Ageing and Life Extension of Offshore Facilities
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The offshore industry is now over 50 years old in Europe, with the installation of the first platform in the North Sea in 1966, and over 80 years old in the USA with the installation in 1937 of the first platform in the Gulf of Mexico just over a mile from the shore at a depth of 13 feet. The majority of platforms have now exceeded their design lives and are considered to be ageing structures in the life-extension phase. A further consideration is that they were designed to less stringent criteria than those required of modern installations using current standards and this presents a challenge to their safe operation.