Design of Offshore Structures Software Halves Installation Time for Record-Breaking Offshore Platform Topsides

Editor: Gabriele Ilg

Software from Bentley Systems helped offshore transport specialist Dockwise save 5,000 person-hours in planning the move of a record-breaking gas platform, and saved two days — 50 % of the planned time — during the actual installation.

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Bentley Systems’ software aided the transport and installation of the SHWE platform off the coast of Myanmar.
Bentley Systems’ software aided the transport and installation of the SHWE platform off the coast of Myanmar.
(Picture: Bentley Systems)

Sitting in 110 meters of water in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Myanmar, the SHWE platform is a center for drilling, production, processing, and compression of around 500 million cu. ft/d of natural gas. Production started in August 2013.

The main contractor, Hyundai Heavy Industries, chose Dockwise to transport and install the platform’s 22,000-m.t. jacket and the 30,000-m.t. topsides. SHWE is one of the world’s largest platforms, accommodating about 200 people as well the drilling and production equipment. Based in Breda, the Netherlands, Dockwise operates a fleet of 23 semi-submersible vessels and two floating “super pallets”. During the 30-month SHWE job Dockwise used Moses and Sacs, Bentley’s software for the analysis, design, and installation of offshore platforms.

Stability was a big challenge when moving and positioning the short, fat jacket and the topsides, whose center of gravity is 48 m above the keel. This pushed the limits of the installation barge — one of only two vessels in the world capable of performing this operation. Dockwise tackled the engineering challenges through numerous design iterations based on Moses and Sacs. Moses is Bentley’s suite of analysis software for the design and installation of all types of floating offshore structures. Sacs software covers the structural analysis and design of offshore structures, including oil, gas, and wind farm platforms and topsides. Efficient round-trip data transfer between Moses and Sacs was critical to success. The team also used Bentley’s Micro Station software to produce drawings, and Project Wise to manage project files.

The Bentley software helped Dockwise stay on schedule, saving around 5,000 out of 30,000 engineering person-hours. The final “float-over” of the topsides, planned to take four days, was completed in just two days.

Accurate predictions of the impact forces and tension in the mooring lines significantly reduced the risk of a mooring line breaking during the operation, and so aided safety. but