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OTC 18964

Application of the IACS Common Structural Rules for Oil Tankers to FPSOs
R.J. Bamford and G. Stewart, Lloyd’s Register EMEA

Copyright 2007, Offshore Technology Conference

Application of Tanker Rules to FPSOs for Hull
This paper was prepared for presentation at the 2007 Offshore Technology Conference held in Structures
Houston, Texas, U.S.A., 30 April–3 May 2007.
Almost all FPSOs are manufactured by shipyards. Those
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, as
which begin life as oil tankers before being converted to
presented, have not been reviewed by the Offshore Technology Conference and are subject to FPSOs were designed and built entirely to Ship Rules.
correction by the author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect any
position of the Offshore Technology Conference, its officers, or members. Papers presented at Newbuild FPSOs are usually designed to FPSO Rules which
OTC are subject to publication review by Sponsor Society Committees of the Offshore
Technology Conference. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this
are based extensively on the Ship Rules for the hull structure.
paper for commercial purposes without the written consent of the Offshore Technology The advantages of basing the design of FPSO hull structure on
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 oil tanker technology include:
acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper was presented. Write Librarian, OTC, P.O.
Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083-3836, U.S.A., fax 01-972-952-9435.
• Proven technology based on extensive tanker industry
Abstract experience.
In April 2006 the International Association of Classification • The ability to convert existing oil tankers with
Societies (IACS) introduced Common Structural Rules (CSR) associated benefits in both time and money.
for double hull oil tankers. This paper explains how these • Fast and economical production by shipyards with
rules can be adapted to provide common structural Rules for highly developed design and build facilities.
FPSOs (single or double hull) and why this approach offers
several advantages over the current Rules for FPSOs. The Rules for oil tankers imply a level of performance which
is acceptable to the tanker industry. However the operation of
Each Classification Society maintains its own rules for FPSOs an FPSO is not the same as an oil tanker and the expectations
and the requirements for hull structure are based on their Rules of the oil and gas industry are different from those of the
for oil tankers. Until recently, each Society’s Rules for oil tanker industry. Differences between tanker and FPSO hull
tankers were different, resulting in different design structures include:
requirements for FPSOs. However the new IACS Common
Structural Rules for double hulled oil tankers replace the • Costs of lost FPSO production are much larger than
tanker Rules of individual Classification Societies and provide tanker off hire costs.
a uniform standard for all new oil tankers. The CSR are more • Tankers will dry dock for survey and repairs every
transparent than the previous Rules for oil tankers with the five years. FPSOs will be surveyed and repaired on
loads based on the design wave approach and the strength station, which is far more expensive.
based on net scantlings. • Tanker owners pay for the steel weight of the hull
structure twice: once at build and then again in fuel
This paper explains how to derive vessel specific design loads during the life of the vessel. FPSO owners only pay
for FPSOs using the design wave approach. This takes account for the steel weight of the hull structure once, at
of the FPSO specific loading conditions, the environment and build, so there is less advantage in reducing steel.
the type of mooring system. The paper also addresses how the
CSR can be employed for single hulls. The net scantlings It is possible to meet the expectations of FPSO operators using
approach is discussed with reference to both conversions and tanker technology but in practice this often does not happen
newbuilds. for the following reasons:

Nomenclature • Pressure to minimize CAPEX especially for

Rules Generic classification rules conversion projects results in a failure to optimize
Ship Rules Generic classification rules for ships lifecycle costs.
FPSO Rules Generic classification rules for FPSOs • Many FPSO operators do not have sufficient
IACS International Association of Classification understanding of tanker technology to know how to
Societies ask for the enhancements they want. This is
CSR IACS Common Structural Rules for Double aggravated by the plethora of different Rules being
Hull Oil Tankers used to design tankers and FPSOs.
2 OTC 18964

• Cost-driven inspection programmes based on be used for FPSOs, now that all Classification Societies have
qualitative risk assessment may lead to inadequate agreed on common rules for oil tankers there is a tremendous
maintenance resulting in performance inferior to that opportunity to achieve consistency in the rules for FPSOs.
of oil tankers.
Whilst the CSR have been developed for double hulled tankers
The development of tanker technology for hull structures has the methodology is also applicable to single hulled tankers on
been subject to two major disruptions which effectively the equivalence principle. As indicated in Figure 1 the LR
limited the service life of existing vessels as well as changing Rules for single hulled tankers already extensively cross
the design of new vessels. These are: reference the LR Rules for double hulled oil tankers.

• MARPOL 73 mandating segregated ballast tanks The benefits of the CSR compared with previous editions of
(SBT). Classification Society rules are:
• OPA 90 which precipitated the 1992 amendments to
MARPOL mandating double hulls (sides and bottom • Increased structural robustness and durability
or mid-deck). increasing the design life from 20 years to 25 years.
This has largely been achieved by a better
At present the hull structure of FPSOs will nonetheless distribution of steel with an increase in steel weight
include a wide variety of different configurations both for of less than 5%.
newbuilds and conversions all of which need to be addressed • A global standard which eliminates competition on
by the FPSO Rules. minimum structural scantlings.
• Environmental loads based on the design wave
Common Structural Rules (CSR) for Oil Tankers approach.
In common with most other Classification Societies who • A common approach to direct calculations for both
members of the International Association of Classification fatigue and strength analysis
Societies (IACS) the Lloyd's Register (LR) Rules for FPSOs • Definite structural renewal thickness based on the net
[1] extensively cross reference LR Rules for oil tankers [2] scantlings approach.
and the associated ShipRight analysis procedures for strength
and fatigue [3]. The relationship is illustrated in Figure 1. All new tankers over 150 meters in length will be designed
and built according to the CSR. If the FPSO industry is to
LR Rules for Floating Offshore Installations gain the maximum benefit from using tanker technology then
at a Fixed Location 1999 Part 4 Chapter 4 the Rules for FPSOs need to be aligned with the CSR. The
tanker industry has taken a significant step forward. By
making use of the same design and build processes the FPSO
industry can share in the benefits.
Double hull Single hull
LR Rules for Ships LR Rules for Ships Assessment of scantlings for FPSO service using
Part 4 Chapter 9 Part 4 Chapter 10 CSR
The wave loads and motions in the CSR (see Section 7 [4]) are
calculated using parametric equations which have been
derived using the design wave approach. This approach has
Procedures for also been subsequently adopted in the ISO standard for
Oil Tankers floating offshore structures [7]. Figure 2 illustrates the entire
scantling assessment process for newbuild, conversion and in
service based on loads derived using the design wave
IACS approach. Each of the steps in Figure 2 is now explained.
Common Structural Rules for
Double Hull Oil Tankers
Heading analysis
Figure 1 Relationship between FPSO and Tanker rules The purpose of the heading analysis is to determine the
heading probabilities for the fatigue analysis and the load
Since each Classification Society maintains its own rules for response analysis. For spread moored FPSOs the analysis is
oil tankers it follows that they also have different rules for simplified because the vessel maintains a constant heading and
FPSOs. These multiple rule sets, which broadly provide in many cases directional scatter diagrams can be used directly
similar vessels, inevitably lead to inconsistencies. for fatigue analysis and load response analysis.

In April 2006 IACS introduced Common Structural Rules

(CSR) for double hull oil tankers [4]. These new Rules
replace the tanker Rules of individual IACS Classification
Societies (including LR) and provide a uniform standard for
all new oil tankers. Although it is not mandated that the CSR
OTC 18964 3

It is recommended a minimum of 5 years of historical sea-state The mean heading is calculated for each sea-state considering
data be analyzed [8]. The data should include the following: the action of the sea, swell, current and wind. The hull is
modelled with 3D-diffraction elements for each draft. The
• Wind sea spectra and direction. effects of current drag loads and wind loads on the hull are
• Swell sea spectra and direction. represented by current force and wind force coefficients,
• Wind speed spectra and direction. usually based on the values obtained from model test results.
• Current speed and direction. The action of stern thrusters used for heading control can also
be considered. Industry standard software (such as AQWA
LIBRIUM) can be used for the analysis.

Historical sea-
Vessel Data Hydrodynamic Heading
Heading Analysis

state data
model Analysis

Mean heading for

each sea-state

Load Response Analysis


Design waves for each

response variable
Strength Analysis

3 Tank FEM Strength

Model analysis
Fatigue Analysis
Level 2

Level 2

Very Fine
Fatigue Analysis

mesh FEM
Level 3

Level 3
Fracture Mechanics

Extremely fine Fracture Mechanics

mesh models Assessment

Figure 2 Analysis procedure for hull structure

4 OTC 18964

Load Response analysis • Produce the Response Amplitude Operators (RAOs)

The purpose of the load response analysis is to provide of the response under investigation for each loading
environmental loads for use in the strength assessment of the condition and vessel heading.
hull structure and for calculating the local scantlings. The • Calculate the short term response for each sea-state
load response analysis will determine the scantling assessment by adding the wind sea response spectra and swell
process. sea response spectra for the response under
investigation. The mean heading for each sea-state
The CSR derivation of characteristic "design" wave loads is determined by the heading analysis is used.
based on a long term statistical approach which includes • Determine the long term distribution of the response
representation of the wave environment (North Atlantic scatter under investigation by combining the Rayleigh
diagram), probability of ship/wave heading and probability of distributions for each sea-state. From the long term
load value exceedance based on IACS Recommendation 34 distribution, calculate the extreme value for the
[5]. Non-linear effects (due to vessel geometry and wave required (100 year) response. This procedure
profile) are considered for the expected lifetime maximum assumes the response to be narrow banded.
loads. In deriving the simultaneously occurring loads, one
particular load component is maximized or minimized and the The "contribution" of the short term response spectrum for
relative magnitude of all simultaneously occurring dynamic each sea-state to the long term response may also be
load components is specified by the application of dynamic calculated. The "contribution" can then be "binned" and
load combination factors (DLCF) based on the envelope load plotted. Figure 3 shows the "contribution" to extreme roll and
value. These dynamic load combination factors based on the pitch responses plotted against relative heading for a
equivalent representative design waves are tabulated in the weathervaning FPSO in a harsh environment.
The value of plotting the "contribution" made by each sea-
It is not sufficient to replace the individual tanker loads given state to the long term response is to understand which types of
in Section 7/3 [4] with FPSO loads unless the load sea-state are of most significance for a given response.
combination factors given in the CSR Section 7/6 [4] are also Subsequent analysis and model testing can then focus on an
replaced. This is because the heading probabilities, improved understanding of these sea-states. Arguably
environmental load characteristics and hence response identifying these sea-states is as valuable as determining the
characteristics of an FPSO are distinct from those of a trading long term response. Furthermore, for turret moored FPSOs
tanker. Further the values of fβ [4] which account for the some extreme responses (e.g. roll) may be generated by the
probabilities of head seas and beam seas are not directly degree of non-colinearity between swell and wind seas and not
applicable to an FPSO. necessarily by the severity of the seas.

The LR method for calculating extreme responses and The idealized quasi static load cases that induce the 100 year
associated DLCF using the design wave approach is described return period value for each response variable are derived
in the LR Recommended Practice for Design and Analysis of using the concept of an equivalent design wave. These design
FPSO Hull Structures [6]. The method is entirely transparent waves yield the information required to replace the CSR
and does not mandate the use of "black box" software. It DLCF values. There are of course any number of possible
makes use of: design waves and using one design wave for each response is
a significant simplification in itself irrespective of the
• A site specific directional scatter diagram or selection method. The LR method is more refined than some
hindcast/measured data series. other methods currently used in that it employs the
• Linear hydrodynamic theory with the hulled intermediate results of the extreme response analysis rather
modelled using 3D-diffraction elements. than the characteristics of the response RAOs. The steps in
• Heading probabilities determined from a heading the method are:
• Identify the heading 'H' which produces the greatest
Either site specific directional scatter diagram or a contribution to the 100 year response of interest.
hindcast/measured data series may be employed following • For heading 'H' identify the frequency 'F' of the peak
what may be described as the "scatter diagram" and "direct of the response spectra.
response" methods respectively. The "scatter diagram"' • For heading 'H' find the phase angle 'P' which
method is the most commonly used but can give misleading generates the amplitude of the RAO for
results unless the heading probabilities are carefully defined. frequency 'F'.
A comparison of these two methods is discussed in reference • Calculate the amplitude 'A' of a regular wave with
[9]. heading 'H', frequency 'F' and phase angle 'P' that
will produce the 100 year response value. This is the
The 100 year return period values for each response of design wave.
relevance is determined based on probabilistic spectral
analysis methods for each loading pattern as follows:
OTC 18964 5

• For heading 'H', frequency 'F' and amplitude 'A' The LR strength assessment process depends on the site
calculate all response components for phase 'P' and specific environment and compares the responses of the FPSO
phase 'P+180 degrees'. This will give the positive to those of a trading tanker. The assessment process is
and negative loads. illustrated in Figure 4.
• Correct for non-linearities (the position of the free
surface) following the assumed distributions given in Where the responses of the FPSO are less than the responses
Section 7 [4] or run a time domain simulation. of a trading tanker it is reasonable to assume the vessel is
suitable from the strength aspect provided it complies with the
Probability Vs. Rel. Heading Swell Hs rules for oil tankers. Note however it is responses that must be
compared not merely the environmental data because "benign"
environments can in some instances produce large responses.
3.5 .10
For example, turret moored FPSOs may experience severe roll
3 .10
9 responses where exposed to significant swells. As a minimum
the following responses should be compared noting the return
2.5 .10
period required for FPSO responses is 100 years:

2 .10
• Hull girder vertical wave bending moment
1.5 .10
9 • Hull girder vertical wave shear force
• Relative wave elevation
1 .10
• Vertical acceleration
• Roll angle
5 .10

Apart from these considerations of environmental loads the
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180
hull structure of a conversion may also need to be re-assessed
Relative Heading (deg.) for the following reasons:
Contribution of Vessel Heading the relative to Swell
to the Extreme Roll Response[9] • Loads from topsides equipment on upper deck
• Integration of the mooring system particularly for
Probability Vs. Rel. Heading Wind Wave Hs internal turrets.
• Integration of an internal turret
3.5 .10
• Redefinition of loading limitations assigned as a
tanker where required for FPSO loading conditions
3 .10
• Excess corrosion.
2.5 .10
Traditionally naval architects have focused on longitudinal

2 .10
strength since this is of primary importance. One of the
benefits of the CSR has been to improve assessment of the
1.5 .10
sometimes neglected transverse strength. This is particularly
1 .10
9 important for FPSOs where unlike a trading tanker it cannot be
assumed that all the ballast tanks will be full and all cargo
5 .10
10 tanks empty at light drafts or that all the ballast tanks will be
empty and all cargo tanks full at deep drafts. Further, even in
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 supposedly "benign" environments FPSOs can experience
Relative Heading (deg.) significant roll responses which cause the transverse structure
to rack.
Contribution of Vessel Heading the relative to Wind Seas
to the Extreme Pitch Response [9]
The loading conditions to be analyzed may be derived from
Figure 3: Relationship of roll and pitch to relative heading those defined by the CSR suitably modified to take account of
the following:
Strength Analysis
Having derived the appropriate loads the CSR capacity models • CSR loading patterns too restrictive.
for strength may be applied directly to FPSOs. • CSR loading patterns too onerous (this may be the
case for some conversions or FPSOs in service where
The CSR is predominantly a Working Stress Design (WSD) the hull has corroded significantly).
method, also known as the permissible or allowable stress • Single bottomed and/or single sided hull.
method. The partial safety factor (PF) method, also known as
Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) is however used The combinations of static and dynamic loads given in the
to assess hull girder ultimate bending strength. CSR have been derived by screening the strength analysis
results for each load case where one particular dynamic load
6 OTC 18964

component has maximized or minimized. This screening analysis to derive a design wave that will induce the extreme
process considered a large number of load cases since basic stress at any given location.
load components were, such as vertical wave bending
moment, were used. Repeating this exercise for an FPSO For both methods the amount of work involved largely
would be time consuming and is not strictly necessary if depends on identifying the correct responses, whether load or
compounded load components, such as the net load acting on a stress. This can be greatly simplified by first running a
bulkhead, are considered. There are two approaches standard CSR strength analysis to identify the most highly
depending on the software used and the stage of design: a stressed elements of the design.
load based method and a stress based method.
The acceptance criteria given in the CSR Section 2 [4] can be
The load based method identifies the loads that drive the hull applied directly to the hull structure except for vessels such as
scantlings at the highest level. For example the net load acting FPUs where the deadweight (ballast and cargo) loads do not
on the bottom of the hull governs much of the transverse vary significantly. The reason for this distinction is that if the
structure and this is true for both double and single bottomed deadweight is variable then combining these loads directly
hulls. The RAO for the net load acting on the bottom structure with extreme dynamic loads is conservative and hence the
can readily be constructed from the component loads and required overall factors of safety for the combined loads may
hence design waves for maximum and minimum net load be reduced accordingly.
derived. This avoids separately applying design waves that
induce maximum and minimum accelerations, roll angles and For an FPSO and a tanker the change in the deadweight loads
wave pressures, neither of which may actually induce the on the hull during operation (due to loading and discharging)
maximum net force. Similarly the net force acting on the sides are the same order of magnitude as the dynamic environmental
and bulkheads can be derived significantly reducing the loads even in a "harsh" environment. Consequently there is a
number of design waves to be analyzed. considerable margin of safety in the assumption that that the
vessel will operate continuously in each loading condition
The stress based method is more rigorous than the load based when in fact it will not. In the case of an FPU such a margin
method and is easier to implement assuming spectral fatigue does not exist and higher factors of safety are required.
analysis is also being undertaken. Spectral fatigue analysis Factors of safety for FPU's are discussed in the LR
requires stress RAOs to be derived for each detail being Recommended Practice for Design and Analysis of FPSO Hull
analysed. These stress RAOs can also be used in the response Structures [6].

Type of Responses
Accepted provided
mooring calculated using
system CSR Oil Tankers

FPSO response
FPSO Response Compare
Metocean data Heading Analysis less than oil tanker Owners choice
Analysis responses

FPSO reponse not

Assess scantlings
less than oil tanker
using FPSO loads

Type of Responses Assess scantlings

mooring calculated using using CSR oil
system CSR Oil Tankers tanker loads

FPSO reponse less

FPSO Response Compare
Metocean data Heading Analysis than oil tanker Owners choice
Analysis responses

FPSO reponse not

Assess scantlings
less than oil tanker
using FPSO loads

Figure 4: Selection of scantling assessment process

OTC 18964 7

Where attempts have been made to apply LRFD to merchant For conversions it is necessary to account for the fatigue
ships [10] the partial safety factor applied to the still water damage accumulated during the time the vessel was trading as
loads has been less than 1.0 when considering static and a tanker. The accumulated fatigue damage will vary greatly
dynamic loads acting simultaneously. What is sometimes not depending on which routes the tanker has traded on. Spectral
also appreciated is the dynamic loads acting on tankers and fatigue analysis using voyage simulation software to model
FPSOs are also conditional on the deadweight loads (for trading tanker service is recommended. This type of analysis
example, the roll response varies significantly depending on using LR FDA 2 software is already routine for the screening
whether the vessel is loaded or in ballast) adding a further of FPSO conversion candidates.
complication. Hence many offshore structural design codes
are not suitable for FPSOs. Whether newbuild or conversion, a site specific fatigue
analysis will be required but there may be significant variation
LRFD is in some respects intermediate technology and it is in scope depending on the design philosophy. The two
questionable if the effort required to calibrate such an approaches described below both begin with fatigue analysis
approach is justified for FPSOs: it may be preferrable to of a number of critical locations. Their selection requires a
calculate the structural reliability directly for a specific FPSO high degree of skill and is based on:
rather than attempting to develop generalised partial safety
factors. This is particularly true when undertaking defect • A review of service experience (particularly for
criticality assessments. conversions)
• Previous analysis results
Fatigue analysis for tanker service • Identification of novel design features
The minimum design life of the vessel is 25 years which is
increase from the 20 years previously used for the design of The two approaches then differas follows:
tankers. The proportion of the vessel’s sailing life in the full • The "local" approach focuses on making local
load condition is 50% and in ballast 50%. It is assumed that improvements to reduce the stress where fatigue lives
15% life is in harbour/sheltered water. are too low (toe grinding is an extreme example of
this approach). This approach will minimise steel
For the fatigue requirements given in the CSR Section 9/3 [4] weight but increase the costs of design and
the load assessment is based on the expected stress history for production. To be effective these improvements must
a trading tanker. The expected stress history for the design life be applied to all similar locations. Then the net
is characterized by dynamic load values with a 10-4 probability should be spread wider to include additional critical
of occurrence during the design life. The load history for each locations in the fatigue analysis. Unfortunately in
structural member is represented by Weibull probability many cases where the "local" approach has been used
distributions of the corresponding stresses which have been the net has not been spread far enough.
calibrated using spectral fatigue analysis. Only the wave- • The "global" approach focuses on making global
induced loads are considered. Other cyclic loading, such as improvements to reduce the stress in areas where
slamming, low cycle, or vibration induced fatigue are not fatigue lives are too low (prohibiting the use of high
considered. The low cycle (but high stress range) fatigue is tensile steel is an extreme example of this approach).
due to changes in deadweight loads when loading and This approach reduces design and production costs
discharging. but at the cost of steel weight. To be effective these
improvements must be directed at the primary source
Fatigue analysis for FPSO service of fatigue. For example, increasing the hull girder
The CSR approach to fatigue cannot be applied directly to section modulus would improve the fatigue life of all
FPSOs for the following reasons: deck and bottom longitudinals but be of little benefit
to side shell structure. Hence it is still important to
• FPSO at sea 100% of the time include sufficient representative locations in the
• Many intermediate loading conditions between full initial fatigue analysis.
and ballast
• Low cycle fatigue is more significant due to frequent For conversions where it can be shown there is adequate
loading and discharging (For "benign" locations this fatigue life remaining at representative locations then
is the major source of fatigue damage) extensive fatigue analysis may be avoided. A similar
• Different environmental loads and associated heading approach may also be applied to FPSOs designed using the
probabilities CSR fatigue assessment method. Representative locations
would typically include:
The application of deterministic fatigue methods to FPSO hull • Deck longitudinal
structures is questionable since a spectral fatigue analysis • Side shell longitudinal in way of loaded waterline
would be necessary to calibrate the deterministic method for • Side shell longitudinal in way of ballast waterline
each project. The importance of low cycle fatigue for FPSOs • Bottom shell longitudinal in way of bulkheads
complicates the fatigue analysis particularly for "benign" • Connection of transverse bulkhead horizontal
environments. stringers to inner hull
8 OTC 18964

• Hopper knuckle (for double hulls) Scantling requirements

• Outboard connection of bottom transverse (for single The capacity models defined in the CSR for local scantlings
hulls) may be applied to single hulled FPSOs provided the design
load sets are adapted accordingly. Since the design load sets
Fortunately tanker structures are generally tolerant of defects are clearly defined in the CSR Table 8.2.7 [4] the ballast tank
and some may even regard fatigue cracking as a serviceability loads may be replaced with the cargo tank loads for the bottom
limit state for tankers and FPSOs [10]. However this tolerance structure, similar to the current Rules for single hulled tankers
should not be taken for granted. The various structure [2]. For FPSOs however full and empty cargo tanks may
dependent criteria given in the CSR are intended to achieve a occur at relatively light and deep drafts so care must be
balanced design and avoid the creation of a "One-Hoss Shay" exercised in selection of the design load sets.
[11]. Fatigue analysis is inextricably linked to survey Corrosion Margins – taking advantage of the CSR
requirements and to crack growth. Particular caution is Current practice has been to assess hull scantlings against
required where alternative load paths may not be present in the empirically derived permissible percentage diminutions. This
structure (non-redundant) such as crane pedestals. practice was appropriate where the scantlings had been largely
derived using empirical rules but less so now finite element
Fracture mechanics analysis is routinely used in design. For FPSOs in service or
The transparency of the CSR provides a framework for at conversion the empirical percentage diminution approach
implementing fracture mechanics assessment which has a can be problematic if excessive corrosion is found. The only
number of applications including: options are repair or rule based scantling re-assessment which
may result in operational limitations.
• In service defect criticality assessment
• Establishing inspection methods and frequencies for The more transparent net scantlings approach has been
critical components where the calculated fatigue life adopted by the CSR, whereby the corrosion margin from the
has been exhausted but no cracks have yet initiated. design scantlings. In this approach, all analysis and
calculations are performed using the net scantlings. The
The LR methodology [6] is based upon the recommendations method also distinguishes between local and global corrosion
within BS7910, "Guide to methods for assessing the and both are used as a basis for design and ongoing
acceptability of flaws in metallic structures" [6]. assessment during operation. This provides far greater
flexibility. For a more detailed explanation see the CSR
The primary steps within the analysis methodology are as Section 2/ 4.3.4 [4].
• Using the stress response spectra for each sea-state Figure 5 illustrates the LR application of the CSR net
and assuming an appropriate statistical distribution a scantlings approach [6] to both newbuild FPSOs and
histogram of numbers of cycles (N) versus crack conversions. For newbuilds the net scantling approach will be
surface tensile stress range will be derived for each mandatory and the minimum corrosion margins should be as
sea-state for one calendar year. defined in the CSR for oil tankers, see the CSR Section 6/3
• Sum the individual stress distributions to produce a [4], since the vessel has its whole service life ahead of it.
master histogram of N versus crack surface stress For conversion of pre-CSR tankers the application of the net
range. scantlings approach is at the owners' discretion provided the
• Undertake fatigue crack growth calculation based on vessel meets the existing empirical criteria. When applying
fracture mechanics techniques using the stress cycles the net scantlings approach to conversions the minimum CSR
derived above and an initial defect size. corrosion margins may be reduced to that necessary for the
vessel to operate safely until the next Class survey, see the
The initial flaw size is selected based on one of the following: CSR Section 12 [4]. Maintenance of the paint and cathodic
protection would then become much more critical. Therefore
• The minimum flaw size likely to be reliably detected the decision on replacing steel would depend on the expected
by the inspection method currently used. This is used service life and life cycle cost models can be employed to
for cases where no flaw has been detected and the assist in such decisions.
structural component has already seen substantial
Where excess corrosion is found in service then the scantlings
service loading.
would need to be renewed or operational limitations imposed
• The flaw size likely to exist at the root of the weld
to reduce the loads and hence the required net scantlings.
detail where previous service loads are quantifiable.
Operational limitations would be assessed following the same
• The measured size of the defect (allowing for hull structural assessment methodology as for newbuilds
measurement error). thereby following a consistent approach.
Where the end of life is determined by potential unstable The CSR assume effective coatings in the ballast tanks but do
fracture the applied load should be compatible with the not provide detailed requirements instead referring to the
extreme load derived from the strength analysis with a suitable relevant SOLAS and IMO documents, see the CSR Section
safety margin. 6/2 [4]. The more detailed requirements given in the pre-CSR
FPSO Rules remain applicable.
OTC 18964 9

Thickness Assessment against empirical

Pass Accepted
Measurements criteria for Oil Tankers

Fail Renew steel


LR minimum
New Construction

Hull Structural
FPSO corrosion Check Pass Accepted

Owners specified
corrosion margins

Figure 5 Corrosion assessment

Brittle fracture Using the CSR to improve structural performance

Trading tankers will have only limited exposure to low Improved performance may be of advantage for the following
temperatures compared with an FSPO in a cold climate. reasons:
Hence the requirements for steel toughness given in the FPSO
Rules will prevail over the CSR for both newbuild and • Higher levels of safety.
conversions. Vessels compliant only with the CSR would, • Reduced costs of repairs.
like most trading tankers, only be suitable for FPSO service at • Extended service life.
locations where the lowest daily mean air temperature based • Reduced survey costs by extending survey cycles.
on the 100 year return period is not less than -5 °C. This
effectively excludes the use of conversions in cold Improvments in performance above the minimum
environments although in some cases testing of the as built requirements of Classification Societies and the methods used
materials has shown suitability. to achieve them will depend on the economic model used by
the owners to assess life cycle costs including risk to
Survey reputation. To improve the performance of the hull structure
Implicit in both the CSR and FPSO Rules is the assumption some or all of the following methods can be used:
that the hull structure will be surveyed in accordance with the
Ship Rules. This is an important assumption that FPSO • Limit the use of high strength steel in areas sensitive
operators often do not recognize when implementing RBI and to fatigue and buckling.
other inspection management strategies. For example, the • Increase corrosion margins.
design survey cycle for a 20 year old hull is in effect only 2½
• Increase design margins on the loads and/or
years and cannot readily be increased without reducing safety. acceptance criteria
Any intended deviations from the survey requirements of the
• Increase design fatigue life.
Ship Rules need to be designed in at the outset of a project.
Newbuilds naturally offer more opportunities for doing this • Undertake vibration analysis
than conversions. • Specify combinations of cargo loading patterns and
drafts that exceed the CSR specified conditions
• Increase design cargo density.
10 OTC 18964

Of particular interest are improvements to the fatigue Acknowledgments

performance of vessels. As discussed in the context of fatigue
analysis global reductions in stress, such as limiting the use of The authors wish to thank their colleagues Robbie Potthurst,
high tensile steel, will be more effective than local Clive Badger and Chris Thornton for helpful comments whilst
improvements such as toe grinding. Increasing corrosion preparing this paper.
margins will be beneficial from the fatigue aspect only where
areas subject to aggressive corrosion are also areas of high The opinions expressed in this paper are those of the authors
fatigue damage. and are not necessarily those of Lloyd's Register EMEA.

Software References
With the increased sophistication of the CSR also comes a 1. LR Rules and Regulations for the Classification of a
significant increase in the calculations and analysis effort. Floating Offshore Installation at a Fixed Location.
Integral to the implementation of the CSR has been the 2. LR Rules and Regulations for the Classification of
development of software to undertake the necessary Ships.
calculations and analysis, such as LR ShipRight Integrated 3. LR ShipRight Procedures,
Software. This software is under continuous development and 4. IACS Common Structural Rules for Double Hull Oil
the latest version has specific functionality to facilitate the Tankers (entered into force on 1 April 2006).
application of the CSR to FPSOs 5. IACS Recommendation 34,
6. LR Recommended Practice for Design and Analysis
The application of the CSR to FPSOs described in this paper of FPSO Hull Structures, 2007.
allows maximum utilization of these highly developed 7. ISO 19904-1 Petroleum and Natural Gas Industries –-
software tools to FPSOs. Further since these software tools Floating offshore structures - Part 1 Monohulls, semi-
are already used by many shipyards for designing tankers, fast submersibles and spars.
and efficient FPSO design is facilitated. 8. UK HSE, Offshore Technology Report - OTO
2001/010: Environmental considerations.
Conclusions 9. Aryawan I, Bamford R.J. and Stewart G.: "Response
This paper has explained how the IACS Common Structural Based Motion Analysis Methods for Turret Moored
Rules for oil tankers can be adapted to provide common FPSOs Operating in a Harsh Environment" To be
structural Rules for FPSOs and why this approach offers published.
several advantages. 10. Lamb, T. editor, Ship Design and Construction,
SNAME 2003, ISBN 0-939773-40-6.
The difference between environmental loads for trading 11. Oliver Wendell Holmes: The Deacon's Masterpiece;
tankers and FPSOs has been explained as has the design wave or The Wonderful "One-Hoss Shay".
approach for deriving FPSO specific design loads. This takes 12. BS7910: 1999, Guide on Methods For Assessing The
account of FPSO specific loading conditions, site specific Acceptability of Flaws In Metallic Structures.
environment and the type of mooring system. The net
scantlings approach is discussed with reference to both
conversions and newbuilds.

The Common Structural Rules are now the marine industry

standard for double hulled oil tankers. They also provide a
basis for an industry standard for FPSO hull structures,
enabling the full benefit of the latest tanker technology to be
employed to optimize cost, performance and safety.