ABS and industry experts tackle MODU safety issues

MARCH 15, 2017 — More than 50 participants, including delegates from major owners, designers, shipyards and ABS technical representatives, provided input at the recent ABS Special Committee Meeting on the class society's Rules for Building and Classing Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs).

The goal of the meeting is to ensure that Rule requirements align with industry needs.

"Our leadership position in the offshore sector is based on the ability to provide exceptional guidance and services," says ABS Executive Vice President of Global Offshore Ken Richardson. "We rely on the input from experienced and knowledgeable industry experts and their valuable contribution to the Rule development process."

Important rule enhancements addressed at day-long event included stipulating in more detail the requirements for extra high-strength steel, with the aim of standardizing requirements among classification societies, improving quality and safety, and making selection these materials in MODU construction easier for designers and shipyards.

ABS also shared recent enhancements to its jacking gear requirements. Published in November 2016 in the ABS Guide for Survey and Inspection of Jacking Systems, these cover jack-up system reliability through improved jacking gear inspection requirements. In addition, ABS introduced newly modified survey requirements for spud cans that will simplify compliance for owners by making periodic visual inspection acceptable for some jack-ups in place of more rigorous surveys.

ABS also presented status updates on emerging inspection and monitoring technologies and air gap analysis work being done for semi-submersibles, with ABS recommending procedures based on direct analysis of vessel motions and wave surface elevations.

A major item on the agenda was the work ABS is doing on cybersecurity in response to growing concerns about cyber threats.

ABS Chief Technology Officer Howard Fireman presented an overview of the industry-leading ABS CyberSafety program guidance that was created by ABS specifically for offshore assets.

"The offshore industry is continuing to adjust to constrained market conditions and an evolving operating environment that presents new challenges and concerns," says Wei Huang, ABS Vice President of Offshore Technology and Special Committee Chairwoman. "ABS understands the value of working with industry to find solutions."

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