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Anchoring: More securely held

A mobile unit which fails to stay put when required presents a substantial risk. So systems for anchoring and positioning must be trustworthy.

Floating installations as well as rigs and ships are held in place with the aid of dynamic positioning or by mooring to the seabed. Any failure of such systems may have serious consequences.

Drilling rigs or production floaters can have their connection with subsea equipment destroyed or damaged, with a potential loss of well control and the risk of a blowout.

Losing position also poses the threat of a collision with other facilities, offering the possibility of a major accident as well as extensive material losses.

While the PSA registered a worrying increase in mooring-related incidents some years ago, its initiatives and industry action have reversed this trend and few such events were recorded in 2009-10.

However, further improvements to mooring systems are still needed in order to reduce the risk contribution of incidents like this to an absolute minimum.

Failure of winch brake systems has caused most of the undesirable incidents, and improvements are needed here on existing mobile units on the NCS.

Certain of these vessels have also failed to adopt the best available solutions.

New regulations impose tougher and more integrated requirements in this area.

This article was published in the publication Safety - status and signals 2010-2011.