By Buoyancy Control Patents (Class 405/200)
  • Patent number: 9764804
    Abstract: A floating ocean platform stabilized in position by energy produced from wave energy. In one embodiment, the platform may be used to support a roadway to build a floating bridge. The platform may also include a wave break mechanism for additional stability and may submerge for storm survival. The platform may be constructed in modules to permit reconfiguration and management of resources. In other embodiments, the platform may support communities. The bridge may also provide transmission lines for conducting wave generated electricity back to the mainland.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2017
    Inventor: Paul D. Kennamer, Sr.
  • Patent number: 9718518
    Abstract: A method of connecting a member to a floating structure, the method includes disposing the floating structure in a body of water and attaching the member to the floating structure. The method also includes changing an orientation of the floating structure and aligning the member with a connection device disposed on a lower portion of the floating structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2017
    Assignee: Exmar Offshore Company
    Inventors: Otto DaSilva, M. Ed Nagel
  • Patent number: 9499240
    Abstract: The invention provides a sub-structure (2) comprising at least one leg (4) having first buoyancy means (4a) arranged in a lower part of the at least one leg to provide a first buoyancy, and a float element (3) having second buoyancy means to provide a second buoyancy, wherein the sub-structure and the float element are constructed to allow relative wave induced motion with respect to each other in a substantially vertical direction wherein the leg is movable from a pre-installation position to an installation position by a substantially downwards movement of the leg with respect to the float element, and wherein during at least a second part of the downwards movement of the leg towards the installation position and/or in the installation position the first buoyancy means are substantially located below a wave zone to substantially decrease heave action on the first buoyancy means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2016
    Assignee: COBUS BEHEER B.V.
    Inventor: Herm Berend Bussemaker
  • Patent number: 9371625
    Abstract: A modified spudcan with optimal peripheral skirt for enhanced performance of jackup operations comprises a spudcan top part, a spudcan bottom part, wherein the spudcan bottom has a central tip protruding from the central part of the spudcan bottom; wherein the top and bottom parts are coupled at their peripherals or through a spudcan side wall to form a hull structure, and a peripheral skirt having an upper end being coupled to the spudcan bottom part and a lower end extending downwardly, wherein the tip of the lower end of the peripheral skirt is higher than the distal end of the central tip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2016
    Assignee: Offshore Technology Development Pte Ltd
    Inventors: Kok Seng Foo, Chin Kau Quah, Okky Ahmad Purwana, Michael John Perry
  • Patent number: 9169067
    Abstract: A system includes a vessel configured to contain a substance therein having a top end and a bottom end with a center-of-gravity for the vessel disposed between the top end and the bottom end, a frame connected to the vessel, a cable link connected to the frame configured to connect a cable thereto, and a cable support connected to the vessel or the frame. The cable support disposed above the center-of-gravity of the vessel with respect to the top end and the bottom end of the vessel. As the vessel moves from a first position to a second position, the cable engages the cable support such that a lifting force is translated from the cable and through the cable support to have the cable move the vessel through the cable support, the cable support attached to the frame or the vessel with the cable support disposed above the center-of-gravity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2015
    Assignee: M-I L.L.C.
    Inventors: Adam Raney, Thomas Hanson
  • Patent number: 9004819
    Abstract: A method for installation of an offshore wind turbine. The method includes prefabrication of a foundation that provides buoyant force and uprighting force to the foundation so as to keep it upright without external forces. The method further includes installation on a dock that includes assembling the offshore wind turbine into a complete set, and finishing testing in a state of the complete set. The method further includes transporting the complete set to an offshore site in a way of floating on the water, and then offshore installation that includes sinking the complete set onto a sea bed by gravity on the offshore site, and fixing the foundation to finish the installation. The present invention also provides a method for recovery of an offshore wind turbine, which is performed generally in steps reversed to the method for installation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: Daoda (Shanghai) Wind Power Investment Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Aidong Li, Hongyan Ding
  • Patent number: 8899881
    Abstract: An offshore structure comprises a hull having a longitudinal axis and including a first column and a second column moveably coupled to the first column. Each column has a longitudinal axis, a first end, and a second end opposite the first end. In addition, the offshore structure comprises an anchor coupled to the second end of the second column and configured to secure the hull to the sea floor. The first column includes a variable ballast chamber and a first buoyant chamber positioned between the variable ballast chamber and the first end of the first column. The first buoyant chamber is filled with a gas and sealed from the surrounding environment. The second column includes a variable ballast chamber. Further, the offshore structure comprises a topside mounted to the hull.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2014
    Assignee: Horton Wison Deepwater, Inc.
    Inventors: Lyle David Finn, Edward E. Horton, III, James V. Maher
  • Patent number: 8696291
    Abstract: A load out and float off method for a spar type structure or another structure such as a deck. The invention enables the load out and float off of a large diameter spar using existing Heavy Lift Vessels (HLV's). A U-shaped tank (U-tank) is utilized to artificially extend the length of the HLV and provide supplemental buoyancy to help lift the spar off the land ways. The U-tank provides supplemental buoyancy and water plane area to float the spar off the HLV. After HLV departure the U-tank is moved and placed beneath an adapter frame on the spar's hard tank. The U-tank is ballasted upward to reduce the hard tank draft and have the strake tips clear the channel bottom. The spar can then be brought alongside the fabrication yard quay for additional work and then towed down the channel to the open sea.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: J. Ray McDermott, S.A.
    Inventors: James Allan Haney, Bee-Lay Leow
  • Patent number: 8613570
    Abstract: A method of constructing a semi-submersible unit with a side wall. To construct the semi-submersible unit, the method can include placing a hull in a body of water and connecting a deck structure to the hull. In addition, there is a kit for constructing a semi-submersible unit, with a side wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2013
    Assignee: GVA Consultants AB
    Inventor: Bernt Erik Westre
  • Publication number: 20130000540
    Abstract: A hull, suitable for use as a tension leg platform (TLP) or as a semi-submersible vessel, comprises columns having a generally polygonal transverse cross section at least one axis of which is generally radially aligned with the central vertical axis of the hull. Buoyant, subsurface pontoons interconnect adjacent columns. The pontoons are generally rectangular in cross section and the outboard, generally vertical surface of each pontoon is connected to a side surface of an adjoining column at a location which is substantially inboard of the outermost face of the column. In certain embodiments of the invention, tendon porches (configured to receive the upper tendon connectors of a TLP) are mounted to the outboard surface of one or more pontoons.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 1, 2011
    Publication date: January 3, 2013
    Applicant: SEAHORSE EQUIPMENT CORP
    Inventors: Oriol R. Rijken, Xiaoqiang Bian, Edward Sean Large, Steven John Leverette
  • Publication number: 20120282034
    Abstract: Measurement platform for installing in water, very light and easy to transport, which comprises a foundation of improved suction anchor type constituting the platform base. It is driven into the seabed by the pressure difference between outside and inside, and by reversing the pressure gradient it can be extracted for reutilization. The measurement platform also has a series of telescopically connected tubes, a house located on these tubes containing the devices, a vertical shaft wind turbine for powering the assembly, a device for transmitting data (wi-max or equivalent) to the on-land station, a Doppler laser anemometer, security cameras and the terminal of a Doppler current meter. All data recorded by the devices as well as pictures from security cameras will be continuously sent to the on-land station. Thus the security of the facility is increased, and possible sabotages are forecasted.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 10, 2010
    Publication date: November 8, 2012
    Applicant: GRUPO DE INGENIERIA OCEANICA, S.L.
    Inventor: Cesar del Campo y Ruiz de Almodovar
  • Publication number: 20120114421
    Abstract: A floating system comprising a plurality of buoyant columns, a top portion of the columns extending above a water surface, and a bottom portion of the columns submerged in a body of water; a deck connected to the top portion of the columns; at least one pontoon connected to the bottom portion of at least two of the columns; a plurality of heave plates, each heave plate connected to the bottom portion of at least one of the columns; and a conduit connected to the deck and extending to a bottom of the body of water.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 6, 2010
    Publication date: May 10, 2012
    Inventors: Arno Laurentius Michael Van Den Haak, Yile Li, You Sun Li, Stergios Liapis, Joao Paulo Juliao Matsuura
  • Publication number: 20120107052
    Abstract: An offshore structure comprises a hull having a longitudinal axis and including a first column and a second column moveably coupled to the first column. Each column has a longitudinal axis, a first end, and a second end opposite the first end. In addition, the offshore structure comprises an anchor coupled to the second end of the second column and configured to secure the hull to the sea floor. The first column includes a variable ballast chamber and a first buoyant chamber positioned between the variable ballast chamber and the first end of the first column. The first buoyant chamber is filled with a gas and sealed from the surrounding environment. The second column includes a variable ballast chamber. Further, the offshore structure comprises a topside mounted to the hull.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 3, 2011
    Publication date: May 3, 2012
    Applicant: HORTON WISON DEEPWATER, INC.
    Inventors: Lyle David Finn, Edward E. Horton, III, James V. Maher
  • Publication number: 20120093587
    Abstract: An offshore structure comprises a hull having a longitudinal axis, a first end, and a second end opposite the first end. In addition, the structure comprises an anchor coupled to the lower end of the hull and configured to secure the hull to the sea floor. The anchor has an aspect ratio less than 3:1. The hull includes a variable ballast chamber positioned axially between the first end and the second end of the hull and a first buoyant chamber positioned between the variable ballast chamber and the first end of the hull. The first buoyant chamber is filled with a gas and sealed from the surrounding environment. Further, the structure comprises a ballast control conduit in fluid communication with the variable ballast chamber and configured to supply a gas to the variable ballast chamber. The structure also comprises a topside mounted to the first end of the hull.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 18, 2011
    Publication date: April 19, 2012
    Applicant: Horton Wison Deepwater, Inc.
    Inventors: Lyle David Finn, Edward E. Horton, III, James V. Maher
  • Patent number: 8007204
    Abstract: A method for providing a sustainable offshore community that includes a floatable, low cost platform structure which covers a large amount of real estate and is supported above the surface of the ocean from columns which pass through the structure such that the extremities of the structure are supported with stays that run from the top of the columns to the extremities of the platform. This type of staying structure permits the formation of the large floatable platform for supporting self sustaining communities by providing sizeable living and recreational areas, thus to permit an offshore community to exist at sea for a number of years.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2011
    Assignee: The Seasteading Institute
    Inventors: Alexia Aubault, Dominique Roddier, Christian Cermelli
  • Patent number: 7871222
    Abstract: A semi-submersible structure. The hull includes four columns that are supported by two pontoons. The columns support the topsides and the topsides structural framing serves as horizontal framing between the columns. A truss frame is attached to the columns. The truss frame preferably includes heave plates. The truss frame extends downward below the pontoons a sufficient distance in the water such that it minimizes motions caused by environmental forces. The hull section and the truss space frame are constructed separately and assembled together at the offshore site where the structure is used for drilling and/or production.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2011
    Assignee: J. Ray McDermott, S.A.
    Inventors: Yun Ding, William Lawrence Soester
  • Patent number: 7824131
    Abstract: A building over the water, maneuvering methods for the building and hosting sites of the building. The buildings including a superstructure (A) provided a floor structure (1) that is placed over a water surface (2) on which an inhabitable subassembly (3) is positioned, a support (B) sitting on ground (4) positioned under the floor structures (1), and mobile floating docks (C) with variable and controllable buoyancy that includes a load carrying platform (5) positioned under the floor structure (1). The superstructure (A) is held above the water surface (2) by the supports (B), that sit on the ground (4), and respectively carried by the floating docks (C), the superstructure being detachable from the ground (4), and transportable on water on the mobile floating docks (C), thus being possible to reposition the superstructure (A) on ground (4), at a destination of choice.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2010
    Inventor: Silviu Dorian Chelaru
  • Patent number: 7731157
    Abstract: A heave compensation apparatus and method for a winch or crane system, the winch or crane system preferably for a vessel and including a lift wire for attachment to a load. The apparatus includes a vessel motion measurement device which may be in the form of a motion reference unit for measuring the motion of the vessel, and a control device or computer capable of receiving an output from the vessel motion measurement device and controlling the winch or crane system according to the movement of the vessel, so as to stabilise the load. The apparatus may further optionally include one or more of a lift wire tension measuring device for measuring the tension in the lift wire; a lift wire distance measurement device which measures the length of lift wire that has been paid out; and a load motion measurement device for measuring the motion of the load.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2010
    Assignee: SUBSEA 7 Limited
    Inventor: Daniel Davidson
  • Publication number: 20090279957
    Abstract: A riser assembly and method for providing buoyancy to a riser assembly are disclosed. The riser assembly which is of the type for transporting fluids from a sub-sea flowline to a floating structure comprises a first segment of flexible pipe, a further segment of flexible pipe and a rigid buoyancy support for providing at least one buoyancy element at the support.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 20, 2007
    Publication date: November 12, 2009
    Inventors: Tricia Hill, Yanqiu Zhang
  • Patent number: 7104730
    Abstract: A floating platform includes a hull and a deck mounted on the uppermost end of the hull. The platform is anchored to the seabed by a plurality of tendons connected to the hull at the upper ends thereof and secured to the seabed at the lower ends thereof. The platform includes detachable buoyancy means providing supplemental buoyancy for hydrostatically stabilizing the platform without utilizing a derrick barge while ballasting the platform during installation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2006
    Assignee: Seahorse Equipment Corporation
    Inventors: Steven J. Leverette, Steven E. Kibbee
  • Patent number: 7037044
    Abstract: An extendable draft platform, having a deck and buoyancy columns installed in leg wells in the deck for vertical movement from a raised position to a submerged position, includes a connection arrangement for securing the columns to the deck when the columns are in the submerged position. In the connection arrangement, a plurality of first guide elements near the top of each column is engageable by a plurality of complementary second guide elements secured to the deck around each leg well when the column is lowered to its submerged position. A locking mechanism is operable between the columns and the deck when the first guide elements are engaged with the second guide elements. The first and second guide elements may be configured so that the connection between the deck and the columns may be enhanced by over-ballasting the columns and/or by welding the columns to the deck.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2006
    Assignee: Technip France
    Inventors: Qi Xu, Phillip Andrew Abbott
  • Patent number: 6945737
    Abstract: An extendable draft offshore oil and gas drilling and production platform (“EDP”) includes a buoyant deck having a central opening, an adjustably buoyant pontoon, and a single, adjustably buoyant column. The column is mounted upright on the pontoon, and is vertically movable through the central opening of the deck. The deck is supported on an upper end of the column above a body of water for offshore operations. The pontoon, and optionally, the column, have compartments with a buoyancy that is adjustable by pumps or sea water ballast and pressurized air. In one embodiment, the compartments can comprise a plurality of tubes. In another embodiment, a lower end of the column may comprise an open truss structure. The platform combines the advantages of a SPAR platform with those of a deep draft extendable draft platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2005
    Assignee: Technip France
    Inventor: Qi Xu
  • Patent number: 6935810
    Abstract: A semi-submersible, multicolumn, deep draft, floating offshore oil and gas drilling and production platform comprises a floating hull having an adjustably buoyant base, a plurality of columns vertically upstanding from the base, and an equipment deck that is supported atop the columns when the platform is operationally deployed. Each of the columns comprises a cellular structure that includes a plurality of elongated tubes having a variety of cross-sectional shapes extending from the base to the top of the column. Each of the tubes defines one or more closed compartments. At least one of the compartments has a buoyancy that is fixed, and at least another one of the compartments has a buoyancy that is adjustable. The buoyancy of the compartments and the base can be controllably adjusted with pressurized air to provide a safer and less costly method for deploying the platform for offshore operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2005
    Assignee: Deepwater Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Edward E. Horton, III
  • Patent number: 6932326
    Abstract: The invention is a method for lifting and transporting a heavy load by using a heavy lift vessel with at least two heavy lift cranes adapted to operate simultaneously; mounting fly-jibs on the heavy lift crane to increase reach and height of the heavy lift crane; picking up a load from a first location using the fly-jib modules simultaneously; shifting the load from the first location to over a second location on the heavy lift vessel; placing the load on the second location; moving the heavy lift vessel to a second position; using a mooring system to maintain the heavy lift vessel at the second position; picking up the load from the second location using the fly-jib modules simultaneously; shifting the load from a second location to over a third location; and placing the load on the third location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2005
    Inventor: Richard L. Krabbendam
  • Patent number: 6869251
    Abstract: A marine buoy for the offshore support of subsea production and drilling activities that has a closed-bottomed base section with a solid ballast and variable ballast chambers, a chamber in the base section for storing equipment and supplies, and an upper section with a smaller cross-sectional area than the base section having an elevator shaft leading from the top of the upper section to the chamber in the base section. The upper section supports a deck for housing process equipment for operations that the marine buoy is supporting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2005
    Assignee: ABB Lummus Global, Inc.
    Inventors: Jun Zou, Edward Huang, Clay F. Anderson, John Allen
  • Patent number: 6769372
    Abstract: The present invention provides a large transport ship in which the shape of a ship bottom 1a from a bow 1h to a stern 1t, when viewed on a cross-section perpendicular to the longitudinal direction of the ship bottom 1a, is tapered towards the center CL of the ship bottom in the widthwise direction. Consequently, it is possible to resolve problems associated with changes in the draft corresponding to the state of the load, without using ballast water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2004
    Assignee: Shipbuilding Research Centre of Japan
    Inventors: Kazunori Sato, Katsuyoshi Takekuma, Takehito Tomoi, Kenichi Inoue, Shigeo Ohnishi
  • Publication number: 20040141811
    Abstract: An apparatus for controlled deployment of ballast material onto a subsea location, preferably a subsea structure, comprising at least one chute for conveying said ballast material, said chute having a first end and a second end; at least one buoyancy element associated with the chute such that the chute may assume a generally vertical orientation in the water, supported by said buoyancy element; a support element associated with said chute and adapted for cooperation with an installation weight, said chute second end being adapted for connection to an element associated with the seabed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 20, 2003
    Publication date: July 22, 2004
    Inventor: Karel Karal
  • Patent number: 6745852
    Abstract: A system for drilling wells includes a plurality of platform modules, which are interconnected to one another on site to form a unitary platform structure. The interconnected platform modules are elevated above a surface on plurality of legs coupled to at least some of the platform modules. The elevated interconnected platform modules support drilling and auxiliary equipment. The system is well adapted for use in arctic, inaccessible, shallow water or environmentally sensitive locations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2004
    Assignee: Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
    Inventors: Ali G Kadaster, Keith K. Millheim
  • Patent number: 6719495
    Abstract: A marine platform (and method of installation) provides a plurality of buoys, a platform having a peripheral portion that includes a plurality of attachment positions, one attachment position for each buoy, and an articulating connection that connects each buoy to the platform at a respective attachment position, the connection allowing for sea state induced buoy motions while minimizing effect on the platform. A method of installation places the platform (including oil and gas drilling and/or production facility next to the buoys. Ballasting moves the platform and buoys relative to one another until connections are perfected between each buoy and the platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2004
    Inventor: Jon E. Khachaturian
  • Publication number: 20030143035
    Abstract: There is provided a buoyancy system for a structure having at least one component being substantially stationary with respect to the bottom of a water covered area. The system comprises a set of buoyancy modules of engineered materials to apply an identified amount of buoyancy. The set of buoyancy modules is attached to the structure at a set of buoyancy load transfer locations. The set of buoyancy modules comprises layers of the engineered materials. The engineered materials comprise a substantially reinforced axial layer, a substantially reinforced hoop layer; and a leak prevention layer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 7, 2003
    Publication date: July 31, 2003
    Inventors: Metin Karayaka, Paul N. Stanton
  • Publication number: 20030095839
    Abstract: A floating platform for offshore drilling or production of hydrocarbons comprises a topsides with drilling and/or production equipment (8), and a substructure comprising a lower pontoon (3) and columns (4) connecting the pontoon (3) to the topsides (1). During its operation the platform is exposed to wave forces (9) which cause heave motion (v) and roll and pitch motion (p) of the platform. The substructure has a draught (11) which is at least 40 metres, preferably at least 50 metres and most preferred at least 60 metres, and the ratio between the distance (16) between the columns' centre axes (25), measured along a side of the substructure, and the lower substructure's draught (11) is between 1.0 and 1.5, preferably between 1.2 and 1.4 and most preferred between 1.3 and 1.35.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 16, 2002
    Publication date: May 22, 2003
    Inventors: Per Herbert Kristensen, Ida Husem, Erik Pettersen
  • Publication number: 20030068203
    Abstract: A marine platform provides a plurality of buoys, a platform having a peripheral portion that includes a plurality of attachment positions, one attachment position for each buoy, and a connection that connects each buoy to the platform at a respective attachment position, the connection allowing for sea state induced buoy motions while minimizing effect on the platform. Each connection can provide first and second portions (or devices) and a load transfer mechanism that transfers load from the first portion to the second portion so that one of the portions (or devices) can be serviced.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 20, 2002
    Publication date: April 10, 2003
    Inventor: Jon Khachaturian
  • Publication number: 20020197116
    Abstract: A marine buoy for the offshore support of subsea production and drilling activities that has a closed-bottomed base section with a solid ballast and variable ballast chambers, a chamber in the base section for storing equipment and supplies, and an upper section with a smaller cross-sectional area than the base section having an elevator shaft leading from the top of the upper section to the chamber in the base section. The upper section supports a deck for housing process equipment for operations that the marine buoy is supporting.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 11, 2002
    Publication date: December 26, 2002
    Inventors: Jun Zou, Edward Huang, Clay F. Anderson, John Allen
  • Publication number: 20020154954
    Abstract: An offshore well platform is towed in an upright condition to a well site by the use of a temporary flotation device. The flotation device mounts to a portion of the platform and is partially submerged, increasing the ability and buoyancy of the platform. At the site, the engagement of the flotation device shifts to a deploying position. In the deploying position, the ballast of the platform is increased to cause it to more deeply submerge. The flotation device remains at least partially surrounding the platform and floating while the platform moves downwardly relative to it. This provides lateral support if needed to prevent heeling while being submerged. The flotation device is disengageable from the platform when the platform is fully submerged.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 6, 2002
    Publication date: October 24, 2002
    Inventors: Edward W. Huang, Frank Shih-Fai Chou, Jun Zou
  • Patent number: 6435774
    Abstract: A marine platform provides a plurality of buoys, a platform having a peripheral portion that includes a plurality of attachment positions, one attachment position for each buoy, and a connection that connects each buoy to the platform at a respective attachment position, the connection allowing for sea state induced buoy motions while minimizing effect on the platform. Each connection can provide first and second portions (or devices) and a load transfer mechanism that transfers load from the first portion to the second portion so that one of the portions (or devices) can be serviced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2002
    Inventor: Jon Khachaturian
  • Patent number: 6425710
    Abstract: A marine platform provides a plurality of buoys, a platform having a peripheral portion that includes a plurality of attachment positions, one attachment position for each buoy, and an articulating connection that connects each buoy to the platform at a respective attachment position, the connection allowing for sea state induced buoy motions while minimizing effect on the platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2002
    Inventor: Jon Khachaturian
  • Patent number: 6409431
    Abstract: A submersible floating dock which can be sunk beneath the water line in the event of the approach of a violent storm for protection of the dock against wave action, storm surge, and high winds. A dock with a deck supported on hollow floatation chambers is attached to pilings by rings. The rings allow the dock to move up and down in response to changes in the water level. As a storm approaches water is allowed to enter the hollow floatation chambers which are ordinarily filled with air. This causes the dock and deck to sink beneath the water line making it resistent to damage from storm surge, wave action, and high winds. After the storm has passed, pressurized air is introduced into the floatation chambers forcing the water in the floatation chambers out of the chamber. The air increases the buoyancy of the floatation chambers, hence, of the dock so that it rises above the water line for use by an owner after the danger of storm surge, high winds, and waves has passed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2002
    Inventor: Thomas S. Lynch
  • Publication number: 20020067956
    Abstract: In a floating structure, a ballast weight is suspended at a truss angle from an upper section of the floating structure using at least three tension members. This ballast weight is suspended at such a depth and in such a manner that the center of gravity of the floating structure is below the center of buoyancy of the floating structure. The suspension of the ballast weight allows the floating structure to maintain greater stability and achieve desirable motions in response to environmental conditions such as wind and waves.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 29, 2001
    Publication date: June 6, 2002
    Applicant: FMC TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventor: Roy H. Cottrell
  • Patent number: 6378450
    Abstract: The invention relates to a semi-submersible vessel designed to operate in harsh environment. The vessel has a twin-hull pontoon structure that supports four corner caissons extending vertically from the pontoons above an operational draft of the vessel. A pair of slender parallel horizontal braces connects each pair of opposing caissons, the braces extending in a general plane perpendicular to longitudinal axes of the pontoons. One of the pair of braces is secured between the forward columns and another of the pair of braces is secured between the aft columns. The braces reduce spreading and torque-induced forces acting on the columns, while not substantially increasing water plane area of the vessel. Each brace has an internal “redundancy” feature, being divided into two independent watertight compartments to continue providing buoyancy to the structure if one of the compartments is breached.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2002
    Assignee: Friede & Goldman, Ltd.
    Inventors: Eugene E. Begnaud, Calvin V. Norton, Bruce Malcolm
  • Patent number: 6374764
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for installing a deck on an offshore substructure is provided. The apparatus comprises a deck supported by lifting mechanisms that are in turn attached to pontoons. The apparatus floats on the water with the lifting mechanisms compressed until transported to an offshore substructure having an upper end located above the water surface. The lifting mechanisms are then extended and the apparatus moved on the surface of the water to position the deck over the substructure. The deck is then lowered onto the substructure and the pontoons are lifted out of the water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2002
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company
    Inventors: George F. Davenport, III, Karl H. Runge, J. Don Murff
  • Patent number: 6371697
    Abstract: An exemplary floatable vessel is described having an upper tower section with a reduced diameter or width and an affixed lower base section having an enlarged diameter or width. The lower section contains weighted ballast distributed upon its lower floor. The lower section also includes flotation tanks which can be filled with air to raise the vessel in the water such that portions of the lower section are raised above the water line. Alternatively, the flotation tanks can be flooded to dispose the lower section and a portion of the upper section below the water level. The upper tower section of the vessel supports a deck structure upon which rig components can be constructed or secured. The tower section includes flotation tanks as well. In preferred embodiments, these tanks are variable tanks that can be partially filled with air and partially flooded with water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2002
    Assignee: ABB Lummus Global, Inc.
    Inventors: Edward Huang, Bambang A. Sarwono, Thomas W. Clapp
  • Patent number: 6305881
    Abstract: An oil drilling barge stabilization system and method provide that an array of substantially vertically-oriented piles is formed in the sea bed to a depth beneath the sea bed that finds solid support. A barge is towed into position over the array of piles, and the barge is partially flooded with ballast to lower it in the water so that a set of cylindrical tubes is positioned to surround top ends of at least some of the piles. Air is then forced into the tubes to force the water out the bottom of the tubes, to create a dry environment for workers. Workers weld the tubes to the piles. The air pressure is removed from the interior of the tubes so that water may again flood the bottom of the tubes. The joints between the tubes and piles secure the barge to the array of piles, even in the face of varying tides, currents, and ice flow conditions. The barge may be used to support oil rigs and a variety of other support facilities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2001
    Assignee: Herman J. Schellstede & Associates, Inc.
    Inventor: Herman J. Schellstede
  • Patent number: 6241425
    Abstract: A buoyancy assembly suitable for supporting, either alone or in combination, a load deck or other marine body, said assembly comprising: i) a first portion adapted to be connected to or form an integral part of the marine body, said portion incorporating a piston; ii) a second portion adapted to envelope the piston and thus create a variable volume chamber, the first and second portions being moveable with respect to each other; iii) sealing means adapted to form a fluid tight seal between the piston and the second portion; iv) a constant pressure source adapted to maintain a constant pressure within the variable volume chamber; v) tether means adapted to tether the second portion to the sea bed; wherein the buoyance assembly is adapted such that displacement of the marine body from its hydrostatic equilibrium position results in the generation of a restoring force, upwards or downwards, tending to restore equilibrium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2001
    Inventor: Jenan Kazim
  • Patent number: 6190089
    Abstract: A deep draft semi-submersible offshore structure suitable for conducting mineral exploration and production operations in deep waters of the oceans. The structure uses three or more caissons or columns equidistantly spaced from adjacent columns. The weight distribution and provision of liquid or solid permanent balance in the lower ends of each column make the structure stable without reliance upon water line displacement or tendons, as compared to conventional vessels. The center of gravity of the structure is maintained below its center of buoyancy, thus imparting an inherent absolute stability to the structure. The columns are retained in spaced relationship to each other by a plurality of horizontal braces or a combination of horizontal braces and diagonal braces. The major part of the structure is positioned below the water surface at sufficient depth to minimize the reaction to surface changes, thereby greatly reducing heave and angular response to surface wave action.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2001
    Assignee: Mindoc, LLC
    Inventors: William T. Bennett, Jr., Alden J. Laborde
  • Patent number: 6030148
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for an improved drilling rig of jack-up type is provided. The drilling rig has a frame part comprising a working deck and an essentially plane-shaped bottom. Three feet are provided in the frame and are operated by lifting devices. The feet support the frame on the sea bottom during a drilling operation and are lifted off the sea bottom when the drilling rig is transported. A drilling unit is movably arranged on the frame part and can be moved substantially outside the frame during a drilling operation. A residence unit is also provided on the frame and is movable in a direction opposite that of the drilling unit at least during the drilling operation. An air bed is blown into an airspace which is arranged below the frame part of the drilling rig. The air bed is dischargeable for transportation of the drilling rig.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 29, 2000
    Inventors: Pasi Tormala, Mikael Cande
  • Patent number: 6015245
    Abstract: Improvements to a ring pontoon semisubmersible vessel. The centerlines of the corner columns ar displaced with respect to the axial centerlines of the forward and aft portions of the ring pontoon. Additionally, the centerlines of the corner columns may be displaced with respect to the axial centerlines of the starboard and port portions of the ring pontoon. The superstructure deck may be supported by radial braces extending from the ring pontoon to locations on the superstructure deck which are inward of the ring pontoon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2000
    Inventors: Fernando C. Frimm, Harris I. Knecht, Thomas D. Condon
  • Patent number: 5980159
    Abstract: A buoyancy assembly suitable for supporting, either alone or in combination, a load deck or other marine body, said assembly comprising a first portion adapted to be connected to the marine body and a second portion (1) adapted, in combination with the first portion, to contain a variable volume (4) of compressed gas, characterised in that the first portion is moveable, in use, relative to the second portion (1), said movement tending to maintain hydrostatic equilibrium such that when disturbed from its position of equilibrium the marine body will develop a restoring force, upwards or downwards.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1999
    Inventor: Jenan Kazim
  • Patent number: 5567086
    Abstract: A tension leg caisson is disclosed for supporting surface facilities on a deck for conducting hydrocarbon recovery operations in deepwater location applications. The tension leg caisson has an elongated, buoyant central vertical column or caisson with a plurality of outrigger pontoons. A plurality of tendons are connected on one end to the outrigger pontoons at a location which is spaced apart from the vertical. The other end is anchored to the ocean floor. Another aspect of the invention is a method of improving the dynamic response of a buoyant central caisson type platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 22, 1996
    Assignee: Shell Oil Company
    Inventor: David A. Huete
  • Patent number: 5241572
    Abstract: Apparatus for locating a floatable platform, comprises upstanding support members arranged to be adjacent to an article submerged in a liquid, and extendible members depending from the platform. The extendible members on initial extension are arranged to locate on the support members, and further extension of the extendible members raises the platform from a buoyant to a partially-buoyant state. A laser device on the platform is arranged to scan a stationary coded target so as to determine the position of the platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 31, 1993
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels Plc
    Inventor: Harry Matthews
  • Patent number: 5188484
    Abstract: A mobile, self-elevating, offshore production platform, for exploitation of smaller reservoirs, is provided with a liquid tight hull having a deck; a plurality of support legs, each having a gear rack and bottom footpads, which are slidably extendable through the hull; a removable jacking tower for each support leg, and, a locking means for each support leg which is engageable to the leg gear rack at any vertical position of the leg. Mineral processing equipment is pre-installed on the deck at a suitable shoreside facility. Then the platform, with legs elevated, is towed to the offshore location where minerals are to be produced. On location the legs are lowered, grounded, and then pre-loaded to desired criteria by introducing ballast water into the hull. After pre-loading the platform is deballasted and elevated to establish a desired air gap.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 1991
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1993
    Assignee: Self Installing Platforms, Inc.
    Inventor: George T. White