Offshore Platform Structural Verification and Requalification—The Regulator's Viewpoint of Aging Platforms

by Martin L. Eskijian, California State Lands Commission, Long Beach, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91


The regulator's viewpoint of the structural verification and requalification of aging offshore oil platforms is crucial to the continued production of oil and gas. For the case of offshore California, the average age of platforms in state waters is over 20 years, and inspection reports indicate structural damage in some cases. These platforms were not designed to current codes and regulations and may require requalification for continued operations. A second situation is more complicated than the first, and occurs when the operator seeks to modify activities on the aging platform, such as drilling, fluid injection or any variation of the approved in-place set of operations. It should also be noted that offshore California, the seismic loading environment is severe, in contrast to the Gulf of Mexico. This paper provides a background of the regulator's dilemma, including a summary of the current research being conducted in the United States, the computational tools required, and an indication of program objectives for one regulatory agency.

Subject Headings: Offshore platforms | Verification | Aging (material) | Load and resistance factor design | Seismic loads | Earthquake resistant structures | Seismic design | Structural safety | United States | California | Gulf of Mexico

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