MBCs protecting FPSO applications - Gall Thomson

MBCs protecting FPSO applications

MBCs protecting FPSO applications


Reducing risk for offshore FPSO applications

Marine Breakaway Couplings (MBCs) are vital for the safe offshore hose transfer of hydrocarbons between Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSOs) and conventional/shuttle tankers.

FPSO production and transfer processes provide a substantive risk to the offshore environment and the safety of personnel. The installation of MBCs greatly reduces this consequential risk and the size of the potential pollution spill. MBCs also help protect assets from damage and operations from extended downtime when incidents occur.

FPSO applications
FPSO applications

Shown above: Gall Thomson MBCs during FPSO transfer operations.

The proven reliability of Gall Thomson MBCs in FPSO applications

Manufactured according to the specific configuration of the FPSO offloading system and managed in accordance with Gall Thomson installation and operations guidelines, Gall Thomson MBCs have been proven to be reliable for FPSO permanently floating hose, hose reeled system (in air or submerged catenary systems) with all existing brands of OCIMF marine hoses (with or without nipples).

Gall Thomson MBCs are unmatched in performance when required to operate after tanker breakouts due to harsh weather or extreme pressure surges.

rear fpso and hose reel

Shown above: Hose on reel with Gall Thomson MBC.

The Gall Thomson MBC is the unmatched solution for protecting FPSO operations

The Gall Thomson MBC is self-energised and is calibrated to respond to pre-defined loads. The MBC does not reply on human operation and is therefore unrivalled in response time when compared to any alternatives such as Bow Loading Connectors/North Sea Valves (BLS) where human operation and procedures are susceptible to rapidly evolving circumstances

OCIMF has classified MBCs as passive couplings whereas Bow Loading system/North Sea Valve are active couplings requiring human intervention with activation of ESD1 and ESD2. Whereas Bow Loading system/North Sea Valve can take up to two minutes before BLS is disconnected, the MBC is the last resort when all redundancy systems in place fail and when Mooring Masters do not have enough time to disconnect BLS (if applicable).

OCIMF has also identified that passive couplings such as Gall Thomson MBCs have a primary function; which is to activate in cases of tanker breakout or extreme pressure surges caused by sudden failure of BLS systems or failure and slamming shut of butterfly valve during full flow conditions.

Typical MBC configurations

Gall Thomson MBCs are proven in FPSO permanently floating hose or reeled hose configurations.

fpso hose to vessel

Example above showing Tanker Midship Manifold configuration

fpso to vessel

Example above showing Bow Loading configuration

Offloading Reel Considerations

Gall Thomson has supplied more than 30 MBCs on FPSO reeling application and this successful track record is due to the unique understanding of MBC applications for FPSO reeling systems. Involved early in the FPSO offloading system, Gall Thomson is able to calculate the loads applied on the MBC by the hoses chosen by the contractor depending on the hose parameters. Examples include: hose stiffness and hose nipple length if applicable, reel parameters and the operational parameters such as purging pressure and flushing procedures.

Based on FEA analysis and testing, Gall Thomson can manufacture MBCs with a high design parting load, transit bolts or remote transit protection.

MBC single closure on FPSO in the North Sea

Shown above: MBC single closure on FPSO in the North Sea.

mbc on reel

Shown above: MBC with internal transit bolts on FPSO in the Gulf of Mexico.

mbc closeup on reel

Shown above: MBC with external transit bolts on FPSO in the Gulf of West Africa:

fpso hose reel
mbc on fpso reel

Shown above: MBC used without transit bolt on FPSO in Asia and South America