January 28 - The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) - a provider of marine and offshore classification services - has released the ABS Guide for Dynamic Positioning Systems, an update to present classification requirements in the use of dynamic positioning

The use of DP systems has expanded both in terms of the number of vessels outfitted with the systems, and the advancement of technology.

"DP reliability is particularly important in frontier areas where deepwater drilling is reaching greater depths and in challenging harsh-weather environments around the world," explained ABS vice president, energy project development Ken Richardson, adding that the vast majority of newbuild floating mobile offshore drilling units will have DP capability.

The new Enhanced System (EHS) notation described in ABS Guide for Dynamic Positions Systems encourages more robust design of DP systems. Multiple levels of EHS notation - for power, control and fire protection - provide owners will flexibility to tailor certification for each specific drilling rig.

"The new Guide provides standards for enhanced notations to guide clients in selecting the level of compliance for a vessel's DP capability, which broadens the notation choices, increasing the likelihood of getting a unit outfitted with the most appropriate system for each application," explained Richardson.

Because newbuild floating mobile offshore units will work around the globe, the new guide offers an optional notation for station-keeping performance (SKP).

The DP guide also includes detailed procedures for assessing thrust, taking into account thruster interaction, which is useful in the early design stage of offshore mobile drilling units, according to ABS.

ABS added that in developing the ABS Guide for Dynamic Positions Systems it drew on years of experience from DP installations, as well as on the expertise of manufactures, owners, operators and industry experts. Part of the process included a workshop where over 40 experts participated in discussions about DP systems and what the industry requires.

"We understand that DP system reliability is vital to operational safety. And we developed the new Guide to address the diverse and growing needs of the industry with respect to DP systems," stated ABS vice president for offshore technology, Bret Montaruli.