ABS, the leading provider of classification and technical services to the offshore industry, collaborated with industry experts during its annual Special Committee Meeting held recently to discuss the ABS Rules for Building and Classing Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs), with the goal of assuring 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.”
More than 50 participants, including delegates from major owners, designers, shipyards and technical representatives from ABS, provided input at the Special Committee Meeting that will be used to refine ABS Rules.
Important rule enhancements that were part of the day-long event include a number of significant changes, including stipulating in more detail the requirements for extra high-strength steel, aiming to standardize requirements among classification societies, improve quality and safety, and make selecting these materials in MODU construction easier for designers and shipyards.
ABS also shared recent enhancements to ABS jacking gear requirements, which were published in November 2016 in the ABS Guide for Survey and Inspection of Jacking Systems. The Guide addresses jackup system reliability through improved jacking gear inspection requirements. In addition, ABS introduced newly modified survey requirements for spud cans, a change that will simplify compliance for owners, making periodic visual inspection acceptable for some jackups in place of more rigorous surveys.
Among the information presented by ABS were status updates on emerging inspection and monitoring technologies and air gap analysis work being done for semisubmersibles, with ABS recommending procedures based on direct analysis of vessel motions and wave surface elevations.
One of the most noteworthy items 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.”