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Title:
STABILIZED MONOHULL VESSEL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1999/030965
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Vessel, preferably for petroleum processing and storage, with carrying capacity mainly comprised by one single hull, with a main deck (1). The new and inventive feature is comprised by at least one, mainly horizontally shaped dampening device (1) reaching out from either side of the hull (3) under the water line, extending preferably along the entire length of the vessel. The purpose with, and the effect of the dampening device (2) is to dampen the rolling movements of the vessel, and also for pitch and heave movements. In the preferred embodiment the dampening device (2) has a plurality of vertical apertures (22) allowing limited water through flow. The dampening device (2) with the openings (22) act as a mechanical filter which to a large degree dampens the rolling, pitching and heave movements and let pass long-wave roll, pitch and heave movements, but with dampened amplitude.

Inventors:
Breivik, Kåre (Ugleliveien Tau, N-4120, NO)
Egge, Trygve (Håbakken 18 Hafrsfjord, N-4042, NO)
Application Number:
PCT/NO1998/000375
Publication Date:
June 24, 1999
Filing Date:
December 10, 1998
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Navion AS. (Fabrikkveien 7 Stavanger, N-4003, NO)
Breivik, Kåre (Ugleliveien Tau, N-4120, NO)
Egge, Trygve (Håbakken 18 Hafrsfjord, N-4042, NO)
International Classes:
B63B35/44; B63B39/03; (IPC1-7): B63B39/06
Foreign References:
GB1519979A
US3797440A
DE1001146B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Abc-patent, Siviling Rolf Chr Larsen B. A. S. (Brynsveien 5 Oslo, N-0667, NO)
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Claims:
C 1 a i m s
1. Vessel, preferably for petroleum processing and storage, with carrying capacity essentially comprise by one single hull (3), with a main deck (1), c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y at least one, essentially horizontally shaped dampening device (2) reaching out on either side of the hull (3), situated below the water line, and with an extension preferably along the entire length of the vessel.
2. Vessel according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y one or more vertical openings (22) in the dampening device (2) arrange to allow a limite, mainly vertical flow of water through the dampening device (2), and thus lead to additional dampening of the vesse's movements, mainly roll, pitch and heave movements.
3. Vessel according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that the dampening device (2) being mainly plateshaped, preferably with its lower side in level with the vesse's plane outer bottom surface (40).
4. Vessel according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y a progressively increased separation between the outer edge (21) of the dampening device (2) and the vesse's centre line, from the area near the bow (33) to essentially the area near the vesse's stern (32).
5. Vessel according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y at least one standing rim (24), mainly along the dampening device's (2) outer edge (21), with the rim (24) arrange to limit the freedom of horizontal flow of the water masses within the rim in the thwartships direction, and to bind the water masses to contribute to the vesse's rolling moment of inertia.
6. Vessel according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y hull wings (4) on either side of the stern of the hull (3) defined as a progressive sidewards projection rearwards of the hull's (3) cross section width in the sternmost part of the hull, comprising essentially between a distance less than the sternmost quarter part of the hull (3) and the transom stern (32), such that the crosssection width of the hull is increased essentially along all the depth of the vessel.
7. Vessel according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y an essentially horizontally extending dampening device (2') below the waterline of the hullws (3) stern (32).
8. Vessel according to claim 7, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that the dampening device (21) is generally plateshaped, preferably with its lower side in level with the vesse's plane outer bottom surface (40), and constituting the bottom in a concave vault or niche opening (34) in about the lower half of the vesses, transom stern (32), and situated essentially between the projections (4).
9. Vessel according to claim 7 or 8, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that the dampening device's (2') rear edge (21') towards the sea extends parallel with, and is arrange essentially directly below the main deck's (1) sternwards end, and being in the plane of the vesse's transom stern (32).
10. Vessel according to claim 7 or 8, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that the dampening device's sternwards edge (21') towards the sea extends as a mainly convex arc (21') out from the stern (32), arrange to reject vessels which would come to close to the stern (32).
11. Vessel according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y at least one or more storage tanks (11) under the main deck (1) of the hull (3).
12. Vessel according to one of the above claims, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y a rotating turret (14) extending through the bottom surface (40) by the vessells centre line and being forward of the midship in the vesse's hull (3), possibly also extending through the main deck (1), and essentially arrange for rotatable vertical connection to take up anchoring forces via anchoring devices (400) and for connection for production risers and transfer cables (200).
13. Vesse according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that the vessel's stern, essentially the main deck's (1) sternwards end and the transom stern (32) is arrange to lie towards a quay.
14. Vessel according to claim 13, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that the vessel is arrange for mooring freely floating at sea.
15. Vessel according to claim 13 or 14, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that the vessel is arrange for, by ballasting or loading, to be lowered to rest on a foundation.
16. Vessel according to claim 1 or 12, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that the hull is hydrodynamically shaped to be able to be lying stationary by means of anchoring devices (400), preferably connecte to the turret (14), and preferably with the bow towards the weather.
17. Vessel according to claim 1 or 16, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that the vesse's stern, mainly the main deck's (1) sternwards end and the transom stern (32) is arrange to form a relatively shielding quay or breakwave for other vessels mainly coming in from the leeward side.
18. Vessel according to one of the claims 1317, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y devices (340) arrange for transport of material, in the form of solids and fluids, and energy, essentially between the main deck's (1) stern end, and onshore.
19. Vessel according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y power devices (8) for positioning and dynamic direction control in order to make the vessel lying in a preferred azimutal direction.
20. Vesse according to claim 19, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that the power devices (8) comprise thrusters.
21. Vessel according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y even width of the main deck (1) from behind the area of the bow, and sternwards to the stern (32) of the hull (3).
22. Vesse according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y progressively increasing width of the main deck (1), from behind the area in the bow, and sternwards to the stern (32) of the hull (3).
23. Vessel according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y a processing plant or a conversion plant (220) arrange on the vesse's deck.
24. vesse according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y stabilizing tanks (26), with submerge opening in the water, and arrange on either side of the vessel, arrange for an airfille upper part and submerge opening, for roll dampening effect. AMENDED CLAIMS [received by the International Bureau on 25 May 1999 (25.05.99); original claims 1124 cancelled; original claims 110 amended; (2 pages)] 1. Vessel, preferably for petroleum processing and storage, with carrying capacity essentially comprise by one single hull (3), with a main deck (1), c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y at least one, essentially horizontal plateshaped dampening device (2) reaching out on either side of the hull (3), and situated below the water line, and extending preferably along the entire length of the vessel.
25. 2 Vesse according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y one or more vertical openings (22) in the dampening device (2) arrange to allow a limite, mainly vertical flow of water through the dampening device (2), and thus entailing additional dampening of the vesse's movements, mainly roll, pitch and heave movements.
26. 3 Vessel according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y the dampening device (2) being arrange with its lower side in level with the vessells plane outer bottom surface (40).
27. 4 Vessel according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y a progressively increased separation between the outer edge (21) of the dampening device (2) and the vesse's centre line, from the area near the bow (33) to essentially the area near the vesse's stern (32).
28. 5 Vessel according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y at least one standing rim (24), mainly along the dampening device's (2) outer edge (21), with the rim (24) arranged to limit the freedom of horizontal flow of the water masses within the rim in the thwartships direction, and to bind the water masses to contribute to the vesse's rolling moment of inertia.
29. 6 Vessel according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y projections or hull wings (4) on either side of the stern of the hull (3) defined as a progressive sidewards increase rearwards of the hull's (3) crosssection width in the sternmost part of the hull, comprising essentially between the distance less than the sternmost quarter part of the hull (3) and the transom stern (32), such that the crosssection width of the hull is increased essentially along all the depth of the vessel.
30. 7 Vessel according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y an essentially horizontally extending dampening device (2') below the waterline of the hull's (3) stern (32).
31. 8 Vessel according to claim 7, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that the dampening device (2Z) is generally plateshaped, preferably with its lower side in level with the vesse's plane outer bottom surface (40), and constituting the bottom of a concave vault or niche opening (34) in about the lower half of the vessels'transom stern (32), and situated essentially between the projections (4).
32. 9 Vessel according to claim 7 or 8, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that the dampening device's (2') rear edge (21') towards the sea extends parallel with, and is arrange essentially directly below the main deck's (1) sternwards end, and being in the plane of the vesse's transom stern (32).
33. 10 Vessel according to claim 7 or 8, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that the dampening device's sternwards edge (21') towards the sea extends as a mainly convex arc (21') out from the stern (32), arrange to reject vessels which would come to close to the stern (32).
Description:
STABILIZED MONOHULL VESSEL This application relates to a vessel, preferably for petroleum activities, with carrying capacity generally comprise by one single hull, carrying a main deck and arrange for use in marine petroleum activity with treatment and storage of petroleum fluids both on the field and accoste under land.

More specifically, the application is on a large monohull vessel being applied for several different processes, e. g. a so-called"FPSO" ; a floating production, storage and off loading vessel, also performing processing of petroleum fluids, or a conversion plant especially for conversion of petroleum fluids to other, preferably fluid petroleum products, and not necessarily chemical processes but also physical processes, e. g. cooling to LNG. The vessel is arrange for use both connecte to the oil producing field via pipelines connecte at a rotating turret in the vessel. The vessel also has a plane transom stern, thus it may lie with its stern to the quay.

In this way dead time is avoided during well work over and halted petroleum production, in that the vessel may be moved to other wells or along the quay where it may work with petroleum fluids delivered from gas storage tanks onshore. At the same time the vessel will be arrange with large storage tanks 11 for petroleum fluids in order to have a buffer capacity both if it in periods must receive more petroleum fluid than what can be processed, or if there are discontinuities in the reception petroleum fluid to be processed. The tanks 11 may be arrange with bulkheads and baffle plates and a design of the free surfaces in order to work out of phase with the vessells rolling and pitching.

Under stationary operation at sea, especially with a vessel performing continuous work in rough sea, the vessel will experience rolling, pitching and heave movements due to the waves. The rolling, pitching and heave movements will normally have each their dominating or natural frequency.

Swell will also lead to slow rolling and heave even in calm sea. Periodic rotation movements as rolling and pitching are generally disadvantageous in that pressure, flow and forces

in all processes on board vary due to the more or less periodic accelerations and rotations. It is also disadvantageous to the crew and their work operation that the vessel rolls and pitches. If these vessel movements are reduced in amplitude and frequency, the work on board may generally be done better and more efficiently. Further the wave movements from the vessel will propagate further to pipelines connecting the vessel with wells on the seabed, and to anchoring devices. It is desirable to reduce these vessel movements to a large extent. By reducing the vessel movements for such a vessel the tolerance of the vessel for bad weather is extended, so that operations which under the known art must be interrupted due to the weather, may be restarted earlier on dropping wind, and to be interrupted later on increasing wind. A vessel according to the present invention will thus have a longer proportion of operation time at harsh weather conditions. An additional moment of the invention is that by reduced roll-pitch and heave movements the load due to vertical acceleration and bending of risers, coiled tubing, and load on drilling fluid pumps, moorings and other equipment, is reduced to a lower level than by using vessels according to known art.

Such problems with roll, pitch and heave moments and other wave movements may be counteracted by using the present invention comprising a vessel, preferably for petroleum processing and storage, which carrying capacity primarily is comprise by one single hull, with a main deck, and where the new and inventive trait is comprise by one, essentially horizontal dampening device reaching out on either side of the hull, under the water line, extending preferably along the entire length of the hull.

Further inventive traits by the vessel is to be found in the subordinate claims.

A vessel according to the invention will for this purpose be very large and is arrange to carry a production plant and a processing or conversion plant for petroleum fluids, i. e. gasses and liquids. Several of these processes depend on stabile and relatively predictable pressure conditions. In addition to the fact that the vessel will have reduced roll and heave, parts of the vesse's after end

according to the invention will have an area of reduced heave, partly at the cost of a little increase of heave for the bow because the dampening device in the preferred embodiment of the vessel increases in width sternwards along the ship's side, and in addition cooperates with a second dampening device at the stern. However, the size of the vessel will do that the weakly increased heave motion of the vessel will not give a considerable disadvantage. Also there will not be performed any processing activity in the bow area because the vessel according to a preferred embodiment will have its crew section in the bow towards the weather due to small amounts of gas which can leak from such a large processing device.

Another purpose with the vessel is that it shall be able to store petroleum fluids immediately after production from wells on the seabed and deliver and load petroleum fluids, either directly, or in processed form further to shuttle tankers which can tie up to transfer lines astern on this vessel. The width of the vesse's stern will then function as a breakwave where shuttle tankers may be situated completely or partly leeward of the vessel because the vessel in a preferred embodiment is designed to be turned with the bow towards the present weather, i. e. the combination of waves and wind.

The invention will below be described with reference to figure drawings, where: Fig. 1 describes schematically a horizontal plane view and section of the entire hull with a dampening devices according to the invention, Figs. 2 and 2b describe schematically a vertical right-to- left section at A-A', about astern of midship of the vessel, Fig. 3 describes schematically a vertical athwartships section by B-B'a little afore of the transom stern.

Fig. 4 displace a plane section of the main deck with the vessel situated with the stern alongside the quay.

Fig. 5 shows a long section along the vessel and the front of the quay with the vessel lying

ballaste down to a fundament on the seabed.

Fig. 6 shows a sketch of a situation with a vessel according to the invention stationary in the open sea over a petroleum fluid producing well.

Fig. 1 describes a schematic plane view and section of the vessel according to the invention with a waterline section of a hull 3, and the plane view showing dampening devices 2 arrange below the waterline. The hull 3 has in a preferred embodiment even width, but may in alternative embodiments have other development of the width from the bow to the stern. The vessel has, afore of the midship, a rotating turret 14. The vesse's stern 32 is primarily plane and vertical, with a concave cavity 34 in the lower part of the transom stern 32 with the lower side of the cavity <BR> <BR> <BR> comprise by a dampening device 21. By the vessels stern the hull's cross section is extended by projections for extending generally in the entire height of the vessel from the bottom plate 40 and up to the main deck 1. The purpose with these projections 40 is to increase the vesse's directional stability so that it will direct itself towards the weather when it is moored at sea by means of mooring devices 400, via the rotating turret 14, e. g. when the vessel via and production risers 200 is situated connecte to a well at the seabed with petroleum fluids.

Fig. 2 and Fig. 3 show vertical cross sections of the vessel, with the wings or dampening devices 2 in the preferred embodiment arrange in level with the essentially plane bottom plate 40 of the vessel. In the hull's 3 stern there is a concave cavity 34, with bottom of the cavity comprise by a second dampening device 2', which in a preferred embodiment generally is arrange in level with bottom plane 40 of the vessel. Due to that the dampening devices 2 and 2'are in level with and do not reach deeper than the vesse's bottom plane 40 the possibility exist to ballast the vessel and to set it down on a fondation along the quay. Because the dampening devices 2 and 2'are preferably plate shaped and horizontal, they counteract both rolling, pitching and heave, contrary to if they should have been arrange vertically, a situation where they would not

be able to counteract pitching and heave to a considerable degree. The vesse's hull 3 and dampening device 2 and 21 may be designed in steel, but it is in a preferred embodiment also possible to build considerable parts of the vessel in armed concret. For vessels for the purposes as described above, it is desirable to have a deck area which is as large as possible and plane o the main deck 1. The vessel has a large width of the main deck 1. In a preferred embodiment the main deck has an even width generally from bow area and the entire length back to the main deck's 1 end entirely at the stern of the vessel. This also reduce the risk that a wave coming in from the front and being higher than the freeboard to break in over the main deck 1 astern.

The vesse's hull has a considerably narrower width of the hull 3 in the waterline than the main deck. This contributes to dampen the effect of vertical movements of the sea so that the vessel does not heave as much as it would have done with a larger area inside the waterline.

The purpose with and the effect of the dampening devices 2 and 21 is to dampen the vessels roll-and pitching movements by dispersing the wave forces and the water flow around the hull 3, but will also contribute to a certain dampening of heave (vertical movement). As mentioned above there will arise a"zero point area"for the vertical movement somewhere centrally on the stern part of the main deck 1, at the price of a certain increased vertical acceleration in the bow part. In this area with reduced vertical accelerations the processing or conversion equipments demanding the most stabile fluid conditions may be arrange.

Fig. 2 shows a schematic view and vertical cross section through the vessel, with the dampening devices 2 shown in section. One or more vertical openings 22 in the dampening device 2 are arrange for permitting a limited vertical flow-through of water and thereby give a dampening of the waves effect on the vessel, and at the same time to disperse the energy of the waves. In addition the vessels rotation moment of inertia around the vessels main axis is increased due to two reasons: 1: A large mass is added represented by the dampening

devices 2 situated thwartships of the vessels main axis and with a large separation from the main axis.

2: A certain water mass is bound over each of the dampening devices 2, which are forced to partly follow the vesse's rotation movement when the dampening device 2 is on its way alternately at the starboard and the port side when the vessel rolls.

In addition to that vesse's rolling movements are dampened in amplitude and frequency due to that the rotation moment of inertia of the vessel increases, the rolling movements will be hampered by the dampening devices friction against the water masses due to the water's viscosity when the water is to be forced outside the dampening devices alter edge and through the openings 22.

A standing rim 24 on the dampening device 2 will contribute to reduce the overlying water masses (in relation to the dampening devices 22) possibility to flow sidewards, so that these water masses to a larger degree of forced with the rolling movement of the vessel.

Additional dampening of the vesse's rolling may be achieved by arranging air filled tanks 26, shown in Fig. 2b, with opening only down toward the water, at either side of the vessel. The tanks 26 may have an alter wall 261. Such stabilizing tanks 26 may be designed in under and in cooperation with the overhanging main deck 1 of the vessel out over the hull 3 outer side, and also to stiffen up the dampening devices 2 by means of vertical plates 26"standing between the hull 3 or main deck 1 and dampening devices 2.

In an alternative embodiment it is possible to let stabilizing tanks 26 outer wall 26'extend entirely or in partial connection with the standing rim 24. When the vessel rolls the water surface will press up the air pressure or suction down the air pressure in the air column which is locked above the water surface and below the top of the tanks 26, which may be comprise by the hull's 3 upper projection or the underside of the main deck 1.

Clearly the vessel must be designed so large that the vesse's width is made preferably larger than the pronounced wave length which one wishes to avoid rolling with. Such a vessel with such a dampening device 2 will namely be forced

to roll in phase with waves of a certain wavelength range in the order of the vesse's width.

It is also possible to design the dampening devices 2' astern edge 21'towards the sea so that it extends like a generally convex ark 211 out from the vesse's stern 32, arrange for rejecting vessels which would come too close to the stern 32.

In alternative embodiments, dampening device 2 and 21 may consist of a frame with a lattice with several horizontally arrange lying plates with mutual separation or a grating of similar shape.

In a preferred embodiment the vessel is not designed to have its own propulsion engines but is designed to have propulsion by means of tender vesses. It will need tender vessels during transit. In a preferred embodiment the vessel has power devices 8 for emergency propulsion and dynamic positioning. The hull 3 is hydrodynamically designed to be able to lay with the bow 33 towards the weather. Such power devices may be so-called"azimuth thrusters"with horizontal propeller axle arrange on a rotatable vertical stem comprising a vertical axle and gears, having the propeller power working freely rotatable through 360° all around the horizon. These power devices are in a preferred embodiment arrange astern at the starboard and port side of the hull 3 extending out through the bottom plane 40 under the projections 4. The projections 4 will give the vessel good directional stability with respect to the direction of the dominating weather, and reduce the need for machine power to lie in a good position towards the weather.

Fig. 4 shows a schematic plane view of the vessel situated by the quay. The dampening device 2 has in a preferred embodiment several vertical openings 22 arrange to allow a limited vertical water through flow and thus imposes dampening of the wavesB effect on the vessel. These openings are designed according to actual wave-and current conditions for ordinary operation. The dampening device 2 (2') with the openings 22 (22') will thus counteract and partially delay the flow-through of water and thus work as a fluid mechanical filter, especially on the vesse's sidewards rolling, and also vertical movement or heave, and

also pitching. The effect of the filter is mathematically to reduce the high frequent amplitudes of the vesse's rolling and heave.

An important prerequisite of the invention is that the vessel shall comprise a transom stern 32 arrange to lie along a quay, shown in Fig. 5. Devices 340 are arrange for transport of materials in solid and fluid form, and energy, mainly between the vesse's stern and the onshore when the vessel is situated by the quay. The vessel may in this position under land receive gas from storage tanks or gas pipelines onshore, convert the gas to fluid petroleum products, e. g. diesel oil, which it exports onshore in to the quay afterwards. Fig. 5 shows further that the vessel may be arrange to lie on foundations at the seabed. An alternative solution is to moor the vessel in the ordinary way with bow moorings out into the sea and stern or quarter fast towards the quay.

When the vessel is moored on the field, it may be moored by means of mooring devices 400, e. g. with anchor lines between the rotating turret 14 and suction anchors in the seabed, and such that the vessel receives petroleum fluids from wells on the seabed via risers 200. Together with the risers 200 there may also be arrange signal-and energy carriers for well control. Such a situation may be illustrated by Fig. 6, showing how the vessel may lie on the weather and convert gas which is being received through the pipelines 200. The gas is converted by means of a gas conversion plant 220 to other petroleum fluids.

One may think of other purposes for the vessel than using it for gas converting and storage ship on an oil field. However, other applications in an oil field will not be significantly different from the present invention.

The bottom 40 of the vessel is in the invention not bound to be plane or horizontal and the dampening devices 2 are not either limited to lie level with the bottom or to have entirely plane shape or to lie entirely horizontal.