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ABS Provides Support for Papa Terra Field Development
ABS has been selected to class one of the major components in Petrobras’ Papa Terra field development offshore Brazil. The tension-leg wellhead platform (TLWP) known as P-61 will be ABS classed and is the first-of-its-kind TLWP dry tree application to be installed in deepwater offshore Brazil.

Houston-based FloaTEC designed the TLWP which will be built at Keppel’s BrasFels yard in Angra dos Reis. ABS has extensive experience providing technical services for tension-leg platforms (TLPs). There are presently 22 TLPs installed worldwide. Of those, 15 TLPs were built to ABS class or certified by ABS.   

The Papa Terra heavy oil field is located in the Campos Basin approximately 68 miles off Rio de Janeiro in water depths of up to 3,940 feet. Petrobras and partner Chevron are slated to put the field into production by late 2013.

Graphic courtesy of FloaTEC


State-of-the Art CSS Oil Well Intervention Vessel
ABS will class a new oil well intervention compact semisubmersible (CSS) vessel on order from Hallin Marine to be built at Drydocks World in Singapore with delivery expected in 2012. The CSS Derwent features a semisubmersible style hull to provide exceptional seakeeping characteristics while increased deck space provides improved project load carrying capacity.

The CSS concept represents a new subsea operations vessel capable of working in any water depth without the need to jack up or set anchors. The primary focus of the vessel will be light well intervention to provide repair and maintenance services to existing offshore wells and subsea oil production systems support.   

The 84 meter, 8,200 dwt CSS Derwent has big ship capability with advanced stationkeeping control as a dynamically positioned class 3 (DPS-3) vessel, a 200 ton multipurpose tower, a 150 ton active heave crane, both operational to depths of 3,000 meters, as well as two deepwater remotely operated vehicles. The CSS Derwent has accommodations for up to 152 people and is classed as a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) with the following notations: +A1, Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit, +AMS, (E), DPS-3, UWILD, Helideck.

Agreement photo

Addressing Riser Technology & Certification
ABS has formed a cooperative agreement with deepwater technology leader Horton Wison Deepwater to strengthen riser and subsea experience. Certification of risers and flowlines is required as part of the US Minerals Management Service’s (MMS) overall offshore platform verification program.

A certified verification agent (CVA) is required by MMS specifically for riser systems while risers connected to floating platforms are subject to MMS requirements for design, fabrication and installation. Riser technology is becoming increasingly important with ultra deepwater developments.

Signing agreement

Brazil Offshore Technology Center Advances Energy Innovation
ABS announced the establishment of the ABS Brazil Offshore Technology Center in partnership with the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (COPPE/UFRJ) in late May.   

The focus of the center will be on research intended to support the development of new technologies for offshore facilities. Although the research efforts will place a particular emphasis on facilities intended for use in Brazilian waters, broader challenges associated with offshore energy resource extraction will also be addressed. Applied research will be conducted to study a wide range of oil and gas field development issues particularly those associated with ultra deepwater activity, and high temperature and high pressure recovery.

It is expected that the research and development facility will become an established fixture on the COPPE/UFRJ campus. Brazil is home to some of the most innovative technical advances that have taken place in the offshore sector in recent years. Offshore specialists from ABS will collaborate with industry partners, COPPE/UFRJ faculty and students and with representatives from the Petrobras Research Center, CENPES on these new projects.   

The first research project to be undertaken by the center will be a study on torpedo piles, an innovative mooring anchor system that has been developed by Petrobras. The study is expected to result in the development of a rational approach for the class review and approval of torpedo piles.  

Pub 160 Cover

Support for Offshore Wind with Specialized Notation
With the emergence of mobile offshore units primarily intended for the installation, maintenance and repair of wind turbines, ABS has issued a new notation for these specialized units, Wind IMR.

Wind turbine installation, maintenance and repair (IMR) units are a distinct type of offshore unit for the renewable energy sector combining existing technologies in novel ways. These units typically include large accommodations, a helideck, dynamic positioning (DPS-2) and are fitted with large high capacity cranes. The work decks are constructed to support and stow large wind turbine components for transport.

The notation, with its class requirement standards, is included in a new chapter within the ABS Guide for Building and Classing Mobile Offshore Units. Chapter 7, Specific Unit Types details requirements for the wind turbine IMR units including pile driving, tower installation, nacelle and blade installation, supporting structure for pile driving equipment and supporting structure for deck cargo.     

ABS has seen an increase in offshore support vessel activity aimed at the renewable energy market and has been involved with the classification of jackup barges, multipurpose offshore construction vessels (OCVs) and self-elevating units (SEUs) all capable of offshore wind turbine installations.


Wind Farm Installation Vessels Specify ABS Wind Notation
Seajacks International has plans for one confirmed newbuild wind farm installation jackup vessel with a possible option for another unit. The unit is calling for ABS’ newly issued notation for these specialized units, Wind IMR. The vessel, a modified version of the Gusto MSC NG5500 design, will be constructed in the Middle East at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility and will be the first built to these specifications.

Wind turbine installation, maintenance and repair (IMR) units are a distinct type of offshore unit for the renewable energy sector combining existing technologies in novel ways. These units typically include large accommodations, a helideck, dynamic positioning (DPS-2) and are fitted with large high capacity cranes. The work decks are constructed to support and stow large wind turbine components for transport.

The Seajacks Kracken and Seajacks Leviathan are both self-propelled jackup vessels that have been contracted to install offshore wind turbines and built to ABS class.

Specialized mobile offshore units that meet the newly developed requirements from ABS will receive the Wind IMR notation. The class requirements are included in a new chapter within the ABS Guide for Building and Classing Mobile Offshore Units, Chapter Seven, Specific Unit Types. Download the Guide here.

Guide for Well Test Systems

Notation for Vessels or MODUs Designed for Well Test Operations
ABS has issued a series of notations in support of critical well testing activities being undertaken by leading energy operators to determine the commercial nature of their reservoirs. A vessel or mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) with the equipment and capabilities to engage in well testing, either short-term or extended, is key in gathering onsite data to determine the size and quantity of the hydrocarbon potential.

“Well test vessels, especially those on station for an extended period of time, are relatively sophisticated vessels so this notation now provides a testament to their capability,” said Kenneth Richardson, ABS Vice President, Energy Development. “In terms of systems you have to consider well control equipment, process pressure vessels, piping and electrical components and control systems.”    

The ABS Guide for Well Test Systems takes into account the different scenarios during the life of the vessel or unit with flexibility to cover the surface systems and equipment safety aspects. Guidance is provided for both permanent well test systems (well test systems installed on board for at least 30 months are considered permanent, Well Test Service) and temporary well test systems (well test systems installed on board for less than 30 months, WT-TEMP). The Guide also offers a notation to those vessels or units designed to perform well test activities but the well test systems have not yet been installed on board, WT-Ready.


Pipelay Vessel Features Shallow Water Lay Capabilities
J. Ray McDermott has selected ABS to class a new addition to its fleet. The 111-meter pipelaying vessel, LB32, is a unique shallow water unit designed to install pipes using the S-lay method. With this method, onboard welded pipe joints leave the vessel horizontally guided by a stinger, a structure on the back of the vessel supporting the pipe string going into the sea to control its bending. S-lay pipes up to 60 inches in diameter can be handled by the LB32 working in offshore field developments in water depths from 2.5 to 300 meters. ABS has classed the unit as A1, Barge.     

Photo: Copyright J. Ray McDermott, S.A. 2010. All rights reserved


Another Ultra Deepwater Drillship Delivers to ABS Class
The Saipem 12000 drillship built in Korea by Samsung Heavy Industries becomes the latest ultra deepwater drillship built to ABS class designed to operate in 12,000 feet. The vessel is equipped with extended well testing (EWT) capabilities and can accommodate up to 200 people. The class notation for Saipem 12000 is: +A1, (E), Drilling Unit, +AMS, +ACCU, +DPS-3, DLA, +CDS. This is the first of the Saipem 12000 series. This new series builds upon the success of Samsung’s Saipem 10000 design series originally developed in the 1990s.

ABS has been successful classing high value drillships with many of these high specification units rated for ultra deepwater operations. There are currently 25 drillships on order to ABS class.


JIP Examines Life Integrity Management of Floating Structures
ABS is participating in a joint industry project (JIP) that looks at the life integrity management of floating structures with emphasis on the study of corrosion. Corrosion and fatigue cracking are two major degradation mechanisms in aging floaters. The JIP aims to further the industry’s knowledge about corrosion, provide guidance and improvement to corrosion management plans and identify technologies for monitoring, predicting and evaluating the consequences of corrosion.

The JIP participants include: ExxonMobil; class societies ABS, BV, DNV, GL, LR and Class NK; and California-based sensing company, Acellent Technologies, Inc. The project proposal is being refined while the project team continues holding discussion meetings with interested oil companies and consultants this summer. The team is aiming to have the JIP kick off in October during the FPSO JIP Week in Aberdeen. ABS is leading the task team with Class NK and Instituto Superior Tecnico in Portugal.

Yantai Raffles Shipyard

Offshore Engineering Assists Leading Chinese Yard with Prototype
The ABS Offshore Engineering department in Shanghai, China recently worked closely with Yantai Raffles Shipyard engineers reviewing the design for an asymmetrical semisubmersible platform design. The special features of the proprietary design, SSCV H218, include an optimized structure without brace, asymmetrical configuration for optimum ballasting design system, asymmetrical thruster arrangement and two large cranes with heavy lifting capacity.  

Due to the design’s unique nature, ABS specialists in global strength and fatigue worked to provide guidance in conducting the complex calculations used to analyze the structure in order to address the technical issues with regard to strength and fatigue. With the help of ABS, Yantai Raffles is moving forward with this prototype design.

Gas Markets
Methane Julia Louise

Three Fuel Choices for BG’s Methane Julia Louise
The first in a series of four liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers built by Samsung Heavy Industries in Korea for BG Group will be completed this year, representing a first in terms of its propulsion system and propeller arrangement. The 170,000 m3 Methane Julia Louise is the first LNG carrier to have both a tri-fuel diesel electric (TFDE) propulsion system and a twin-skeg and propeller arrangement.

The carrier can run on heavy fuel oil (HFO), marine diesel oil (MDO) or cargo boil-off gas. The containment system is the GTT Mark III with ABS issuing its R2 notation, indicating propulsion redundancy. Therefore, the main propulsion system, electrical generation system or steering can be maintained during a single failure. Also unique to this carrier is both an onboard reliquefaction plant and a gas combustion unit (GCU) to be used when boil-off gas is not used as fuel or processed in the reliquefaction plant.

The three sister ships to the Methane Julia Louise will be built to the same design.


New Criteria for Floating Liquefied Gas Terminals
ABS has released its latest Guide for Building and Classing Floating Offshore Liquefied Gas Terminals, reflecting the latest structural design and analysis developments in gas handling, storage and transportation.

The Guide provides criteria that can be applied to the classification of the hull structure of floating offshore liquefied gas terminals (FLGTs) with membrane or independent prismatic tanks. The criteria addresses liquefied gas terminals with ship-shaped or barge-shaped hull forms, having single center cargo tanks or two cargo tanks abreast arranged along the centerline of the terminal’s hull.

Structural design innovations are being driven by the increase in the size of terminal hulls, shallow water load effects, frequent partial filling and offloading operations and critical interfaces between the hull and topside structure and between the hull and position mooring system.  

To support the technical guidance it is now providing for FLGTs, ABS has developed proprietary software which provides calculations for evaluating buckling, yielding, ultimate strength and fatigue strength of these structures. The floating terminal structural criteria takes into account low cycle fatigue which factors in the cyclic and more frequent loading and discharge nature of a floating terminal as compared to a trading LNG carrier.

Download the Guide here.

Alternative Energy
Wind offshore

ABS Offshore Knowledge Extends to Wind
ABS has transferred its offshore and regulatory knowledge to new renewable energy schemes.  
Offshore wind designs, whether floating or fixed, have critical technical issues that must be addressed, including hull strength and fatigue, stability of the unit, mooring system, foundation of the unit and the dynamic loading imposed by waves and the turbine as well as environmental loading and fatigue analysis.

In addition to the technical concerns, the regulatory requirements may be difficult and complex to satisfy. ABS has experience working through the various regulatory processes including extensive US regulatory and certified verification agent (CVA) experience.

For more information about ABS offshore wind capabilities and other alternative energy services, visit the Offshore Wind section of the ABS website or contact ABS at  

To learn more about wind services offered by ABS’ affiliate company, ABS Consulting, visit their website.

Conference NEws

ABS Contributes to Novel Floating Production Concept Paper
Novel floating production concepts developed for deepwater applications may present new technologies for which no directly applicable classification or regulatory requirements exist and ABS is assisting to make these innovative ideas happen.

ABS was engaged early in the design process of the MinDOC 3 concept for the Mirage field in the Gulf of Mexico. ABS contributed to the 2010 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) paper of Mirage and Telemark Fields: Classification and Regulatory Considerations Applied to a Novel Concept. (Copyright, OTC)

The MinDOC 3 design, which incorporates three generations of optimization from its initial conception, became the ABS-classed ATP Titan the first deepwater US-built multi-column, deep draft floating, drilling and production platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

ABS Project Manager for the MinDOC 3, Luiz Feijo says the unit’s three vertical columns, arranged in a triangular shape with columns connected to pontoons, at first looks like a semisubmersible. However, engineers analyzing the design noted the structure behaved like a spar in terms of stability.

Current Projects
FPSO photo
See the wide range of project types and diverse locations of current projects undertaken by ABS around the world.
Offshore Rules and Guides
ABS Rules & Guides for Offshore

· Free downloads of Offshore Rules and Guides
· Offshore Rules and Guides for purchase

ABS develops and verifies standards for design, construction and operational maintenance of marine and offshore facilities. Currently, ABS has more than 30 Rules and Guides available relating to the offshore and energy industries.

Latest Offshore Guides updates include: 
Guide for 'Dynamic Loading Approach' for Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) Installations (2010), publication #101
This updated Guide provides information about the optional ABS classification notation, Dynamic Loading Approach (DLA), which is available to qualifying ship-type floating production installations (FSOs and FPSOs). The Guide represents the most current and advanced ABS DLA analysis procedure including linear and nonlinear seakeeping analysis.

Guide for Spectral-Based Fatigue Analysis for Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) Installations (2010), publication #104
This updated Guide provides information on the method to perform spectral fatigue analysis for ship-type floating production installations (FSOs and FPSOs). Spectral fatigue analysis performed for FPSOs in accordance with the procedures and criteria in this Guide will be identified in the ABS Record by the notation SFA.

Guide for Building and Classing Gravity-Based Offshore LNG Terminals
(2010), publication #106

This updated Guide describes the criteria to be used for gravity-based offshore LNG terminals which are to be classed or certified by ABS. The effective date of this Guide is 1 June 2010.

Guide for Building and Classing Floating Offshore Liquefied Gas Terminals (2010), publication #169
This Guide provides criteria that can be applied in the classification of the hull and tank structure of floating offshore liquefied gas terminals with membrane tanks or independent prismatic tanks. The Guide addresses liquefied gas terminals with ship-shaped or barge-shaped hull forms having a single row of cargo tanks at centerline or a row of two cargo tanks abreast. This Guide does not cover the design, fabrication and installation of the liquefied gas containment system, except for the structural design of independent tanks.


Although every effort is made to verify that the information contained in this publication is factually correct, ABS accepts no liability for any inaccuracies that may occur nor for the consequences of any action that may be taken by parties relying on the information and opinions contained herein.