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Floating Production and Storage Offloading

The deepwater offshore petroleum industry relies on FPSOs (Floating Production and Storage Offloading) ships to store and transport petroleum products from deep, far offshore wells. Storms and rogue waves present structural problems to ships and wave impact loads are required to predict structural safety margins.

Floating production and storage offloading using FLOW-3D CFD software
Simulation of wave impact on an FPSO.
Courtesy of Charles Ortloff.

A full scale FLOW-3D model of the prow and bridge of an FPSO was used to compute the transient impact deck and bridge loads of a 60 ft high wave over the deck height. The attached figure shows an instant in time after wave impact where water has accumulated and is running off the deck- the area pressure distribution on the deck then yields one snapshot in time of the wave impact pressure history.

A complete time sequence of wave impact, free-surface shapes and pressure loads is given in Numerical Test Tank Simulation of Ocean Engineering Problems by Computational Fluid Dynamics, Offshore Technology Conference Paper 8269, Houston, TX, 1997.