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Proceedings of the ASME 2013 32nd International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering

June 9-14, 2013, Nantes, France



Jaap de Wilde Johan Dekker

MARIN Wageningen MARIN Wageningen
The Netherlands The Netherlands

Key words:
LNG, side-by-side, tandem, offloading, berthing, operability, review

ABSTRACT shipping companies and independent starters. Earliest operation

In this paper we review hydrodynamic and nautical studies for these units is presently expected for 2014 to 2018
for offshore LNG operations. Based on full mission bridge (Australia, Brazil, Indonesia), with planned production capacity
simulations, model tests campaigns, time domain simulations, between 1 and 3.5 MTPA for the units. Floating Storage and
fast time maneuvering simulations and downtime assessments, Regasification Units (FSRU) are new concepts for LNG
we address the major findings in terms of weather limitations, import, replacing the conventional onshore facilities and jetties.
tugboat requirements and other critical aspects for the berthing The LNG is regasified on the FSRU and sent to shore, from
and offloading operation. where the gas is pumped into the general network. A few
FSRUs are already operational or close to commissioning, but
INTRODUCTION these are mostly moored at terminals in sheltered locations (e.g.
Offshore operations are daily practice in the oil industry. in Argentina, Kuwait, UK, Italy, Dubai and Brazil). Though
Tankers up to VLCCs (330 m long and 60 m wide) moor to those involved in recent floating LNG projects will have a fair
SPMs or to FPSOs, often in tandem but also side to side. impression what offshore LNG offloading operations include,
Considering the number of FPSOs and the offtake frequency, a not everyone in the LNG shipping industry may be so familiar
few of such operations are carried out each day. While the with the current status. In the last 10 to 15 years, MARIN has
loading and unloading of the LNG carriers (LNGCs) was been involved in several large offshore LNG related
traditionally done at terminals in harbors, floating systems for hydrodynamic, nautical and model testing studies. This paper
LNG are now being developed and a few even built. LNG presents the main findings from these studies. Other good
FPSOs (also referred to as FLNGs) are being developed for review papers on this subject are by van Doorn et al. [1], van
production and processing of gas in remote offshore locations. der Valk et al. [2], Gilchrist [3], Newby et al. [4] and
The floating production unit is positioned over the reservoir Poldervaart et al. [14].
and replaces the offshore platform, the pipeline to shore, the
onshore LNG plant and the export jetty. Floating liquefaction
units are developed by large oil companies as well as by LNG

Side-by-side offloading Tandem offloading

1 Copyright © 2013 by ASME

HYDRODYNAMIC AND NAUTICAL STUDIES A review of relevant hydrodynamic and nautical features
of an FSRU versus an FLNG is presented in Table 1.
The studies carried out at MARIN often had different
Downtime assessment
objectives, depending on the stage/phase of the project, such as
One of the key factors of (floating) LNG projects is that the
for instance ‘concept development’, ‘engineering prior to
loading/offloading availability of the LNG cargo to/from
investment decision’ and ‘final verification’. Design aspects
shuttle tankers should be guaranteed at a very high level.
(mooring, green water, motions) as well as operational aspects
Typically not more than one or two weather related offloading
of LNG loading in the offshore environment are usually
interruptions or delays can be allowed per year. Uptime values
included in the scope. Hydrodynamics and nautical study items
for weather related snapshot samples of more than 95% are
for operational aspects focus on:
typically required. Other causes of downtime, such as
- Evaluation of different concepts (e.g. side-by-side versus
equipment malfunction or supply mismanagement are
obviously not included in ‘weather related downtime’ analysis.
- Verification of proposed mooring pattern.
It should also be recognized that offshore offloading operations
- Verification of the motion response of the vessels (LNGC) in
are ultimately based on decisions of the mooring master.
close proximity of the FSRU/FLNG).
Weather windows for the execution of the total offloading
- Strategies for the approach and berthing, including
operation (24 to 30 hours) should be considered, as well as the
determination of the required tug capacity and evaluation of
persistency and seasonality. Distributed computing on a
emergency scenarios.
computer cluster allows time domain simulations for detailed
- Downtime assessment.
downtime assessment for several thousands of 3-hours wind,
LNG offloading operation will generally take some 24 to wave and current entries, covering several decades of (hindcast)
30 hours and consists in general of the following steps: metocean data [6]. Alternatively it is possible to adopt so called
1. Approach and berthing. ‘look-up’ tables for downtime assessment involving several
2. Fastening of mooring lines. decades of metocean data [14]. Sometimes so-called ‘tank top’
3. Connecting and cooling of the LNG loading arms. studies are performed for assessing the required storage
4. Offloading (FLNG) or loading (FSRU). capacity of the FLNG [5].
5. Purging, de-icing and disconnection of loading arms.
6. Singling up, disconnection of mooring lines and departure. Model tests
Physical model tests and/or wind tunnel test are often
The following two stages can be discerned from a required for floating LNG projects. The tests scope may depend
hydrodynamic/nautical perspective: on the objectives of the study and on the ‘phase’ that the project
A. Sailing phase (steps 1, 2 and 6). is in: e.g. concept phase, pre-FEED or FEED (Front End
B. Moored phase (steps 3, 4 and 5). Engineering and Design). Model tests for side-by-side
offloading have become more or less routine nowadays, aiming
Both the sailing phase and the moored phase have
primarily at verification and calibration of the numerical tools.
limitations in terms of the metocean conditions at which they
Model tests for DP tandem offloading are more in the
can be safely carried out (with particular sensitivity to relative
feasibility and optimization stage.
direction of wave, wind and current) and should both be
The scope of a model test campaign for a floating LNG
considered when evaluating downtime. Usually the two phases
project may involve the following items:
are considered separately and the results are combined in the
- Wind tunnel tests for determination of wind and/or current
downtime evaluation.
load coefficients for the FSRU/FLNG alone and for the
After arrival at the designated waiting area, located
export tanker in close proximity of the FLRU/FLNG.
approximately 2 to 3 miles from the FSRU/FLNG, the pilot
- Seakeeping model tests for determination of the motion
boards and the vessel starts to make the approach to the
characteristics (RAOs and QTFs) of the FSRU/FLNG. The
FSRU/FLNG. This approach can only start when the weather
roll response of the FSRU/FLNG and/or the export tanker is
forecast indicates that the weather conditions (current, wind and
of particular importance.
waves) are good enough for approaching, berthing and
- Wet tow model tests for the assessment of the transport of
offloading. Both the approach maneuver and offloading are
the FSRU/FLNG from the construction yard to the field.
limited by weather conditions with particular sensitivity to
- In place tests for the assessment of the (maximum) mooring
relative direction of wave, wind and current.
loads, deck wetness, slamming and maximum offset in the
The tugs connect at approximately 1 mile from the FSRU
design conditions.
or FLNG. The mooring master maneuvers the LNG carrier to a
- Offloading tests for the side-by-side or tandem operation.
position where he can start to make the approach at a small
angle to the FSRU/FLNG. Within about 500 meter, he will try Numerical models need to be calibrated and verified before
to avoid ‘collision’ course. they can be used for engineering and/or for downtime studies.

2 Copyright © 2013 by ASME

Due to non-linearities and the nature of the distribution - Use of tugs (though the tug capacity may be augmented
functions, small errors in the predicted loads and motions can based on results of the simulations as well).
have significant impact on the downtime figures. The - Forward speed during the approach.
calibration of the numerical model may involve (see Figure 4): - Lateral speed when berthing.
- Calibration of linear and quadratic roll damping.
Fast time maneuvering simulations are often used to select
- Verification and calibration of quadratic transfer functions.
the more challenging combinations of wind, waves and current
To a certain extent this can be controlled with the epsilon
to be evaluated in the full mission simulations. The set-up and
damping lid method for the waves in the gap between the
mathematical content of a fast time or real time simulation
two vessels [7], [8].
model is practically equal. The mooring master and tug masters
- Calibration of damping values for the low frequency relative
in the real time simulation model are replaced by an autopilot
motions between the two bodies (e.g. in-phase and out-of-
in the fast time simulation model. The autopilot controls the
phase sway and yaw), [9] [10].
ship and orders the tugs. Although an autopilot does not act
- Verification and calibration of wind and current loads,
exactly the same as a human, it has the advantage of consistent
including shielding effects.
reactions, which makes the results of the simulations better
- Full mission bridge simulations are needed to assess the
comparable. The autopilot generally performs better than a
human factor in the operation [1].
human navigator for track keeping in the approach. For the
- The operational limits of the tugboats in exposed offshore
final berthing a human navigator can better judge the specific
conditions need to be understood [13].
conditions and optimize the maneuver accordingly.
Nevertheless, the fast time simulations give a fair estimate of
Time domain simulations
the tug power required to control the berthing vessel. Figure 4
Time domain simulations in combination with linear
gives an example of an approach run by a mooring master on
diffraction analysis are the main tools for assessment of the
the full-mission bridge simulator and by the autopilot of the
motions, relative motions, mooring line loads and fender loads
fast-time model. Both runs are under the same conditions.
[9], [10]. The impulse response theory can be used to describe
the fluid reactive forces in the time domain:
6 t
∑ ( M kj + mkj )x j + ∫ Rkj ( t − τ )x j ( τ ) dτ + Ckj x j =
Fk ( t ) LNG berthing operations
j =1 −∞
While time-domain simulations indicate clearly whether
In the case of close proximity of two bodies, the equations certain criteria are exceeded under the considered metocean
of motions needs to be solved in a coupled manner, involving conditions for the moored situation, an assessment of the
12 degrees of freedom. The two bodies can each be subjected to weather limits for the approach and berthing is less
wave forces, hydrodynamic reaction forces and mechanical straightforward due to the human aspect. The results of the real
coupling effects. The inertia and added inertia matrices and also time maneuvering simulations depend on the skills of the
the matrices of the retardation functions are derived from multi- participating pilots, while the judgment of the pilot regarding
body diffraction analysis in the frequency domain. This implies the safety of the maneuver will be based on his previous
that wave shielding of one body behind another body is taken experience. An important aspect when judging the safety of the
into account. A damping lid method should be used in the maneuver is the possibility to abort in case of an emergency. In
diffraction analysis to suppress unrealistic wave resonance in some of the studies carried out, some mechanical failures were
the gap between the two vessels [7], [8]. introduced (e.g. main engine of LNGC, thrusters of
FSRU/FLNG, towline). Mostly dangerous situation could be
Nautical studies avoided by an adequate response, though in some cases the
Maneuvering simulations are used to evaluate the limiting situation was clearly considered unsafe. Based on the results of
conditions for the approach and berthing operation. Both fast a number of real time maneuvering simulations it is concluded
time simulations and real time simulations on a full mission that the berthing maneuver can be safely carried out in collinear
bridge simulator can be used. The latter has the advantage that conditions with wind speeds up to 10 to 15 m/s and current
the maneuvering is done by real mooring masters with speeds up to 0.8 to 1.2 m/s. Simulator runs beyond these values
experience in offshore operations, while the tugs can be steered were not studied in the projects carried out. Crossed metocean
by real tug masters. A run on the simulator takes about 1 hour. conditions are more difficult than collinear and larger tug forces
The maneuver is usually stopped when the LNGC is under and rudder angles are needed to control the LNGC. The limits
control close to the FSRU/FLNG with a few mooring lines for crossed metocean conditions are therefore generally
connected. Combining the professional judgment of mooring somewhat lower than for collinear conditions.
master, tug masters and simulator instructor with a numerical
analysis of the runs in which criteria for the controllability of Offshore LNG tug operations
the vessel are evaluated, the limiting conditions for For offshore operations and especially for side-by-side
maneuvering can be evaluated. Criteria may include: berthing the capabilities of the tugs and the limits under which
- Use of engine and rudder. they can operate are a vital issue. The tugs should be designed

3 Copyright © 2013 by ASME

and have the necessary equipment for assisting in waves. better when handling a tug in waves. It was also found that they
Various aspects of tug operations in waves were studied in the performed their tasks better at a lower workload.
SAFETUG projects [13]. One of these is the operational
performance of tugs in exposed conditions (Hs 2 to 3.5 m). Side-by-side offloading
Thrust losses in waves due to thruster ventilation, wave-wake Side-by-side offloading is often the preferred option in
interaction and tug motions can be significant (typically 15 to more benign metocean conditions, because it requires existing
30%). Considering that the crew is generally reluctant to have and proven technology and procedures. Side-by-side offloading
the engines at full power for a long time, the effective force of further allows using standard LNGCs with a conventional
the tug may in high waves be only some 50-60% of the rated midship manifold for the offloading. Although transfer of oil in
bollard pull. side by side arrangement has long been accepted in the
Other critical elements when operating in waves are the industry, for LNG it initially raised concerns in an industry
loads in the towing line: snap loads might result in line which is proud of its excellent safety record.
breakage. This can be prevented by installing an active or Today however, there is a growing confidence that side-by-side
passive towing winch that smoothens the line forces. At lower offloading can also provide the required high quality and high
wave conditions using a nylon tail in the towing line is also availability for offshore LNG [3]. For LPG side by side
effective for reducing the snap loads. Another measure that can offloading is already routinely carried out on several FPSOs
be taken is minimizing the motions of the tug by optimizing the [4], [14]. Typical motion, line load and fender load criteria for
design (e.g. hull form, roll damping). The latter has also the side-by-side offloading are presented in Table 2.
advantage that it contributes to crew safety and comfort. We reach the following major findings when reviewing the
In the projects that we have been involved, fairly large studies for side-by-side LNG offloading:
offshore tugs were considered for offshore LNG operations - Offshore side-by-side offloading requires 4 to 6 large
(e.g. 35 m long and 14 m wide). The rated bollard pull was pneumatic fenders (4.5 x 9.0 m) to provide protection for the
typically 90 to 110 ton. Offshore tugboats are mostly equipped two vessels while berthing and for maintaining a safe stand-
with azimuthing stern thrusters (ASD). The maximum tug force off distance between the vessels during offloading.
applied during the runs is 50 – 70 tons. Experienced mooring - Side-by-side LNG mooring requires typically 16 to 20
masters in a fairly smooth maneuver seem to need a little less mooring lines. In fact, studies have shown that side by side
power of the tug. mooring also works with a lower number of lines. The
During the approach maneuver the stern tug is mainly used recommended number of 16 to 20 lines is primarily based on
as a hold-back tug. By pulling straight astern the engine of the experience and need for redundancy in case of failure.
LNGC can be used to control the stern of the LNGC, while the - Long nylon stretchers (typically 22 m) are required for more
bow tug is used to control the bow. In higher waves is not exposed offshore conditions, to provide sufficient elasticity
possible to use the bow tug in a push/pull mode. It is and to limit the peak loads.
convenient if the stern tug is strong enough to compensate the - When two LNG vessels are of similar length, it becomes
forward thrust of the LNGC propeller if the engine is on Dead more difficult to deploy a mooring arrangement with the 22
Slow Ahead. In that case engine and rudder can be used to m nylon stretchers freely stretching between the two vessels.
control the LNGC. If the LNGC has to berth alongside an For large FLNGs this is less of a problem.
FSRU of similar length, the bow tug may be able to pull the - Provisions should be made to avoid that the lines would
ship towards the FSRU, but this is not possible when mooring exceed a maximum vertical angle of 15 degrees as a result of
to a much longer FLNG, or a large floater with an external different deck height and different loading condition of the
turret. By using the stern thrusters of the FSRU/FLNG such a two vessels.
heading may be chosen that the weather provides a small on- - Side-by-side offloading seems possible for significant wave
setting force, so that the tug(s) can be used in pulling mode heights up to 3.5 m. The maximum wave height for long
only. period swell (T p > 14 s) and for waves under an angle are
The effect of ship motions on human performance was generally much lower.
studied in SAFETUG [13]. This was done by executing escort - The ‘pumping mode’ at approximately 7 s period for the free
simulations on a fixed based simulator at MARIN and on the surface in the gap between the two side-by-side moored
TNO Desdemona simulator. The TNO Desdemona simulator vessels can have a profound effect on the relative drift forces
has a cabin with a basic bridge mock-up which is mounted in and induces slow drift relative sway and yaw response (jack-
an advanced motion platform. The tug master has to execute kniving). Waves of 6 to 8 s period coming at small angle
escort maneuvers in high sea states, while the cabin moves in from the bow at the side of the smaller vessel (usually the
the same way as the tug master’s chair would do on the real LNGC) provide often the dominant factor for downtime.
tug. The tug master also has to respond to a secondary task (he - Beam swell waves are another concern for side-by-side
has to press a foot switch as soon as a red light signal appears), offloading. Even a relatively small beam swell wave of say
to measure his workload. One of the outcomes of this Hs 0.5 to 1 m can result in significant relative vertical
experiment was that tug captains with more experience perform motions, especially due to rolling.

4 Copyright © 2013 by ASME

- The peak loads in the side-by-side mooring lines as well as offloading with an aerial cryogenic hose are presented in Table
the relative motions at the manifold position are the main 3.
factor for downtime. The fender compression is almost never
a determining downtime factor.
Figure 6 shows a scatter diagram of the percentage of
‘usage’ of the motion or load criterion versus the total
significant wave height for side-by-side offloading. The
percentage of entries in each cell is shown with a color coding.
A 100% ‘usage’ on the vertical axis of the plot means that one
(or more) of the motion or line load criteria is exceeded. The
use of long (25 m) nylon tails was assumed for the results in
Figure 6:
- The first thing that can be observed is the large scatter for the
whole range of significant wave heights. This is quite normal
for side-by-side and can be explained by sensitivity for wave
period, wave direction and for instance beam wave Figure 1 - Schematic overview of DP system
The main findings of recent (LNG) DP tandem offloading
- Obviously the percentage of ‘usage’ of the motions/load
projects are:
criterion increases with increasing wave height. However it
- The required total thrust capacity of the dedicated DP LNG
is rather difficult to establish a simple trend or trend line.
shuttle tanker was about 1700 kN (∼10 MW). The average
- The probability to exceed the motion/load criteria occurs for
required thrust capacity for station keeping in these test
total significant wave height below 1 m is not negligible,
resulting from beam swell conditions, waves at the roll conditions was about 50% of the total (∼5 MW).
period and for crossed wave conditions. - In most cases the dedicated DP LNG shuttle tanker could
- The probability to stay within the motion/load criteria for easily keep station in wave condition with Hs 3 to 5 m.
significant wave heights above 3 m is not negligible either. - In most cases, the maximum position error remained within
The situation with the smaller LNGC in a shielded position the +/- 5 m relative surge and +/- 15 m relative sway
‘behind’ the larger FLNG for waves at the port side sector criterion.
off the bow can for instance be quite favorable. Another - Stabilizing the heading of the turret moored FSRU/FLNG
example is when an FSRU and an LNGC of equal length with active stern thrusters often helped to reduce the position
move together in phase for head on conditions. error.
- For Hs < 3.0 m, about 3% of the cases exceed the - The position error and thruster use were found to be sensitive
motion/load criteria. for the angle between wind seas and swell.
- For Hs < 5.0 m, about 5% of the cases exceed the - Large roll motions can occur for the LNG shuttle tanker in
motion/load criteria. beam swell or crossed swell conditions, especially when the
peak period of the swell waves is close to the natural roll
period of the dedicated DP LNG shuttle tanker.
Tandem offloading (stern to bow)
For tandem offloading we can distinguish between single Figure 7 shows a scatter diagram of the percentage of
hawser mooring, bridle hawser, a yoke system or dynamic ‘usage’ of the relative motion criteria versus the total
positioning. DP tandem offloading with dedicated LNG tankers significant wave height for a DP tandem offloading case. The
seems nowadays the most promising concept for LNG percentage of usage was calculated as the ratio between the
offloading in exposed locations with harsh weather conditions. maximum position error and the DP tandem offloading criteria
Experience with DP tandem offloading from conventional (oil) of +/-5 m relative surge and +/- 15 m relative sway. Figure 6
FPSOs as well as from recent model test studies suggest that and 7 can be compared with each other, although it should be
DP tandem allows for offloading to be carried out in Hs 3 to 5 noted that a different set of metocean snap shot data were used:
m wave heights. However (DP) tandem offloading for LNG is - Significant scatter is also observed for the DP tandem
still in the concept phase and a lot of work remains to be done. results, but the scatter is not so big as for side by side. A
The aim of the DP system is to move the control point on reasonable trend line can in principle be fitted through the
the bow of the LNGC to the required position at the stern of the data points, but the important information of the scatter will
FLNG. The difference between the control point and the
then be lost.
required position is the position error. The DP system tries to
- On average, the percentage of ‘usage’ of the motion criteria
minimize the position error by controlling the propeller, rudder
increases with increasing wave height.
azimuthing thrusters and tunnel thrusters on the DP LNG
- DP tandem performs better than side by side in the more
tanker. Figure 1 shows a schematic overview of the DP control
system [11]. Typical relative motion criteria for DP tandem severe weather condition with waves above Hs 3 m.

5 Copyright © 2013 by ASME

However there are also cases where side by side does not Comparison of weather limits
perform much worse. ‘Established’ weather limits in literature seem to be more
- The biggest advantage of DP tandem seems its better or less in agreement with each other. It is however also clear
performance for the ‘difficult’ cases with relative low wave that a single parameter threshold, such as for instance the wind
heights between Hs 1 and 3 m. DP tandem is less sensitive speed or the wave height, is too much of a simplification. In
Table 4 we summarize the approximate weather limits that we
for beam swell and crossed conditions.
have seen in recent LNG studies. In Figure 3 we schematically
- About 2% of the tandem cases with Hs < 3.0 m is downtime show the percentage of ‘usage’ of the offloading criteria versus
- About 3% of the tandem cases with Hs < 5.0 m is downtime the total significant, based on the results in Figure 6 and 7.
- The approach and berthing maneuver of the LNG shuttle
Heading control tanker gets significantly more difficult for wind speeds of 10
Almost exclusively, all FSRU and FLNG concepts were to 15 m/s and/or for current speeds of 0.8 to 1.2 m/s.
turret moored facilities. The advantage of a turret moored - The use of offshore tugboats is typically restricted to wave
facility is that it finds an equilibrium heading under the heights up to Hs 2 to 3.5 m depending also on wave period
influence of current, wind and waves, which reduces the lateral and direction.
forces. The dominant winds and waves conditions are generally - Side-by-side mooring of an LNGC alongside an FSRU or
at the bow sector (see Figure 2). Heading into the wind is also FLNG with conventional mooring lines (11 m tails) is
beneficial for the approach and departure maneuver, as the possible for wave heights up Hs 1.5 to 2.5 m.
opposing forces of metocean conditions allow a better control - The weather limits for side-by-side can be increased to Hs 2
of the vessel. Since the equilibrium heading of the approaching to 3.5 m by using longer tails (22 m) and/or by using special
LNGC differs usually not too much from the equilibrium provisions such a special mooring deck, quick release hooks
heading of the FSRU/FLNG, the lateral forces by the metocean and load monitoring systems.
conditions are small, so that the LNGC can be easily controlled. - DP tandem offloading seems to have the potential for the
The turret mooring may however sometime be less favorable highest weather limits for offshore LNG. However the
for the approach maneuver in oblique conditions. When required hardware (e.g. cryogenic hoses, dedicated DP
berthing side-by-side, the approaching LNGC provides a shuttle tankers, etc.) is still under development and there is
shielding effect on the weathervaning FSRU/FLNG for the (almost) no real experience yet for LNG.
current or the wind (depending on directions relative to the - The weather limit for tandem offloading with a hawser
FLNG). The equilibrium is disturbed during the approach and system is typically at Hs 3 and 3.5.
the FLNG/FSRU starts to swing with its stern towards the - Tandem offloading with dedicated DP LNG shuttle tankers
LNGC. Stern thrusters and/or heading control on the seems possible for wave heights up to Hs 3.5 to 4.5 m.
FSRU/FLNG can reduce the heading variation. Heading control
can also be beneficial to obtain an off equilibrium heading for Since the areas of the weather limits in Figure 3 are
which the environment provides a small on-setting force on the overlapping, it is possible that several competing concepts are
approaching LNGC, so that the tugs can be used in a pulling feasible for a certain project or locations.
mode only (no push mode) to control the berthing speed of the Side by side
LNGC. (25 m nylon tails)
Heading control can be used during the moored phase to
avoid beam wave conditions and to reduce the associated roll
motions [12]. Heading control on a FSRU/FLNG may have a
berthing mode setting (allowing small heading changes) and a
non-berthing mode setting (allowing larger variations in
heading, to avoid large roll motions in beam swell).
DP tandem

Figure 3 – Schematic diagram of weather limits for side by

side mooring (with 25 m nylon tails) and tandem offloading
(preliminary result), based on results in Figure 6 and 7

Figure 2 - Example of relative wind direction

6 Copyright © 2013 by ASME

[5] Orimo, Y., de Wilde, J., Ichimaru, Y., Terashima, T. and
van den Berg, J., “Methodology to determine floating
Side-by-side and tandem operations with LNGCs to
LNG tank capacity by combination of side-by-side
FSRU/FLNG are feasible and can be performed safely.
downtime simulation and cost/benefit analysis”, OTC
Limiting conditions for side-by-side approach and berthing are:
paper 23019, 2012
wind 10-15 m/s, current 0.8-1.2 m/s and Hs 2-3 m waves. For
[6] Wilde, de J.J., Dijk, van, A., Berg, van den J. and Dekker,
being moored the limit for the wave height depends strongly on
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operations using computer cluster”, Proceedings of the
operations are expected in the coming years. We are looking
ISOPE Conference ISOPE paper 2009-TPC-168, Osaka,
forward to receive feedback from the first real operations.
Japan, 2009.
The focus in real time maneuvering simulations for design
[7] Fournier, J.R., Naciri, M. and Chen X-B.
studies is often on approach and berthing. Departures get often
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less attention, though the limit for deberthing should also be
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governing for the moored phase. If conditions deteriorate the
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Most of the available time during full mission bridge
[8] Pauw, W.H., Huijsmans, R.H.M. and Voogt, A.J. (2007),
simulations is usually spent on arrival and departure maneuvers
“Advances in the hydrodynamics of side-by-side moored
at the equilibrium heading. Only occasionally a run is used to
vessels”, Proc 26th Int Conf on Offshore Mechanics and
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could be worthwhile to explore this further.
[9] Buchner, B., van Dijk, A.W. and de Wilde J.J. (2001),
We have a growing confidence that the motions and loads
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reasonable accuracy with model tests and time domain
Conf, Stavanger, Norway, ISOPE 2001.
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[10] Naciri, M., Waals, O. and de Wilde, J.J. (2007), “Time
comparison work is done between model tests and numerical
domain simulations of side-by-side moored vessels –
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is a ‘reality’ check with actual feedback from real operations.
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We realize, however, that it is often difficult to obtain
California, USA, OMAE2007-29756.
simultaneous information of line loads, (relative) vessel
[11] Wilde, J.J. de, Serraris, J., Ridder, E. de, Bécel, M.,
motions, loading conditions, vessel heading and instantaneous
Fournier, J., 2010, “Model test investigation of LNG
wind, wave and current conditions.
tandem offloading with dynamic positioned shuttle
DP tandem offloading seems to have the potential for the
tankers”, Proc 29th Int Conf on Offshore Mechanics and
highest weather limits for offshore LNG. However the required
Arctic Eng, Shanghai, China, OMAE2010-20684.
hardware (e.g. cryogenic hoses, dedicated DP shuttle tankers,
[12] Voogt, A., “Effect of heading control on LNG
etc.) is still under development and a lot of work remains to be
offloading”, Proceedings of the ISOPE Conference
ISOPE paper 2009-TPC-740, Osaka, Japan, 2009.
The authors would encourage the development of more
[13] De Jong, J.H. et al., “Ship assist in fully exposed
examples of plots like in Figure 6 and 7, with percentage of
conditions – Joint Industry Project SAFETUG II”,
‘usage’ versus total significant wave height. Such plots can
Proceedings ITS 2010.
provide a better picture of the actual limits of the different
[14] Poldervaart, L., Oomen H., Ellis, J., “Offshore LNG
offloading concepts.
transfer: a worldwide review of offloading availability”,
OTC paper 18026, 2006.
[1] Doorn, J.T.M. van and Hove, D. ten, “F(P)SO offloading
concepts, their nautical feasibility and safety assessment”,
OTC paper 14296, 2002.
[2] Valk, van der C.A.C. “Mooring of LNG carriers to a
weathervaning floater – side-by-side or stern to bow”,
OTC paper 17154, 2005.
[3] Gilchrist, R.D.M., “Lightering the load (LNG)”, OTC
paper 19396, 2008.
[4] Newby, M.A. and Pauw, W.H., “Safe transfer of liquefied
gas in the offshore environment”, OTC paper 20447,

7 Copyright © 2013 by ASME

Table 1 - FLNG versus FSRU
Larger floater Smaller floater
− 400-500m long, 60-80m wide − 300 m long, 45-50m wide
− more stable platform − larger motions in waves
− tugs cannot pull LNGC to FLNG − tugs can pull LNGC to FSRU
High main deck Main deck similar to LNGC
− mooring lines going up/ separate deck − mooring lines horizontal
Far offshore Close to shore
− tugs on site continuously − port can be basis for tugs
Both FSRUs and FLNGs
Turret moored Tugs
− turns into the weather − fairly large offshore tugs considered (36-40m long, 14m
− more severe conditions usually bow on wide)
− makes approach easier − bollard pull >80 t
− less stable heading in some more benign conditions

Table 2 - Side-by-side offloading

Typical motion criteria for relative motions at (midship) Typical mooring load criteria for side-by-side offloading:
offloading point: − 682 kN SWL for SBS mooring lines
− +/- 4 m relative surge − 2500 kN SWL for fenders
− +/- 2 m relative sway
− +/- 2 m relative heave

Table 3 - DP tandem offloading

Typical motion criteria for DP tandem offloading: Typical hardware for DP tandem offloading:
− +/- 5 m relative surge − Dedicated shuttle tanker with main propeller, rudders,
− +/- 15 m relative sway azimuthing thrusters aft, azimuthing thrusters fore
− +/- 30 deg relative yaw − Typically 10 MW total available thrust capacity for DP
− Provision for offloading at the bow

Table 4 – Approximate weather limits for offshore LNG offloading

Wind Current Hs
Offloading configuration
[m/s] [m/s] [m]
Approach Shuttle tanker 10 – 15 0.8 – 1.2 -
Offshore tugboats - - 2.0 – 3.5
Jetty Conventional tails (11 m) - - 1.5 – 2.5
Side-by-side Conventional tails (11 m) - - 1.5 – 2.5
Extended tails (22 m) - - 2.0 – 3.5
Tandem Hawser - - 3.0 – 3.5
DP - - 3.5 – 4.5

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Coefficients: Metocean
Wind tunnel
- roll damping snapshot
- epsilon lid data
- side by side damping
Basin tests aNySIM model
- line loads
- fender loads
Diffraction analysis - relative motions Verification
aNySIM model

Berthing criteria:
Full Mission Bridge - wind speed Condor
Tug criteria: assessment
Tug boats - wave weight
Figure 4 - Calibration and verification of numerical model

Figure 5 – Example of approach run with a mooring master on the full-mission bridge simulator (top) and the autopilot run
with the fast-time model (bottom)

9 Copyright © 2013 by ASME

Figure 6 – Example scatter diagram of the percentage of ‘usage’ of the motion or load criterion versus the total significant
wave height for side-by-side offloading [6]

Figure 7 - Example scatter diagram of the percentage of ‘usage’ of the relative motion criteria versus the total significant wave
height for DP tandem offloading

10 Copyright © 2013 by ASME