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A Python program coded by Inocean’s engineers can save an FPSO owner millions of dollars
The FPSO-client came to Inocean with this challenge: The forepeak tank of the vessel needed to be repaired if they should be allowed to continue using it. Such reparation would cost approximately 12.5 million dollars. Alternatively they had to prove that it was possible to load oil in “all” thinkable situations without using the forepeak tank. In other words optimizing and standardizing tank filling patterns making it possible to fill the necessary volume of oil without the forepeak tank.

The first option was not very attractive, because of the cost, but at the same time the captain wouldn’t like to lose the forepeak tank, which he uses regularly to trim the vessel. Inocean was therefore asked to find another way out of the problem.  This task is spot on for Inocean with our technologies and tool kits to provide our clients with cost effective solutions for lifetime operation of their units.  

Algorithm

- We understood early that to check and document manually this volume of loading conditions, would be extremely time-consuming and it would be all but impossible to find loading sequences that are easy to follow for the crew, explains Øyvind Tvare of Inocean. – Therefore we started coding a script in Python that could do these calculations automatically – an algorithm that aims to find standardized and optimized loading patterns through loading cycles by iterating through different loading conditions in Autohydro.

No reparation work needed

The Python program was developed, and in only 30 hours more than 20 000 different loading conditions were checked in Autohydro. Based on this Inocean could present for the client storage and offloading capacity for normal operation without use of the forepeak tank. In other words; no reparation work needed. In addition to that the crew will experience easier working conditions when they have our standardized tank filling patterns as guidelines. 

Automation program

This Python script is part of Inocean’s digitalization and automation program. It is not a one-time application, but can easily be used for other FPSOs to optimize and standardize tank filling sequences.      

Benefits – in brief: 

- Optimization: Identifies the easiest way to maximize tank filling. Takes in consideration still water bending moment and shear force limit curves, trim restrictions, tanks can be out of commission, loading restrictions in individual tanks and other operational restrictions. 

- Standardization: Standardize cargo loading and offloading sequences in a way that is easy to operate on board. Splits cargo tanks in different groups that are filled individually. Limits need to shuffle cargo between tanks.

- Automatization: Makes it possible to quickly check thousands of loading conditions to find optimized and standardized loading sequences and to present documentation automatically and easy to use.