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Consistently, the demand for offshore energy development with regard to oil and gas resources
has increased and the field has required the state of the art technologies and concepts for better
engineering productivity. In particular, for ultra-deep water above 1000m depth the sustained
drive to improve the harvests from offshore oil exploration, production and transportation has led
to the specific needs on the various floating structures like FPSO, SPAR, etc.
Offshore floating structures require mooring systems to maintain the station keeping under
surrounding environment actions such as current, wind, and wave. Mooring systems are
composed of specially designed devices for the purpose and widely applied to the most floaters.
This must be accomplished without subjecting anchors to excessive loads or exceeding allowable
line tensions. Therefore, the mooring systems have to provide such station keeping capability and
high global performance to ensure allowable excursions against environmental loads. The
performance characteristics of mooring systems is typically a function of the type and size of
floater, the operational water depth, environmental loads, seabed condition, and the arrangement
and weight of mooring components.
Besides, unlike general trading ships, offshore floaters stay at a fixed position for their whole life
without regular dry docking for inspection and repair. The mooring lines have to be designed to
withstand severe weather conditions since they shall be in place without any failure of mooring
lines during life-time.
The spread mooring system of deep water FPSO installed in West Africa offshore is chosen in
this study. It has the chain-wire-chain structure. Using the mooring design data of West Africa
offshore, various sensitivity studies were performed to determine of tension for spread mooring
lines. The studied parameters for sensitivity are environmental loads, frequency responses,
mooring position and full loading condition.
To perform tension analysis, tension frequency response of mooring lines was calculated through
dynamic analysis with AQWA.


Spread Mooring Systems
Spread mooring or Multi-Point Mooring (MPM) systems have long been the traditional means of
mooring all kinds of ships and barges in open and protected waters. For this type of mooring,
multiple anchor lines extend from the bow and stern of the hull and anchor the unit to the
seafloor in a fixed or slightly variable heading. Spread mooring systems can be designed for
shallow or deepwater stationkeeping, in mild to moderate environments. The performance of the
spread moored system is dependent on the prevailing weather and it is considered suitable fo
regions with a fairly restricted range of weather direction. They are not so effective, however, in
harsh or multi-directional environments where changing wind, waves and currents may impose
severe loads on the anchoring system and create excessive motions on the unit. It is also
important to consider the feasibility of offloading as a function of the day-to-day environment
taking into account the approach and offloading operations with the export tanker.
A typical, large-field, spread moored FPSO system was illustrated in Figure 1. The figure also
indicates the various sub-systems identified within the turret mooring system and their typical
location on the spread moored FPSO. Note how the various sub-systems are distributed about the
deck of the FPSO. Also note the increasing complexity of the on-deck arrangement of the various
FPSO systems that require additional interfaces between the various provides of design and

Figure 1: Typical Large-Field FPSO Berantai System

For deepwater spread moored FPSO units, the number of anchor legs required may range
between 12 and 20 lines, compared to 6 to 12 anchor legs for a turret moored system. This
creates considerable congestion on the forward and aft deck for fairleads and installation
equipment that was shown in Figure 2. The anchor legs typically fan out in a 45-90 degree
pattern on each side of units bow and stern centerlines as they extend towards the seabed.
Frequently, submerged fairleads are attached to the FPSO hull so anchor legs depart the hull
below the waterline to minimize the risk of collision with service vessels, offloading hoses, and
offloading tankers. A spread moored FPSO must be designed to withstand beam seas and the
resulting greenwater and vessel roll. For many areas of the world, this may necessitate the
addition of bilge keels, splash barriers, and raising the processing equipment skids.

Figure 2: Fairleads and installation equipment

Spread moorings provide a horizontal restoring force and yaw moment which opposes weather
loads. The relative contributions of these terms in typical large systems is such that the steady
and low-frequency weather loads are resisted quite effectively, with horizontal linear
displacements of the vessel not exceeding 4-10 % of water depth, but first-order vessel motions
in waves are affected only to a small degree.

Mooring Line Materials

Mooring lines are usually composed of several segments which normally are a combination of
chain (heavy cable at the mid section) and wire rope (lighter cable at the sea surface). This
typical combination will increases the stiffness in the mooring system, meanwhile getting a much
lighter cable system [Faltinsen, 1990]. Figure 1 illustrates how a mooring line can be composed
of several segments.

Figure 1: Example of a Typical Line Segment Composition

Mooring lines have to withstand forces that arise from the vessels static movements, and also the
environmental loads that act on the mooring line itself. Current forces will induce drag forces on
the line and could give dynamic implication. This will give various tension forces in the anchor
line [Fylling and Larsen, 1982] [Faltinsen, 1990].


FPSO Platform
In this paper, the FPSO installed in West Africa offshore was considered. The installation field
has approximately 1200m water depth and seabed conditions with a regular slope in global
south-west direction of 2%. The main characteristic parameters of the FPSO platform model are
listed in Table I. The Intermediate loading conditions have been studied in determination of


Length (m)


Breath (m)


Depth (m)


Loading conditions


Draft (m)


Displacement (metric ton)


COG from the stern (m)


COG from the keel (m)


Roll gyration radius (m)


Pitch gyration radius (m)


Yaw gyration radius (m)


Table 1: Parameters of FPSO Platform

Mooring System
The heading of FPSO is 22.5 deg from true north in east direction as shown in Figure 1. The
FPSO is installed by spread mooring system. Mooring system consists of 16 mooring lines
around FPSO. The 4 mooring lines are composed as a bundle. The mooring lines are arranged
with 1600m pattern radius. As shown in Figure 2, mooring lines of the FPSO are made up of
three components which are top chain, wire rope and bottom chain. The range of mooring line is
from FPSO fairlead point to TAP (so-called Theoretical Anchor Point). Top chain is connected at
the fairleads of the FPSO with chain stopper and bottom chain is linked to the suction anchor on
seabed. The buried parts of bottom chains to suction anchoring point are not considered in
mooring analysis. The mooring line properties are listed in Table 2.

Figure 1: Arrangement of Mooring System

Figure 2: Configuration of Mooring Line


Top chain

Wire rope



Property of material

R3 Studless Chain

Nominal diameter

147 mm

Line length

27 ~ 62 m

Breaking strength

15536 kN

Line axial stiffness

1319.26 MN

Line weight in water

380.0 kg/m

Property of material

Spiral Strand Wire Rope

Nominal diameter

111 mm

Bottom chain

Line length

1850 m

Breaking strength

12500 kN

Line axial stiffness

1200.48 MN

Line weight in water

50.68 kg/m

Property of material

R3 Studless Chain

Nominal diameter

132 mm

Line length

190 m

Breaking strength

14508 kN

Line axial stiffness

1189.06 MN

Line weight in water

306.0 kg/m

Table 2: Mooring Line Characteristics

Environmental Conditions
Global responses of mooring line connected with FPSO were calculated under sea state
conditions such as wind, current, and wave loads. The sea state condition was selected from the
measured data of West Africa offshore. The long-term sea state usually consists of a number of
short-term sea states. The chosen sea states are listed in Tables III-V. The Ochi-Hubble wave
spectrum and KAIMAL wind spectrum was used for each sea state.

Mooring Analysis Flowchart