Floating production, storage and offloading systems (FPSOs) have been widely used in the development of offshore oil and gas fields because of their many attractive features. These features include a large work area and storage capacity, mobility (if desired), relatively low construction cost and good stability. They are mostly ship shaped, either converted from existing tankers or purpose built. The hull structural scantling design for tankers may be applicable to FPSOs; however, FPSOs have their own unique characteristics. FPSOs are located at specific locations with a dynamic loading that is quite different from that arising from unrestricted ocean service conditions for tankers. It is also noted that the wave conditions in recent FPSO applications may be very complicated when operating in areas such as those offshore West Africa and offshore Brazil where both seas and swells exist and propagate in different directions. In this paper, the unique FPSO operational aspects, especially the load assessment due to on-site environments will be described. The methodology of handling complicated wave conditions in fatigue assessment will be addressed. Special considerations for converted FPSOs, which need to take into account their operational history as a trading tanker and low cycle fatigue due to FPSO operations, will also be introduced. Case studies will be presented and appropriate analysis methodology will be summarized. The methodology has also been adopted by ABS Guide, see ABS [1].

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