Platform structures are commonly utilized for various purposes including offshore drilling, processing and support of offshore operations. A jacket is a supporting structure for deck facilities stabilized by leg piles through the seabed. In a jacket design, operational and environmental loads are very important and must be investigated intensively to secure the stability of structures during their operational life, as well as installation phase. The main purpose of this research is to evaluate and compare the results of physical and numerical modeling for the launch operation of jackets from barge into the sea, as the most hazardous stage in the installation of a platform. Both physical & numerical modeling basics are described and they are performed on Balal PLQ (Production and Living Quarter) platform that is one 8-legged, 1700-tone main jacket of Balal oil field, located in the center of Persian Gulf, some 100 kms distance from Iranian Lavan Island. It is found that both methods can describe the motion of the barge similarly well, but some differences are traced in the motion of jacket. Then, the inequalities are evaluated to be due to the Froude-type parameters chosen for modeling purpose. The most important result achieved in this research is the necessity of choosing Reinolds-Froude type for physical modeling of launching, instead of Froude-type. This is due to the effect of viscosity in drag hydrodynamic force in addition to the importance of gravitational and inertial forces. It should be noted that viscosity and consequently drag coefficient in Froude type modeling is not quite correct and causes the difference between the results of physical and numerical modeling. To our knowledge, based on the surveyed done in the literature, although there was no results found on the physical modeling of jacket launch to be addressed, but it seems that Reynolds-Froude modeling could be done either in a centrifuge test or by using a fluid with lower viscosity dependent on the scale of model.

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