The need for LNG export and import terminals is anticipated to grow as natural gas progressively accounts for a larger fraction of worldwide consumed energy. These terminals are preferably located nearshore i.e. in relatively shallow water. Design of floating structures is most of the time performed assuming long-crested waves. In shallow water, diffraction of waves by a variable bathymetry can result in wave spreading i.e. in short crested seas. The effect of short crested seas on the wave drift load spectral densities for a 135,000m3 storage capacity LNG Carrier in 15m water depth is investigated. It is shown that the impact of wave spreading on drift loads depends on the natural frequency of the moored vessel and thus on the stiffness of the mooring system under consideration. Although response calculations are not performed herein for reasons to be discussed, it is conceivable that wave spreading could adversely affect loading/offloading terminal availability for stiff moorings.

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