This is one of the many issues facing the engineers at Shell who are creating the world’s largest man-made floating object, the Prelude FLNG. This vessel will be anchored in the rich natural gas fields found offshore northwestern Australia and is designed to produce, process, and then liquefy natural gas for subsequent ship-to-ship transfer. It’s a complex project to say the least.
SBM Offshore has provided Shell one of the answers however with a giant “turret” that will keep this vessel perfectly on station in even the worst weather found offshore Australia.
Via Shell’s website:
The sheer size of the full-scale facility will help it to withstand very high winds and giant waves. In addition, it will be secured in place by one of the largest mooring systems in the world. A 105-metre high turret, spacious enough to house the Arc de Triomphe, will run through the facility. Four groups of mooring lines will anchor it to the seabed.
The system allows the facility to turn slowly in the wind – absorbing the impact of strong weather conditions – while remaining moored over the gas field. It can stay safely moored at sea even during the most powerful cyclones. This saves valuable production days that would otherwise be lost on disconnecting the facility and moving it off the field.