Autoship and Autohydro Used in Offshore Platform Engineering
by Richard Roper, Naval Architect, formerly of Friede and Goldman

“More than 100 currently operating mobile offshore drilling units bear the F&G mark. With such a large number of designs in service, Friede and Goldman is called upon often to engineer upgrades that will press the fleet into greater depths in search of oil.

Autohydro is our tool of choice for melding the stipulated parameters into a set of sponsons for a given upgrade. Often the customer will specify a desired natural period, displacement, and loading condition. We have even used Autohydro to create a “Surface of Minimum Downflood Point Height”. This gave the owner of a drillship we upgraded this year the ability to immediately place a new vent or relocate an old vent, door, etc. in a safe position.

Autoship Systems products have also been an essential part of the process of designing new rigs such as the Smedvig SPU 380 for the Balder field in the Norwegian North Sea.

Friede & Goldman was acquired in December of 1996 by J.L. Holloway Holdings. This has afforded our company the opportunity to begin an aggressive pursuit of a new family of technology-driven semi-submersible and jack-up drilling rigs which will be better and more efficient. The use of Autoship and Autohydro will figure prominently in this effort.

One of the new designs currently under development is the triangular semi-submersible pictured above. Extensive use of command files to create models in Model Maker and run files to simulate every conceivable condition of stability in Autohydro have significantly reduced the amount of time required to complete the stability portion of the design spiral.”