A number of spars are being installed in deepwater areas in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) which are subject to loop / eddy current conditions and require that their mooring system be designed for Vortex Induced Motion (VIM). This paper presents insights into fatigue and wear issues for mooring systems of spars subject to VIM, and illustrates the importance of reassessing industry practices for mooring strength and fatigue design for mooring systems that must resist VIM. During the GoM Millennium Eddy Current Event in April 2001, the ChevronTexaco Genesis spar platform, which is installed in Green Canyon Block 205 in the GoM, underwent VIM which was greater than anticipated during the original design of the mooring and riser systems. A key part of developing a permanent solution for ensuring integrity in future large VIM events was the assessment of fatigue and wear damage accumulated in past VIM events, for the purpose of ensuring fitness of the components of the mooring system for future service. The main elements of this assessment were: (a) The hindcast of the mooring line tensions from measured platform motions. (b) The evaluation of stress concentration on the mooring chain in the fairleads. (c) The assessment of fatigue damage for high amplitude/low cycle conditions, and (d) The assessment of accumulated wear. The results of this fatigue assessment led to a decision to replace the fairlead chain segments on 4 of the 14 mooring legs of Genesis, in order to ensure that they would have adequate fatigue endurance under the Stepped Line Tensioning (SLT) solution developed to mitigate the risk of VIM of the spar in the future. The project team’s unique understanding of mooring system response under VIM and resulting mooring component fatigue and wear issues led to the development of novel fatigue and wear hindcasting procedures that allowed the project to reliably assess the remaining life of the mooring components, and make decisions to selectively replace some of the components to ensure integrity for the remaining life of the platform under the SLT solution.

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