ABS Appointed Verification Agent In The U.S. For Offshore Fixed Structures

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has been authorized to act as a "Certified Verification Agent" by the Geological Survey of the United States Department of the Interior to ensure that offshore fixed platforms and other structures meet federal standards. The standards apply to fixed structures designed, fabricated, and installed on the U.S. outer continental shelf as of January 1, 1980.

They also apply to major modifications made after that date to existing structures.

"This appointment is significant to ABS as it recognizes our expertise with f i x e d o f f s h o re structures," William N. Johnston, chairman and president of ABS, stated. He noted that "The Bureau has more than 29 years of worldwide experience with the c l a s s i n g , surveying, inspection, and analysis of offshore structures." The verification activities will be performed on behalf of the Geological Survey by ABS surveyors who are stationed in the Bureau's worldwide network of 174 exclusive offices, and by engineers in the Ocean Engineering Division based at the ABS International Headquarters in New York City.

The verification activities will be performed in accordance with the G e o l o g i c a l Survey's Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Platform Verification Program. The technical content of the program is based upon a document entitled "Requirements for Verifying the Structural Integrity of OCS Platforms," which was developed by ABS under a contract awarded to it in 1977 by the Geological Survey. The requirements were thoroughly reviewed during their development by personnel at ABS, the Geological Survey, and by specialists and consultants with experience in the offshore industry. The "Requirements" are almost t o t a l l y p e r f o r m a n c e oriented: they specify objectives that are to be satisfied in the design and construction of fixed platforms. This performance-oriented framework was adopted by the Geological Survey to provide the offshore industry with maximum flexibility in choosing design methods and procedures, as well as to ensure that the practices described in the regulations would be compatible with the present techniques used in the industry. The technology developed by the industry is incorporated in the design and construction of more than 3,000 fixed structures already installed off the West, Gulf, and Alaskan Coasts of the United States.

Two other documents were also prepared by ABS for the Geological Survey in conjunction with the "Requirements." The appendices present alternative engineering design procedures that may be utilized to conform to the "Requirements." The commentary describes the basic intent of the performance requirements and also discusses the current development of the state-of-practice for both the "Requirements" and appendices. The American Bureau of Shipping is an 118-year-old international classification society that e s t a b l i s h e s s t a n d a r d s , called "Rules," for the design, construction, and periodic surveys of a variety of marine structures.

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