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  • Deepwater Technology: Hurricanes of 2005 highlight need for improved mooring systems


    V. Schmidt

    Now that the calendar has turned and the offshore oil industry is facing another September of hurricane potential in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), it is appropriate to review the state of mooring systems and advances that have been made. The industry is progressing in modeling and materials, some of which were presented at this year’s Offshore Technology Conference (OTC). What follows are highlights of the significant work presented there that point to the industry’s deeper-water future. MAJOR DAMAGE The Atlantic basin produced 27 named storms in 2005, exceeding the 21-storm record set in 1933. Of the 27 storms, 14 became hurricanes, which set a single-year record. The season produced three Category 5 storms: Katrina, Rita and Wilma. The panel discussion held at OTC 2005 reviewed the damage caused by the storms and the industry’s response. Aside from knocking out production, destroying 114 platforms on the shelf and upending the Typhoon tension leg platform . . .

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