference
Annex B (Informative): Commentary
Bibliography
Changes from OTC paper #20837 and specific topics of importance in using the new API Standards are discussed below.

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Normative References
API 2As Section 2 contains all Normative References, i.e. standards that shall be followed as they apply. They are
called out in name only, e.g. API 2MET, in the text without a specific reference number. All API normative references are
undated, so the latest edition of the referenced document including any addenda/errata shall apply. Special attention is drawn
to the following with regard to two of the non-API normative references:
The 1989 edition of the AISC Specification for Structural Steel Buildings is included as a normative reference. ASD
(Allowable Strength Design) was still supported by AISC in this edition and is applicable. Load and resistance
factors (LRFD) in later editions of this AISC specification are based on calibration with building design practices and
may not be applicable to offshore platforms. Research work is now in progress to incorporate strength provisions of
the new AISC specification into offshore design practices.
In API 2A, reference is made to AWS D1.1/D.1.M:2006 Structural Welding Code Steel. While use of this edition
of D1.1 is endorsed; the primary intent is that the AWS code be followed for welding and fabrication of fixed
offshore platforms. However, where specific guidance is given in the 22nd edition of API 2A, the 2A guidance should
take precedence. Past editions of the AWS D1.1 have contained some significant modifications in conflict with those
in API 2A. Reference to a specific D1.1 edition where exceptions are already included in 2A protects against
possible future conflicting modification.
Planning
Section 4.7 of API 2A contains updated and new guidance for determining the Exposure Category that will be used
in selecting the required level of design criteria for fixed offshore platforms. Life safety exposure categories are now labeled
S-1 (manned-nonevacuated), S-2 (manned-evacuated) and S-3 (unmanned). Similarly, consequence of failure exposure
categories are now labeled C-1 (high), C-2 (medium) and C-3 (low). New and different symbols for each type of exposure
are used in the 22nd Edition to address user feedback and help avoid the many reported incidents of confusion in and conflicts
with the final selected platform exposure category label of L-#.
Table 1 attached presents the complete Exposure Category Matrix from Table 4.1 in API 2A-WSD 22nd Edition. For
clarity and to help explain to users applying API 2A on platforms in parts of the U.S. other than the GoM and other parts of the
world, note a at the bottom of the table has been expanded to describe when the design criteria for the GoM contained in
Section 5 is applicable to a manned-nonevacuated platform (winter storms, sudden hurricanes and earthquakes).
Design Criteria and Procedures
Design loading conditions are outlined in Section 5.2.2 of API 2A, Table 5.1. Here the user is referred to API 2MET
for wind, wave and current environmental data previously included in 2A. The user is also reminded that site-specific data
developed in accordance with the requirements of API 2MET may be used (see A.5, C.4.9 and C4.10 in 2MET). The detailed
steps to follow in applying the data from API 2MET remain in 2A. Table 2 attached (from Draft API 2MET) is an example of
the data provided. Users are reminded to use Hmax for design as shown in the API 2MET Example of Interpolation. Further
information regarding API 2MET can be found in OTC papers #20693 and #23459.
Hydrodynamic Force Guidelines
Section 5.3.4 of API 2A Hydrodynamic Force Guidelines for U.S Waters describes the selection of environmental
criteria based on platform exposure category L-1, L-2 or L-3, determined using Table 1 attached. This section highlights the
hydrodynamic Design Level Criteria for the different exposure categories and introduces the requirement of a Robustness
Level Analysis (also see OTC paper #20837) complete with hydrodynamic criteria. Table 3 attached shows the different
criteria for each exposure category taken from Table 5.5 in API 2A-WSD 22nd Edition.
For example, consider an L-1 platform in deepwater Western GoM (L-# determined using Table 1 attached); Table 3
indicates the 100-year full population and associated conditions shall be used. Using the 100 year return period in Table 2, the
Design Level criteria is: 1 minute wind speed = 52 m/s, maximum wave height = 24.7m with a period of 13.7 seconds, the
surface current speed is 2.0m/s, storm surge is 0.53m and tidal amplitude is 0.42m.
The newly required robustness assessment for new platforms is a check for platform survival in a lower probability
extreme event. It requires an ultimate strength analysis (as described in API 2SIM) and is required for all L-1 exposure
category platforms. As can be seen from Table 3, a robustness ultimate strength assessment is required for the example L-1
platform noted above using 1,000-year return period criteria. The criteria found in Table 2 from the 1,000-year return period
column is: 1 minute wind speed = 67.2 m/s, maximum wave height = 30.9m with a period of 15.3 seconds, the surface current
is 2.49 m/s, storm surge is 0.74m and tidal amplitude is 0.42m. As indicated in Table 3 attached, robustness assessments are
not required for L-3 category platforms or for robustly configured L-2 category structures. API 2A lists nine characteristics
that must be met to consider a new L-2 category platform robust, not requiring an ultimate strength analysis.

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Minimum Deck Clearance


A curve defining the minimum elevation of the underside of a deck versus water depth is no longer provided in API
2A. Instead the 22nd Edition requires the elevation of the underside of the deck for new L-1 and L-2 platforms to be not lower
than the 1000-year return period max crest elevation provided in API 2MET for the various regions in the GoM (see Figure 1
for the API 2MET DRAFT Western region curve). The 22nd Edition allows the deck of L-3 structures to be located below the
design criteria level crest elevation (mainly for caisson type structures) but does require the deck to be designed for full wave
and current loading and refers to API 2SIM for guidance in determining such loading. The important thing to remember, if the
deck is not below the L-3 design criteria level crest elevation, the deck elevation must meet the requirements of new L-1 and
L-2 platforms, i.e., above the 1000-year return period max crest elevation.
While the 22nd Edition no longer recommends a minimum 1.5m (5 ft.) air gap between the maximum crest elevation
and the underside of the lower deck, the user is reminded to allow for any known or predicted seafloor subsidence, significant
structural rotation and any other unknown such as water depth uncertainty. For the example Western Region L-1 deepwater
platform this means the bottom of the lower deck shall be higher than 19.8m plus any expected seafloor subsidence. This can
be found in Table 2 under the 1000-year return period column or from Figure 1 at the appropriate water depth using the 1000year curve.
Earthquake
Design loading conditions for earthquakes are outlined in Section 5.3.6 of API 2A 22nd Edition. Strength
requirements are checked at the extreme level earthquake (ELE) and ductility requirements at the abnormal level earthquake
(ALE) as defined in API 2EQ. The (ELE) was the strength level earthquake (SLE) and the ALE was the ductility level
earthquake (DLE) in the API 2A-WSD, 21st Edition and earlier.
Fatigue
Twenty-second Edition users are reminded that Simplified Fatigue has been removed from the commentary (Annex
B), with references removed from Section 18 Reuse and Section 19 Minimum and Special Structures. This decision was
necessary because API 2MET has now defined the GoM to have three separate regions. To maintain Simplified Fatigue API
would have to maintain the 21st Edition extreme wave criteria in API 2MET or include it in the 22nd Edition commentary. This
was felt to be too confusing and could possibly increase user error. All new and reused structures are now required to have a
detailed fatigue analysis.
Foundation Design and API 2GEO
As discussed in OTC paper #20837, the 22nd Edition Section 9 on foundation design contains design criteria (required
factors of safety) and information needed to perform a design and installation. References to API 2GEO are provided where
content was moved from the 21st Edition and as necessary. The information on driven piles including minimum wall
thickness, length of pile sections, driving shoes and driving heads plus modification to piling installation procedures remains
in Section 9.
Other structural Components and Systems
Changes in the 22nd Edition have been made in regards to Crane Supporting Structures in order to accommodate the
updates in API Spec. 2C. These changes require the crane supporting structure to also be designed for the crane foundation
limiting design loads defined in API 2C. Fatigue design may also be performed according to API 2C with 1,000,000 design
cycles. However, the user is warned that API 2C assumes you already know what crane is being used, not the normal case in
designing new platforms.
Installation
API 2MOP Recommended Practice for Marine Operations, ISO 19901-6:2009 (Identical) was issued in July, 2010.
It is now a normative reference in the 22nd Edition. It provides alternate dynamic load factors for marine lifting operations,
plus additional details for planning, designing, performing and documenting loadout, transport, launching and marine lifting
operations.
Surveys
As noted in OTC paper #20675, the entire section on inplace surveys and its commentary from the 21st Edition have
been moved to and expanded on in the new API 2SIM. Because API 2A-WSD 22nd Edition is for new offshore platforms, the
move of the information on surveys of existing platforms goes well in hand with the creation of the new structural integrity
management standard. Further information regarding the use of API 2SIM can be found in OTC paper #23559.
Assessment
As noted in OTC paper #20675, the entire section on existing platform assessment and its commentary from the 21st
Edition has been moved to, updated and expanded on in the new API 2SIM. Because API 2A-WSD 22nd Edition is for new
offshore platforms, the move of the information on assessment of existing platforms goes well in hand with the creation of the

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new structural integrity management standard. However, as noted above, API 2SIM is referenced directly in the 22nd Edition
for procedures regarding ultimate strength robustness checks and wave in deck loading. Further information regarding the use
of API 2SIM can be found in OTC paper #23559.
Reuse
The 22nd Edition continues to maintain that any reused platform must meet the requirements of a new platform with
special considerations provided to account for allowances for fatigue damage experienced at the original platform location. It
has been reported that some regulatory agencies have applied the reuse section for platform requalification and/or change in
loading/use on existing platforms. This was and still is an incorrect application of the reuse section. Any platform
requalification and/or change in loading/use on existing platforms should refer to API 2SIM.
Annex A (informative) API 2A-WSD 21st Edition vs. 22nd Edition Cross-reference
As noted in OTC paper # 20837, to assist in the use of the API 2A-WSD 22nd Edition, Annex A has been included to
provide a detailed cross reference between API 2A 21st Editions Figure, Table and Equation numbers and their new numbers
in the 22nd Edition or their new location in either API 2MET, API 2EQ, API 2GEO, API 2SIM or API 2FB.
Annex B (informative) Commentary
The commentary for the 22nd Edition in now located in Annex B with the following content:
B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B10 B11 B13 B17 B19 -

Commentary on Planning
Commentary on Design Criteria and Procedures
Commentary on Structural Steel Design
Commentary on Strength of Tubular Joints
Commentary on Fatigue
Commentary on Other Structural Components and Systems
Commentary on Material
Commentary on Welding
Commentary on Accidental Loading
Commentary on Minimum and Special Structures

Bibliography
In past editions of API 2A-WSD, references were provided either in the text or at the end of the subsection in which
they were referenced. In the 22nd Edition, all non-normative references (including the numerous references from the
commentary) are located in the bibliography. They are directly referred to as Reference [#] in the text or indirectly as a
superscript [#] following referenced text.
Summary
This paper provides insights and interpretations regarding the use of API RP 2A-WSD 22nd Edition with the other new API
standards, 2MET, 2EQ, 2SIM, 2GEO and API 2MOP. Highlighted is how to use the new standards together with every
reasonable effort having been made to smooth the transition from the 21st to the 22nd edition.
The present schedule is for API to complete incorporating ballot comments into all new RP2s by mid 2012. The API RP 2AWSD 22nd Edition will likely be published by 3Q 2012.
The 22nd Edition is still planned to be the last edition of RP 2A-WSD. Subsequent editions of RP 2A will take the form of
modified adoptions of corresponding ISO documents and as such will conform to the load and resistance factor design (LRFD)
philosophy.
Acknowledgments
The authors wish to thank the entire API TG 13 for their diligence and care in conducting the many necessary reviews,
addressing the ballot comments and performing the modifications to complete the 22nd Edition. TG 13 members include:
Mike Abbas, Atlas Engineering; Frank Buescher, Casbarian Engineering; Kris Digre (Vice Chair/Secretary), API Consultant;
Abdel Ghoneim, DNV; Rudy Hall, Ralph Shaw, and Gwen Accardo, Keystone Engineering; Jay Hooper, Upstream
Engineering/Audubon Engineering; Hyungwoo Kim, Shell; David Stockard, Fluor; Boon Sze Tan, J. Ray McDermott
Eng/ConocoPhillips; Ben Chang, J. Ray McDermott Eng; Farrel Zwerneman (Chair), Mustang Engineering.
References
American Petroleum Institute, Recommended Practice for Structural Integrity Management of Fixed Offshore Structures, API RP 2SIM,
First Edition.

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American Petroleum Institute, Recommended Practice for Planning, Designing and Constructing Fixed Offshore Platforms Working
Stress Design, API RP 2A-WSD, Twenty-First Edition, Errata and Supplement 3, October 2007.
American Petroleum Institute, Recommended Practice for Derivation of Metocean Design and Operating Conditions, API RP 2MET, First
Edition.
American Petroleum Institute, Recommended Practice for Earthquake Loading in US Offshore Areas, API RP 2EQ, First Edition.
American Petroleum Institute, Recommended Practice for Soil and Foundation Considerations in Offshore Areas, API RP 2GEO, First
Edition.
American Petroleum Institute, Specification for Offshore Pedestal Mounted Cranes, API Spec 2C.
American Petroleum Institute, Recommended Practice for Design of Offshore Facilities Against Fire and Blast Loading API RP 2FB,
Latest Edition.
American Petroleum Institute, Recommended Practice for Marine Operations, API RP 2MOP, First Edition, ISO 19901-6:2009 (Identical).
American Institute of Steel Construction, Specification for Structural Steel Buildings Allowable Stress Design and Plastic Design, June 1,
1989 Included in AISC Manual of Steel Construction, Allowable Stress Design, 9th Edition, 1989.
American Welding Society, Structural Welding Code Steel, AWS D1.1/D1.1M 2006.
Zwerneman, F. J. and Digre, K. A. 22nd Edition of API RP 2A Recommended Practice for Planning, Designing and Constructing Fixed
Offshore Platforms Working Stress Design, OTC 20837, Proceedings of Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, Texas, May
2010.
Stear, James D., "RP 2MET: An API Standard for Metocean", OTC 20693, Proceedings of Offshore Technology Conference, Houston,
Texas, May 2010.
Stear, James D., "Use of RP 2MET Annex Gulf Metocean Conditions with 2A and 2SIM", OTC 23459, Proceedings of Offshore
Technology Conference, Houston, Texas, May 2012.
S. DeFranco, P. OConnor, F. Puskar, J. Bucknell, and K. Digre "API RP 2SIM: Recommended Practice for Structural Integrity
Management", OTC 20675, Proceedings of Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, Texas, May 2010.
DeFranco, S. J., "API RP 2SIM: Offshore Structures Integrity Management", OTC 23559, Proceedings of Offshore Technology Conference,
Houston, Texas, May 2012.

Table 1
API 2A 22

nd

Edition Exposure Category Matrix

ConsequenceCategory
LifeSafetyCategory

C1,High
Consequence

C2,Medium
Consequence

C3,Low
Consequence

S1mannednonevacuated

L1a

L1a

L1a

S2mannedevacuated

L1

L2

L2

S3unmanned

L1

L2

L3

MannednonevacuatedplatformsarepresentlynotapplicabletotheU.S.GoMwaterswhereplatforms
arenormallyevacuatedaheadofhurricaneevents.ThemetoceandesigncriteriainSection5havenotbeen
verified as adequate for mannednonevacuated in the U.S. GoM. However, the winter storm, sudden
hurricane and earthquake criteria for the U.S. GoM have been verified as adequate for the manned
nonevacuated situation occurring during those events when platforms in the U.S. GoM waters are not
normallyevacuated.

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*M
Table 2 from API 2MET Draft t

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Table 3
API 2A 22

Exposure
Category

nd

Edition Design Level Criteria and Robustness Analysis

DesignLevelCriteria

RobustnessLevelAnalysis

L1a

Usethe100yearfullpopulationandassociated
conditionsfromAPI2METorsitespecificdata
developedinaccordancewiththerequirements
ofAPI2MET

Usethe1,000yearfullpopulationwaveandassociated
conditionsfromAPI2METorsitespecificdata
developedinaccordancewiththerequirementsofAPI
2MET

L2

Usethe50yearfullpopulationandassociated
conditionsfromAPI2METorsitespecificdata
developedinaccordancewiththerequirements
ofAPI2MET

NotrequiredifL2exposurecategoryplatformhasa
robustconfiguration

L3

Usethe25yearfullpopulationandassociated
conditionsfromAPI2METorsitespecificdata
developedinaccordancewiththerequirements
ofAPI2MET

FornonrobustconfigurationsUsethe500yearfull
populationwaveandassociatedconditionsfromAPI
2METorsitespecificdatadevelopedinaccordance
withtherequirementsofAPI2MET
Notrequired

MannednonevacuatedplatformsarepresentlynotapplicabletotheU.S.GoMwaterswhereplatformsarenormallyevacuatedahead
ofhurricaneevents.ThemetoceandesigncriteriainSection5havenotbeenverifiedasadequateformannednonevacuatedintheU.S.
GoM.However,thewinterstorm,suddenhurricaneandearthquakecriteriafortheU.S.GoMhavebeenverifiedasadequateforthe
mannednonevacuatedsituationoccurringduringthoseeventswhenplatformsintheU.S.GoMwatersarenotnormallyevacuated
Figure 1 from API 2MET Draft

Fig