BP '© BP p.l.c' Plutonio FPSO_in_field_at_sea_375x216Lately I’ve been doing a lot of work on how the offshore industry does design and analysis (more about that soon, I hope) and have a deep appreciation for what goes into the design, fabrication, transportation and installation of these mammoth structures. Bentley Systems’ SACS is the industry standard for many of these projects (and certainly in the Gulf of Mexico) but MOSES came up often as the analysis tool of choice for specific situations. Today, Bentley announced that it has acquired MOSES from Ultramarine, Inc., to round out its offshore offering.

Bentley has been very focused on expanding its footprint in offshore the last couple of years, acquiring SACS in March 2011 and expanding into floating production, storage and offloading vessels (FPSOs) and other floating structures with the addition of FormSys’ naval architecture capability in November 2011.

Ray Nachlinger, the founder of Ultramarine and creator of MOSES, will help integrate SACS and MOSES in a consulting capacity. Phil Christensen, Bentley’s vice president, offshore, said that Bentley will now leverage its technology platform to “enhance MOSES’ modeling and graphical visualization capabilities, as well as its ease of use … [F]ull integration between SACS and MOSES will allow a cohesive model to be used for all structural and naval architectural analyses.”

To give you some idea of the impact this type of integration has, take a look at the picture above. This is an FPSO, the Greater Plutonio. It may be the largest FPSO ever built; according to reports, it is 310 meters long and stores over 1.5 million barrels of oil. In addition, it processes up to 240,000 barrels of oil and up to 400 million standard cubic feet of gas per day. The FPSO is held in position by 12 mooring lines and connects to over 20 producing wells in water depths from 1200 to 1450 meters.

It’s one thing to design a process plant on land; it’s another to create safe operating conditions on a platform that’s subjected to wind and waves, tethering, marine growth and dealing with chemicals that are prone to explosions. Designers must take into account all of the possible loading conditions for the FPSO and the forces created by taking on and offloading oil and gas in all sorts of configurations. Anything that streamlines this process, makes it more reliable and repeatable, is very valuable to asset operators and owners.

I’ll be at Bentley’s Year in Infrastructure 2013 Conference (formerly known as Be Inspired) later this month and hope to get more details on MOSES and the planned integration. In the meantime, you can learn more here.

Details of the acquisition were not announced, but it appears to be a done deal.

Image courtesy of BP, © BP p.l.c.

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