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Proceedings of the Eleventh (2001) International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference Stavanger, Norway, June 17-22, 2001

Copyright 2001 by TireInternational Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers ISBN 1-880653-51-6 (Set); ISBN 1-880653-52-4 (Vol. I); ISSN 1098-6189 (SeO

Coupled Dynamic Response of Moored FPSO with Risers

J.M. Heurtier
Institut Frangais du P6trole, Rueil-Malmaison, France

P. Le Buhan and E. Fontaine

Principia, La Seyne sur Mer, France

C. Le Cunff and F. Biolley

Institut Fran~;ais du P6trole, Rueil-Malmaison, France

C. Berhault
Principia, La Seyne sur Mer, France

ABSTRACT This paper deals with the dynamic response to environmental sea loads of complex offshore structures, such as ship-based Floating Production and Storage Offloading vessels (FPSO) with mooring lines and risers. Usually, each component is analyzed individually, and sub-system interactions are then accounted for in a simplified way. Intrinsically, such a modelling based on an uncoupled approach remains limited to cases of weak interactions. In the present study, a fully coupled approach is presented wherein the motions of the floater, mooring lines and risers are computed simultaneously in the time domain. Comparisons between coupled and uncoupled results are presented for a moored FPSO in harsh environment. KEY-WORDS: FPSO, coupled analysis, riser, mooring lines INTRODUCTION Computing the dynamic behaviour of a multi-component offshore structure due to environmental sea loads (wind, waves, current) is a complex problem. In the early phase of a project, it is common practice to design each component of the system individually (see e.g. API-2SK), eventually taking into account subsystem interactions in a simplified way. This type of approach is commonly referred to as an uncoupled analysis, by opposition to a fully coupled method wherein all the system components and their mutual interactions are computed simultaneously. The degree of uncertainty of the uncoupled approach is not clearly defined, nor its domain of validity. In particular, the validity of such an approach remains questionable in harsh environment where the highest accelerations are expected. The goal of the study is to provide more insight into the relative importance of these coupled effects for the case of a FPSO moored in deep water. The uncoupled analysis consists of two phases. The ship motion is first computed based on a simplified response of the mooring lines. In the second step, the motion given by the RAO is imposed as top end excitations to study the dynamics of the risers and mooring lines. In the first step of the uncoupled analysis, the low

frequency (LF) and wave frequency (WF) part of the ship motion are computed separately. For the added mass and damping coefficients, zero asymptotic values are used in the low frequency computations, while frequency dependent values are chosen to evaluate the wave frequency part of the signal. The so-called memory effect, represented by a convolution integral arising from the passage from the frequency to the time domain is neglected, therefore assuming a clear distinction between the low and wave frequencies. This assumption can be justified for large bodies like a FPSO vessel, but may fail in the case of an offloading buoy which size is comparable to the characteristic wave length. In the ship motion computation, the mooring lines and risers are represented by their corresponding stiffnesses which may depend on the vessel position. These stiffnesses values result from preliminary quasi-static computations. Static equilibrium is computed either using analytical cable elements, or numerically using a Finite Element Method together with a beam element approximation to account for the bending stiffness of the line. Within the framework of the uncoupled approach, the ship motions are not influenced by the mooring lines and risers accelerations. The low frequency drift damping effect due to the lines is also neglected, although taking into account this phenomenon is essential to obtain accurate predictions for the roll motion and the dynamic behaviour in extreme waves (see e.g. Webster, 1995). As far as hydrodynamics loads are concerned, the main nonlinearities of the flow are classically accounted for within the framework of second order potential flow theory, see e.g. Newman (1967) and Molin (1993) for a more recent and complete analysis. Second order radiation - diffraction theory has proven its efficiency to explain the observed nonlinear effects in most cases. For consistency, it would appear natural to solve with the same level of accuracy the motion of the mooring lines and risers, together with their relative influence on the ship motion. Such coupled effects have only recently received considerable attention, due to the large amount of CPU time required for their study. As we shall see, the time step used in the structural computation of the mooring lines is much smaller than the hydrodynamic time step driving the floater





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Fig. 1: Illustration of the possible large amplitude low frequency horizontal motions associated with second order nonlinear effects.

motion. The situation is even worst when the floater is subjected to large amplitude horizontal displacements, as it is the case for either a moored FPSO or a semi-sub platform. Second order resonant interaction occurs at a low frequency so that long time simulations are necessary to obtain correct statistical estimates. Numerous studies have recently been performed in order to assess the effect of the coupling on different offshore systems such as Tension Leg Platform (Paulling & Webster, 1995, Ma & Lee, 2000), Spar buoy (Gupta, Finn & Weaver, 2000, Colby et al., 2000). Coupled analysis on TLP have been presented by Paulling & Webster (1986), Kim et al. (1994), and Heurtier et al. (1994) among others. Ma & Lee (2000) compared a spar to a TLP for different depths up to ultradeep water. As far as FPSO are concerned, case studies have been proposed by Chakrabarti et al. (1996) and Ormberg & Larsen (1998). To compute the motion of the moored FPSO, it is important to take into account the low frequency damping due to the mooring lines and risers motions. This effect was also studied experimentally and theoretically by Wichers & Huijsmans, 1990, Le Boulluec et al. 1994, Bompais et al., 1994, Webster, 1995, Wichers & Ji, 2000, among others. Low frequency wave drift damping may also play an important role especially in extreme wave conditions. In the present study, our goal is to compare the different methods for computing the FPSO displacements and mooring lines tension. A brief description of the physical effects taken into account within the different computational methods is first given. A test case in ultra-deep water is then presented and detailed comparisons between uncoupled and coupled results are presented. COMPUTING METHODOLOGY The DeepLines software package allows to study a complex offshore system using either the uncoupled or the fully coupled analysis. The structural modelling of flexible risers and mooring lines can be carried out with cable, bar, and slender beam elements. The latter have six degrees of freedom per node and allow large displacements and moderate strains, together with torsion and bending interactions. Drag loads on the risers and the mooring lines are evaluated using a modified Morison's formulation. Sea bed contact is included in the model although friction was not used in the present modelling. From a numerical point of view, the principle of virtual works is classically discretised using Newmark's scheme

associated with the Finite Element Method. The resulting nonlinear system is solved by Newton Raphson' s algorithm. The equations describing the FPSO motion at both the wave and low frequencies are also integrated at each time step as part of the solution. In the structural modelling, the FPSO is represented by its center of mass where both hydrodynamics loads and external restoring forces due to risers and mooring lines are applied. The flow around the FPSO is modeled using linearized potential theory wherein hydrodynamic wave loads are described by frequencydependent added mass and linear damping coefficients. From a numerical point of view, the floater equation of motion is integrated using a backward first order Euler's scheme which appears to be accurate enough. Indeed, the time-step used in the simulation remains small and is dynamically driven by the motion of flexible elements, so that the ship motion equation is integrated with high accuracy. Several coupling options have been implemented. Depending on both the physics of the problem and CPU time constraints, the wave- and low-frequency motions of the FPSO can be studied either separately or within a fully coupled approach.

Low-frequency computations
When this option is chosen, the low frequencies and wave frequencies phenomena are assumed to be independent. The floater motion X(t) is then decomposed into low frequencies and wave frequencies components, according to X(t)=XLe(t)+XwF(t). The wave frequencies part is obtained from the first order transfer functions X(1)RAo according to

XWF(0 --


a j .X RAc, ((_O.


where aj refers to the wave elevation of the jth spectral component defining the wave elevation, with frequency @ incidence ft. ~ is the phase of the motion with respect to the waves at CoG. The low frequencies motion is ruled by the following equation


/ / /

. . ~ p r l n g Duog

~ ~ g~

oxport rigor ~


1 i ~0, ,~3..~,..,,>.~.,,~ ~ - - , ~ , .........


S~I ~


< ...............


....... -_ ....







Fig. 2: Finite element model to describe the geometrical configuration.

(M + M . (0))X LF (t) + BX LF (t) + K,,:t X LF (t)

E(1) ( t ) "ad


= Evind (17,2 ) -4- ~c'ttr (17, 2 ) Jr- Fdrag (t) -[- Enoo,ing (17, X ) + F(2) (t)
In this last equation, Ma(O) is the asymptotic added mass for large periods, B is the additional low frequencies damping matrix accounting for drift motion, friction, and drag on the lines. Kh,.d is the hydrostatic stiffness matrix. In the right hand side, fluid loads include wind-current induced drags, Fwi,,u, F ...... together with viscous drag on the hull and its additional appendices Fj,-aa. The expressions for these forces are based on a Morison formulation, therefore using relative velocity. The mooring lines and risers provide a restoring force F, ..... i,,g. Finally, second order low frequencies loads due to irregular waves F(2)Le are computed based on either Newman's simplified analysis, or full QTF computations. Wave frequencies

R(t) _ _2 i; B.,<,((o) c o s ( a r ) d a )
These expressions for the radiation forces and memory function are only valid for zero forward speed and zero current speed. Wave drift damping is accounted using Arahna (1993)'s formula. First order diffraction (Froude-Krilov) loads are deduced from the previously obtained Response Amplitude Operators

Nh (1) E i[7'(1) )e-i[('jt+kj(xcsfl+ysinfl)+OJ] Fw<,ve (t) a i . ~ o ((oj


Quasi-static analysis
When this type of analysis is chosen, the restoring forces associated to the mooring lines are determined by preliminary quasi-static calculations. The static equilibrium is found for different positions of the floater and the mooring stiffness are stored. During the time domain simulation, the mooring restoring force is updated at each time step by a linear interpolation depending on the floater position. There are major drawbacks in using this approach. The dynamic components of the restoring forces (added mass inertia term) is neglected, therefore assuming the total mass of the mooring system to be much smaller than the floater mass. When computing the hydrodynamic force acting on the lines, the relative velocity is taken as the fluid velocity (wave and current) since the mooring lines are supposed to be in equilibrium, i.e. at rest. The well known low frequency damping effect due to the mooring system is therefore not correctly taken into account although simplified approach can be used (Huse & Matsumoto, 1988, 1989, 1992). The non-linearity of the line response in case of seabed contact with friction or clashes is not correctly reproduced. Finally, the dynamical behaviour of some


When this option is chosen, the following equation is used to describe the floater motion
-. F

-4-~t 'ind(17'X ) -[- l~c.ttr( t , X ) --]-l~Tdra (17 X ) g , Jr-F(l)wave(17,X ) -4-I~mooring(17X ) ,

The radiation loads are this time directly computed taking into account the retardation function


specific moorings, like fiber ropes, can simply not be modeled properly. All this effects are correctly taken into account in the fully coupled analysis. FULLY COUPLED ANALYSIS One of the test case proposed by Ormberg & Larsen (1998) was reproduced (see fig. 2). The turret-moored FPSO is anchored by 2000m water depth using eight mooring lines. The system included also two production risers, one gas export riser and one oil export

riser, all made of steel and displaced in the "low long wave" configuration as suggested by Karunakaran et al. (1996). The environmental loads involve co-linear wind, waves and current which are assumed to act in the direction of line 1. A NPD wind gust spectrum was used with wind velocity 33.9m/s, and lh average time. The Jonswap wave spectrum with significant wave height Hs=l 6.2m and peak period Tp=16.2s was used. The current decays linearly from 0.95m/s at the sea surface to 0.0m/s at the sea bed. A fully coupled simulation was performed on the above






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12 ,0

. 0.012~. 5





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Fig. 3" Surge motion versus time. (a) complete simulation. (b) zoom near a peak, to emphasize the low frequency and wave frequency contributions. (c) Fast Fourier Transform of the signal (a). The mean and standard deviation are also represented by the continuous and dashed lines, respectively.






t (s)




32~0~v t (=.)

















,I ......... 0.025

Fig. 4: Heave motion versus time. (a) complete simulation. (b) zoom near a peak, to emphasize the low frequency and wave frequency contributions. (c) Fast Fourier Transform of the signal (a). The mean and standard deviation are also represented by the continuous and dashed lines, respectively. 322


4500 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 1000 2000 3000 tlmo 4000 (s) 5000 600U


4500 4000 3500 3000 ~500 2000 1500 1000


325u 35UU 3/5U 4000

sooo 4000

mentioned case. Due to the low frequency motion of the FPSO, with period of the order of 500s (see fig. 3), the simulation has to be performed over a significant period of time, typically three hours, to get statistical estimates with enough accuracy. Nevertheless, the time step used in the simulation has to be relatively small, typically of the order of 0.2s, in order to compute accurately the lines dynamics, especially the inertia terms. The fully coupled simulation is therefore relatively time consuming and can only be performed during the final stage of design, in the validation phase. For instance, the results presented here have required about ten computational days on a regular PC (500Mhz). In this context, having an initial knowledge of the relative importance of the coupled effects appears interesting. The temporal evolution of the FPSO surge motion is presented in fig. 3. The horizontal motion (see fig. 3a) is mainly driven by second order, low frequency, resonant interactions, whose amplitudes are generally higher than those corresponding to the wave motion, as shown on fig. 3b. The mean and standard deviation are represented by the continuous and dashed lines, respectively. In the present case, the maximum variation is comprised within a range of two standard deviations with respect to the mean value. The relative importance of the oscillatory motion due to the incoming waves remains relatively small. A Fast Fourier Transform indicates that most of the energy contained in the signal is concentrated in the low frequency range, as shown in fig. 3c. Note that no noticeable peak is observed near the wave spectrum peak frequency. The temporal evolution of the FPSO heave motion is presented in fig. 4. Note that low frequency vertical motion was not allowed in the simulation. In general, the vertical motion is mainly driven by first order, wave frequency, resonant interactions. The observed peaks correspond to the highest waves of the time series. A more detailed view near a peak is presented on fig. 4b. In the present case, the maximum variation of the tension is located within three standard deviations of the mean value. A Fast Fourier Transform of the signal indicates that most of the energy contained in the signal is



(1 Is)



Fig. 5: Top tension in the most loaded line versus time. (a) complete simulation. (b) zoom near a peak, to emphasize the low frequency and wave frequency contributions. (c) Fast Fourier Transform of the signal concentrated, although relatively spread, around the wave spectrum peak frequency, as shown in fig. 4c. An improvement of the present computation would be to allow low frequency vertical motion and to compute nonlinear hydrostatic, i.e. including the free surface deformations. The temporal evolution of the top tension in the most loaded line is presented in fig. 5a and 5b. The mean level of the curve corresponds roughly to the value given by the initial static computation. The dynamical part of the signal is important, both in the low frequency and wave frequency range. Dynamical effects, which are represented by the fluctuations, reach up to 30 percent of the static value in this case, thus the need for a dynamic method of prediction. In fig. 5c, the presence of two peak values indicates that the energy of the signal is located in both, low and wave frequency range. The low frequency part of the signal, experienced by slow variations around the quasi-static value is mainly connected to the horizontal displacement. Similarly, the wave frequency part of the signal is connected to the vertical displacement of the top riser, or equivalently, to the FPSO heave motion. QUASI-STATIC VS. DYNAMIC COMPUTATIONS Quasi-static uncoupled computations are classically performed in the preliminary design phase of a mooring system, therefore neglecting both, the line inertia and the influence of the line dynamics on the vessel motion (coupled effect). A first question which arises at this stage is the relative importance of the dynamical effects. In other words, what would be the FPSO displacement and the most loaded line top tension if quasi-static computations, instead of dynamical one, had been performed. Figure 6 shows comparisons between numerical results obtained by the fully coupled approach, performing either quasi-static or dynamic computations. Computations of the vessel motion in the low frequency range (LF symbol), or both, low frequency and wave spectrum peak frequency (LWF) are presented together with either quasi static (QS) or dynamics (D) computations of the line motions.


--120 --130 --1 4 0 x -150 -160 -170

. . . . .


_ 8

6 4 2 N 0 -2 -4 -6 -8 0

4000 3500 3000

"~ 2 5 0 0
2000 1 500 100 ' 2&O ' (s) 3&O 4&O 5dO

Fig. 6" Influence of the lines dynamics. Comparison between the fully coupled simulations with or without taking into account the inertia (acceleration) of the lines See the comments in the text.

5 0 -5 -10 -15 -20 -25









2 1 0 -1



-3 -2 -4 -5 ' 0

6000 5000 4000 "~ 3000 2000 1000 1 ~)0






6000 5000 4000 "~ 3000 2000 1000 0



( )

1 O0

| o

Fig. 7" FPSO in shallow water (200m). Comparison between quasi-static et dynamic analysis. (a) FPSO surge motion (b) heave motion, et (c), (d) top tension in the most loaded line


E x










8 6 4 2 0 -2 -4 -6 -8 -10 ' 100 ' 2&O ' ' ' 300 . . . . 460 _

D e LW

c o u

pl e d



4 0 0 0 _ 3500 3000 ~1| ,,.,


e c o u

,N 2500 2000 1500

| , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,







Fig. 8: Comparison between the fully coupled and uncoupled simulations. (a) FPSO horizontal surge motion, (b) vertical heave motion, and (c) tension in the most loaded line. In order to illustrate the importance of dynamical effects, we present in this paragraph some results from a first draft concept studied at IFP. The floater is moored by 16 mooring lines in shallow water (200m depth). Dynamic and quasi-static results are presented in fig. 7. Due to the relatively short length of the lines, the horizontal motion is correctly predicted by the quasi-static analysis. Indeed, low frequency damping is negligible. Both quasi-static and dynamic analysis predict large amplitude variations of the top tension in the most loaded line. The maximum values can reach up to four times the static equilibrium values. Modifications of the floater were necessary to reduce the sensitivity of the system to environmental loads. It is also observed that maximum values are sligthly different, since the value predicted by the dynamic analysis is 15% higher for this run. UNCOUPLED VS. COUPLED ANALYSIS In this section, comparisons between the fully coupled and uncoupled approaches are presented. To obtain the uncoupled results, a low frequency quasi-static (LF-QS) computation was first performed using zero frequency asymptotic values for the added mass and damping coefficient, neglecting also the line inertia. In this computation, the mooring line stiffness, deduced from a quasistatic analysis, is regularly updated depending on the offset position of the vessel. The wave frequency part of the signal is obtained by solving the FPSO equation of motion, using values of coefficients at the wave spectrum peak frequency and neglecting the low frequency motion of the FPSO. The RAO and mooring stiffness are computed once for all in the position of static equilibrium under stationary loads. The uncoupled approach was run using the same temporal sequence for the wave elevation. Comparison between uncoupled and fully coupled approaches are presented in fig. 8 for the first 500 sec. of the simulation. Although only the beginning of the

Clearly, taking into account the line inertia tends to reduce the amplitude of the surge motion (fig. 6a), by a factor of almost 2 in the present case. The main difference arises in the low frequency part of the signal. The differences between the two computations arise through the inertia terms which are neglected, or not, and through the drag force which is evaluated using either absolute or relative velocity. Two additional low frequency simulations, not presented here, were performed with zero drag coefficients, leading to almost identical results. It is therefore concluded that inertia effects do not play a crucial role in explaining the observed differences in results between quasi-static and dynamic computations. An accurate estimation of the relative velocity between the fluid and the riser is necessary to reproduce correctly the low frequency damping due to the mooring system. It is also interesting to note that the complete signal (LFW), including the wave frequency part, does not always oscillate around the low frequency value. Such a behavior can be observed near t=200s for the quasi-static computation, and near t=400s in the dynamical case. This effect seems to be the result of a coupled behavior, between the line and the FPSO motions, but also between the frequency ranges. As far as heave motion is concerned, there are very little differences between the quasi-static and dynamic computations. The effective tension in the most loaded line (fig. 6c) differs significantly whether or not dynamical effects are included. If the low frequency variations remain similar, the wave frequency part of the top tension is very sensitive to the inertia of the line. In the present example near t=100s, the dynamical value reaches almost twice the quasi-static value. Although this peak may still lies in the transient regime, it is clear from the graph that dynamic effects must be accounted for in the design the mooring lines.


simulation is considered here, it was checked that the observed effects are representative. For the surge motion, fig. 8a, the uncoupled approach give similar results compared to the fully coupled quasi-static analysis. The low frequency parts of the two signals are almost identical, except near extreme values. The wave frequency part of the signal is slightly out of phase, due to the fact that the FPSO displacement has not been updated in the uncoupled approach. For the surge motion, coupling effects are relatively small compared to the dynamical effects. For the heave motion, fig. 8b, the uncoupled and fully coupled approaches give also very similar results, although a phase lag is observed due to the fact the FPSO horizontal motion is not updated during the uncoupled simulation. Finally, the top tensions in the most loaded line are comparable (fig.8c), but interesting discrepancies are observed. Although the low frequency part of the fully coupled method has an amplitude slightly lower than the one given by the uncoupled approach, the top tension predicted by the fully coupled analysis can be either larger or smaller than the one predicted by the uncoupled approach.


CONCLUSIONS For the test case considered here, i.e. a FPSO anchored in deep water, by 2000m depth, the previous computations lead to conclude that: The horizontal motion of the vessel (surge) arises mainly in the low frequency range, and must be computed including the line dynamics. The quasi-static uncoupled analysis tends to over predict the surge amplitude due to an inaccurate evaluation of the drag force acting on the mooring system. The coupled approach allows to take into account properly the low frequency damping associated with the mooring system. Contrary to the surge motion, the vertical motion (heave) at the wave frequency does not vary significantly whether or not the dynamics of the lines are considered. The top tension in the mooring lines must also be computed using a dynamical analysis, for both the low frequency and peak spectrum wave frequency parts. As far as the top tension is concerned, either the uncoupled or coupled methods can be said always conservative, thus the need for dynamic simulations. The uncoupled approach offers an interesting compromise between complexity, accuracy, and CPU time, thus its efficient use in the early design phase of a mooring system. Despite the relatively good agreements between uncoupled and fully coupled signals, it should be noted that maximum values are different. From the case studied here, it seems that coupling effects are relatively small for FPSO. This has to be confirmed by more case studies. However, fully coupled simulations are probably needed to model smaller floating units in extreme waves yielding to survival conditions. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We would like to acknowledge the financial support of the French Comit6 d'Etudes P6troli~res et Marines, CEP&M.

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