Squalls have been present in the environmental specifications for floating units in West Africa for the last couple of years. However it appears that such phenomena tend to be the designing factor for mooring systems of deepwater FPSO’s (in spread or turret configuration) and offloading buoys. At that stage, due to the lack of proper modelling/characterisation, squalls tend to be represented for design purposes by on-site recorded time series of varying wind velocity and associated relative headings applied from any direction. This leads to rapid changes in offsets and loads in the mooring lines induced by the transient response of the vessel to sudden load increase generated by such squall signal. Through diverse exemplary simplified calculations, this paper illustrates the influence of the consideration of squalls in the design process, together with the present shortcomings in the modelling process, either in terms of extreme conditions, or in terms of operating conditions, knowing that such events are difficult to forecast. In addition the effect of tugs, and associated operating limitations are also discussed. Areas needing further investigation are finally identified.

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