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A Simplified Reliability-Based Method in Estimating Losses to Fixed


Offshore Oil Platforms in GOM

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P. Apirakvorapinit1 and S. Daneshvaran2


1

Piboon Apirakvorapinit, Aon Benfield (Impact Forecasting), Chicago IL. USA; PH 312-3814419; Email: piboon.apirakvorapinit@aonbenfield.com
2
Siamak Daneshvaran, Aon Benfield (Impact Forecasting), Chicago, IL. USA; PH 312-3815886; Email: siamak.daneshvaran@aonbenfield.com

ABSTRACT
Past hurricanes like Ivan, Katrina and Rita indicate the need to evaluate structural
performance on both qualitative and quantitative bases. This paper briefly emphasizes
on the use of a structural reliability-based simulation technique combined with
nonlinear pushover analysis to quantify losses. The simplified reliability-based
method is introduced and used to estimate the vulnerability curve of a typical fixed
platform. The verification of a 4-leg fixed platform is provided by using the damage
reports from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ivan in MMS Project Numbers 549, 578.
The comparison of the results show the vulnerability curve is able to predict the
reported damage incurred from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita within one standard
deviation range. However, the damage ratios reported from Hurricane Ivan are out of
the range due to the wave-in-deck factor which is not included in the model as well as
the lack of correlation between wind and wave states observed. Overall, this study
shows that the simplified reliability-based method is capable of predicting losses. The
concept and procedure of this approach can rather simply be applied to other types of
platforms.
INTRODUCTION

Hurricanes are a big threat in the Oil & Gas (O&G) industry every year. The cost(s)
of platform damage from hurricane impacts can be very large. Loss of operation and
production can also increase losses significantly as opposed to just directly sustained
damage. The O&G industry tries to find the best methodologies to reduce risk and
increase confidence in the reliability of existing structures. The American Petroleum
Institute (API) required the industry to assess the reliability of the existing platforms
in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) when it established API RP2A, Section 17
Assessment of Existing Platforms. However, Hurricane Andrew proved that the
assessment process was not enough to ensure the integrity of the platforms. Structural
reliability-based simulation techniques are alternative methods that help to estimate
the risk assessment of the offshore platforms. In this paper, the simplified reliabilitybased method is introduced and verified with the risk assessment report.

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BACKGROUND
For more than a century there have been many techniques and developments to
increase the structural safety of offshore platforms. Some techniques have developed
a general method based on performancebase design (Schmucker 1996, Bea et al.
1997), while others studied structural reliability and provided a framework for
understanding risk assessment (Palio et al. 1987, Nordal et al. 1987, Mortazavi and
Bea 1996, Bea and Valle 2000, and Golafshani et al. 2010).
Most fixed platforms are designed to meet the anticipated loads. In order to
investigate how the platform responds to wind and wave loads, one needs to perform
structural analyses and compare the results to design standards and historical data. It
is also very important to quantify the capacity of each structural member failure
before it collapses. Many studies used a finite element approach to consider the
performance of the structure. Bea et al. (1997, 1999), for example, used nonlinear
static pushover analysis to calculate capacities of offshore platforms subjected to
hurricane loadings. The analysis was able to indicate the structural performance
compared to real damage observation of the offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
There is also research on treatment of structural reliability to measure the uncertainty
of the platform system using a combination of parallel and series system. The
superstructure, substructure and foundation are considered as series components.
Within each component there are parallel systems such as legs, braces, joints, piles
(Mortazavi and Bea 1996).
Structural reliability methods (FOSM, SORM) are extensively used to estimate the
probability of failure of a platform. Probability of failure is generally a good
indication to investigate the performance of an offshore structure. Daneshvaran and
Morden (1999) quantified the probability of failure of a typical compliant offshore
tower using random variables such as the wind speed, wave height and structural
capacity. The failure modes are considered exceedance of a threshold which is the
98% fractile peak moment of the platforms. Along with the process of risk
assessment, API required the industry to assess the reliability of the existing
platforms in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) by establishing API RP2A, Section 17
(1994) Assessment of Existing Platforms. Puskar et al. (2007) used API guidelines
to study damage of fixed platforms during major hurricanes by comparing design
standards in order to verify performance of the platforms. Base shear, RSR and
displacement are the probabilistic demand parameters used to measure the response
of the structure.
METHODOLOGY
To predict losses, one needs to understand the effect of demand (hazard) parameters
such as hurricane intensity, size, and loop current; and also the capacity of a platform
structure such as strength, age, location, water depth, deck height, platform
orientation and structural type. The accuracy of loss prediction depends on the
above-mentioned characteristics which are important factors in estimating offshore
vulnerability curves.

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Time history and pushover analyses have the ability to estimate performance of the
existing offshore structure subjected to dynamic loads. However, the nonlinear static
pushover technique is commonly used to estimate structural assessment and repairs
since the structural response is controlled by stiffness and quasi-steady analysis. The
technique is generally acceptable and is less time consuming to perform. For the
purpose of this study, a nonlinear static pushover in finite element analysis (Sap2000)
is used. The model computes wave and wind forces, and applies them to the platform.
This method identifies failure paths that would occur in the structure by increasing
the lateral load sequentially at relevant nodal points in several load patterns which in
turn cause the failure of structural members.
The ATC-40 and FEMA-273 documents introduced Performance-Based Design
(PBD) using pushover analysis in detail: modeling and analysis procedures, and
acceptance criteria. The documents define the strength of structural members by
plastic hinges. As shown in Figure 1, five points labeled A, B, C, D, and E are used to
classify the capacity of hinges before the structure collapses (ATC 1996 and BSSC
1997). Notice that PBD is widely used for both the design and evaluation of the
performance of existing structures.
To quantify performance of members using the above mentioned studies, these
damage states are defined as: Immediate Occupancy (IO), Life Safety (LS), and
Collapse Prevention (CP). For example, Table 1 shows the acceptance criteria for
braces using a circular hollow section.
Table 1 Example of Criteria for braces with a circular hallow section (Golafshani et
al. 2009 and BSSC 1997)
Acceptance criteria

Component/action
IO

LS

CP

1500

0.25

6000

0.25

Braces in compression

1500

Plastic deformation (primary)

6000

Braces in tension

Linear interpolation shall be used.


0.25

Where, d is a diameter of a hollow section, t is thickness, Fy is yield strength, C is the axial


deformation in compression (buckling control), is the axial information in tension (yield
point control),

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Fiigure 1 Criteeria setup forr member prroperties (BS


SSC 1997)
Fig
gure 2 showss the base sh
hear-displaceement of thee platform suubjected to w
wave forces
ind
duced by high wind. It also shows th
he performannce of the sttructure withh respect to
dam
mage states as
a motioned
d above. Thiis can be useed to identiffy a failure ppattern of a
typical structure.

Base Sh
hear VS Displacemennt
12000
IO in Frame 13 &11

10000
Base shear (kips)

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ATC & SEI 2012 ASCE and ATC 2013

8000
6000
IO in Fram
me 13
LS in Fram
me 5
CP in Fram
me 11

IO in Frame 13 &11

4000

PL Hg in Fram 5

2000
PL Hg in Frame13

Displacement (ft)

Figure
F
2 Exaample of typ
pical fixed pllatform perfo
formance
Oncce the level of force in the analysiis exceeds thhe structurall capacity, tthe member
starrts to fail. The
T member is considereed to underggo completee failure wheen it shows
sign
n of bucklin
ng or yieldin
ng. Howeverr, the membber may conttinue to carrry the same
load
d or it may distribute lo
oads to otherr members ddepending onn the definedd criteria off
hinge propertiees. In many cases,
c
the platform may experience several faileed members
in different
d
locaations at the same time.
Eveen though th
he pushover analysis can
n provide a ggood damagge estimate ffor dynamic
load
ds, a determ
ministic anallysis by itself is not ablle to describbe the uncerrtainty of a
stru
uctural respo
onse. It need
ds help from
m structural rreliability m
methods, whiich explains
the odds of sttructural faiilures given
n uncertaintiies in demaand and cappacity. The

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variation of possible failure sequences depends on the uncertainty of strength of


structural members as well as wave and wind characteristics.

The wave height at the platform site is considered a source of uncertainty. In the case
of hurricane, a wave spectrum is used to define sea-state and corresponding wave
force profiles in a given platform. In a sea-state, which is partly defined by a
spectrum, frequency () and significant wave height (Hs) are used to quantify wave
energy induced by high winds during the storm. Figure 3 shows the spectra associated
with different wind speeds.

S()

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Modeling of Uncertainty Due to Wind and Wave Loads on the Structure

5.0E+06
4.5E+06
4.0E+06
3.5E+06
3.0E+06
2.5E+06
2.0E+06
1.5E+06
1.0E+06
5.0E+05
0.0E+00

50.58m/sec
43.03m/sec
39.79m/sec
36.80m/sec
32.87m/sec

0.10

0.15

0.20

0.25

0.30

0.35

0.40

0.45

0.50

(rad/sec)

Figure 3 Spectra with different wind speeds


Wave height and wind speed in this study are assumed to be fully correlated and a
JONSWAP spectrum is used to force the model. The significant wave height is
calculated using equation (1):
=4
Where

(1)

is a standard deviation of the wave spectrum.

Given the limitation of the SAP2000 model in dealing with random waves, in this
study, a single wave theory is used to estimate the equivalent wave load as applied to
the dynamic model. A peak frequency (p) for each given wind speed is derived by
following the formulation for a JONSWAP spectrum. A significant wave height in
random wave is also estimated. In order to cope with the irregular waves, we use the
concept of energy to come up with the equivalent single wave model associated with
each sea state. The adjusted significant wave height (Hadj) is used instead. It is derived
from (1) using sine wave and is shown below:
H

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Following the estimation of a single wave frequency and wave height, the wave
velocity and acceleration are then computed using the Airy theory (Linear wave
theory). In order to compute force on the member of the offshore structure, the
Morisons equation (1950) is used as shown:
( )=

( )+

Where, CD, Cm and D


diameter of a member
variables in this study.
mean sea surface), and

( )| ( )|

(3)

are the drag coefficient, inertial coefficient, and effective


respectively. Both CD and Cm are considered as random
( ) is the horizontal wave velocity at level z (below the
( ) is the horizontal wave acceleration at level z.

The wind force in this study is provided by the equation (4) in the API Recommended
Practice.
=

(4)

Where, F is wind force, is mass density of air, U is wind speed, Cs is shape


coefficient (use 1.5 recommended by API for sides of a building), and A is area of the
building perpendicular to the wind direction.
Modeling of Uncertainty Due to Structural Material
The random parameters associated with structural material need to be defined for
modeling capacity uncertainty. Dimension, stiffness, yield strength, mass, and
damping are generally considered as sources of uncertainty when modeling the
material. These parameters affect a limit-state of the structure such as buckling failure
or yield failure under either a monotonic or cyclic loading force system. Lognormal
and normal distributions are usually used for modeling capacity. However, sensitivity
studies of jacket structure (Tromans and Van De Graff 1992; and Stewart and Van De
Graff 1990) have indicated that coefficient of variation of global resistance is less
than 15%, which generally has a small effect on the overall uncertainty of the
structural response. As such, there is no significant discrepancy in the overall system
reliability with or without the contribution of material uncertainty.
Reliability Analysis of Jacket Platforms
In order to capture the uncertainty of the selected parameters and ensure a number of
possible damage sequences of a fixed platform, the following approach is used.
Given the time constraint in this study, the random variables (U, Hs, CD, and Cm)
were discretized using their relevant distributions. The 10th, 30th, 50th, 70th, 90th
percentile values from the distribution of the demand parameters along with their
corresponding probabilities (weight) were used to carry out the reliability analysis.
The combination of these parameters and their weights are used as input to the SAP
2000 structural model to estimate a series of progressive failure scenarios. The type of

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distribution usually depends on the historical data or performed experiments. Figure 4


shows the procedure of damage prediction. Mean () and coefficient of variation
(CV) of each parameter considered in the analyses are shown in Table 2.

Figure 4 Procedure for the development of a vulnerability curve

Table 2 Values of random parameters (Daneshvaran and Morden 1999)


Values of Random Parameter
CV

38 m/sec(hourly speed)
0.15
0.8
0.2
0.8
0.15

Random
Variable
U (LN)
CD (LN)
CM (LN)

LN: Lognormal distribution

The mean wind speed used in this paper is the 100-year mean wind speed calculated
by employing the return period analysis as described in Daneshvaran and Morden
(1999). The authors used a numerically-based wind field model along with Poisson
distribution to calculate the wind speed.

Following the process mentioned above, the structural analysis is used to estimate the
percentage of damage defined by limit-state condition, number and location of failed
members, component-based cost and engineering judgments. Once the platform
model becomes analytically unstable (hinges formed and no redundancy left), the
structure is considered to be in a collapsed state. The failure paths and location of
components being damaged are tabulated, their cost estimated and later used for loss
analysis. The damage in fraction of the structure for each level can then be
ascertained as seen in equation (5). Equation (6) is used to compute the conditional
probability of damage (occurrence) at a given wind speed (Pocc).
|

| ,

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| ,

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= [ > 0|

_
_

(6)

Where, n is the number of elements damaged in a given wind speed range, | is the
mean damage fraction to the platform at a given wind speed (U), di is the damage
ratio based on capacity of limit-state of member i, wi is the weight accounting for
repair and replacement cost of member i, Nsim_total is the number of simulations and
Nsim_Dmg is the number of simulations that caused damage.
Note that even though the ratio of repair over replacement cost is a good indication to
combine and evaluate the overall platform damage, the information is rare and
proprietary. The expert opinion is partly used to estimate the weight (w) in this study.
Following this method, structural analysis in a pushover mode with incremental wind
speeds for various scenarios with different model parameters and loading condition
were performed using SAP 2000. The damage ratios are computed and grouped in
each wind speed band to generate a vulnerability curve. The mean and standard
deviation of different design quality are also able to be calculated, as shown in Figure
5.

Figure 5 Mean and standard deviation of vulnerability curves

The results of this study are later compared to the results provided by a report from
Puskar and Ku (2004). They defined damage to the overall platform and suggested
five groups: minor, moderate, major, severe, and collapsed. The damage levels are
described in the following:

Minor no damage or minor secondary member damage (Survival).


Moderate some structural member damage (Survival).
Major damage on critical members but no foundation involved (Damage
Type I).

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687

Severe damage on critical members and foundaation damagge involved


(Damag
ge Type II).
Collapssed platforrm failure (F
Failure Typee I and II)

CA
ASE STUDY
Y
A 4-leg
4
fixed platform
p
with
h four condu
uctors and eiight risers iss used in thiss study. The
plattform was in
nstalled in 1970 and loccated on 1577 ft (48m) w
water depth inn the GOM
ship
p shoal reg
gion at latitu
ude 28o27 and longituude 91o20. It had surrvived after
hurrricane Andrrew and waas later used
d for a bencchmark studdy for a joiint industry
proj
oject (JIP). (P
PMB Eng. 19
997, and Bea et al. 19977).

Fig
gure 6 Draw
wing details of 4-leg fix
xed platform
m (PMB Engg. 1997, andd Bea et al.
199
97)
A detail
d
of the platform is shown in Fiigure 6. As ppreviously ddiscussed, a set of wind
and
d wave load
ds were ob
btained by a series off combinations in a pprobabilistic
fram
mework from
m selected parameters
p
(U, Hs, CD, aand Cm) usinng Morisons equation.
Thee input load
ds and the nonlinear pushover
p
tecchnique werre used to aanalyze the
stru
uctural respo
onse of thee platform. The damagge ratios aree finally geenerated by
equ
uation (5) an
nd (6). A spline function
n was fittedd to the estim
mated ratioss. The fitted
currves along with
w + and one standard
d deviations are shown iin Figure 7. The results
are compared with the po
oints estimaated from ddamage anallysis of fixeed offshore
urricanes Ivan
n, Katrina an
nd Rita from
m MMS Project Numberss 549, 578.
plattforms in hu

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Figure 7 Results of damage for the 4-leg platform compared to qualitative reports
from MMS Hurricane study from Ivan, Rita, and Katrina

DISCUSSIONS
The curve generated by the simplified reliability-based method in Figure 7 is able to
provide a damage estimate for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita compared to the
assessment report (MMS Project Numbers 549, 578). It was determined that below a
wind speed of about 60 m/s, some of the damage ratios calculated from the Puskar et
al. (2007) study show that results for Hurricane Ivan are not within one standard
deviation. This is because of the unique characteristic of Hurricane Ivan that was able
to generate waves, which were abnormally high from what is typically associated
with such wind speeds. The standard deviations in Figure 7 were calculated based on
the number of simulated points used to fit the vulnerability curves. The large standard
deviation shown reflects the number of points used in the analysis and can be reduced
by increasing the simulated points.
CONCLUSIONS
In this study, a simplified reliability-based method is employed to estimate the
platform damage as a function of wind speed. Using a simulation model, damage
ratios for different sea-states and environmental parameters are estimated using
structural pushover analysis. Increasing the number of simulations and estimated
damage ratios will improve the fitted vulnerability curve and reduce the amount of
uncertainty. The discrepancy of the results observed from Hurricane Ivan indicates
the need to understand the correlation between high waves in lower wind speeds. The
effect of additional forces, such as wave-in-deck, also needs to be investigated. These
parameters will affect the simulated damage ratios and failure patterns of the
platform. The procedure to generate the vulnerability curve presented in this paper is
relatively simple and can be used with other typical platforms.

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