High Strength and High Stiffness Rope for Permanent Deepwater Mooring: Technology Development and Challenges

Chen, Xiaohong (American Bureau of Shipping) | Wang, Sue (American Bureau of Shipping) | Ausborn, Mark (ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company) | Li, Zhen (ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company)

OnePetro 

Recent mooring research indicates that fiber ropes with higher strength and higher stiffness would benefit floating offshore platforms in water depths beyond 2000 meters in terms of reduced offset and reduced weight in comparison with polyester rope mooring. More advanced fibers with high strength and high stiffness are also entering into market. The industry has used high strength and high stiffness ropes for temporary moorings and mobile offshore drilling unit moorings. However, high strength and high stiffness fiber ropes have not yet been used for permanent moorings. This paper summarizes studies conducted by the industry on the high strength and high stiffness fiber ropes. An overview is provided for the existing research results, testing conducted, application guidelines, rope qualification processes, project experience, lessons learnt and the challenges of using high strength and high stiffness ropes for permanent moorings. Based on the industry experience of using polyester rope for permanent mooring and knowledge gained on high strength and high stiffness rope, this paper provides recommended assessments that could facilitate the application of high strength and high stiffness ropes for permanent deepwater moorings.