Suction anchors are used within mooring systems for a range of deep water floating structures. The number of suction anchor systems has increased rapidly over the last two decades due to ease of installation and a well-defined design approach. As with other offshore installations, anchor systems may be subjected to re-assessment during their operational lifetime, due to changes in loading, codes or other issues. Such assessment was performed recently for a floating storage unit (FSU) presently in service in the Norwegian Sea, where the geotechnical design of the anchors was re-evaluated.
The re-assessment of this storage unit allowed for a number of changes compared to the original design, including updated loads and load histories as well as changes to the safety factors. The geotechnical aspects of the design were also updated, including more refined analyses and a detailed review of the design soil profiles based on back-analysis of installation data.
This paper presents the work done related to the geotechnical holding capacity of the anchors during the assessment project. The work performed highlights the benefit of efficient FE analysis and a thorough evaluation of the soil properties and engineering behaviour.