This paper presents a review of the state-of-the-art of risk assessment as it applies to the hull structures of FPSOs. Risk definitions are examined critically to determine how they should be applied in this case. The roles of human and organisational errors and their proper identification during design of intact and damage scenarios are discussed. It has long been accepted that FPSOs and trading tankers are subject to different environmental loading conditions. Even more substantial differences become evident when operating practices are examined and it is realised that to manage risk properly these differences need to be reflected in design and the preparation of operation procedures. Against a background of code development, design experience and detailed knowledge of many things that have gone wrong, the review examines: risk evaluation for hull structures; specific risks relating to FPSO hull-structure configurations; environmental issues for a moored FPSO; operational issues and risks arising from interaction between the hull and the mooring system.

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