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Offshore structures

The extraction of oil and gas from the seabed and the exploitation of renewable energies from the sea has fostered the increase of offshore structures. They can be either moored or fixed to the bottom or kept in place with thrusters; in each case they have to stand the action of several environmental agents: the wind, the ocean currents and the waves.

A rough environment can severely harm the effectiveness and the safety of the structure, threatening human lives and jeopardizing the economic productivity. That is why, the study of the local and global loads induced by the environment, of the possible motions of the structure and of the structural response are fundamental for practical application.

Dreadful events, as the BP platform sinking in the Louisiana gulf in 2010, highlight how critical the problem is. The FPSOs (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) represent a typical example of the complexity of the problem. They are ships turned into offshore floating platforms and they require particular care to evaluate their suitability to stand continuously severe sea conditions or have to undergo changes in the design.

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