While for shallow waters the use of old offshore jackets still seems efficient and justifiable, for deep and ultra-deep waters such platforms cannot be used. During the past few decades the old generation of fixed offshore platforms was succeeded by the new floating platforms and new designs such as FPSOs.
A new family of floating offshore platforms has been developed. These should be able to respond to size, weight and space for operating equipment, i.e. they can be constructed to have a wide range of load-bearing capacities. Use is made of the old concept of Life Saving Tubes, which in their simplest form can be a toroidal shaped tyre inner tube. The Torus-shaped idea can be further extended to other shapes obtained either by revolving any plane closed curve or poly-line about a coplanar axis which does not intersect it, or by extruding the curve/poly-line through a closed path.
The preliminary ‘structural’ calculations carried out on various samples of the torus-shaped members of this family of platforms showed that theoretically they can be designed to carry as much load as required and provide the users with the required space on the water. Moreover, basic studies of the stability of such systems in water showed their large metacentric heights as well as large righting moment arms, hence their high degree of stability. This stability can be further increased by using other versions of this idea with more efficient toroidal shapes. Furthermore, apparently, much study is required however to establish this idea as a viable, cost-effective and efficient alternative for current generations of offshore floating platforms.