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Seismic Analysis Requirements in Areas with Low Seismic Activity

Seismic Analysis Requirements in Areas with Low Seismic Activity

Seismic Analysis Requirements in Areas with Low Seismic Activity

This question is specific to offshore platforms used in the oil/gas industry. Does anyone have any experience with interpreting the requirements of API RP 2A with regards to performing a seismic analysis when the SLE ground acceleration is less than 0.05g? For the specific project I am working (offshore jacket/topsides structure near Equatorial Guinea), the site-specific seismic analysis estimates an SLE ground accleration of 0.03g and and a DLE ground accleration of 0.171g. API RP 2A Sect 2.3.6.b.2 states that “For areas where the strength level design ground acceleration is less than 0.05g, e.g., the Gulf of Mexico, no earthquake analysis is required, since the design for environmental loading other than earthquake will provide sufficient resistance against potential effects from the seismically active zones.” This would seem to indicate that no seismic analysis is required. However, the fact that the DLE/SLE ratio is so large (5.7) concerns me and I think that perhaps a ductility level analysis should be performed to ensure the platform will not collapse under the rare, intense earthquake. Also, the Equatorial Guinea area has low environmental loading requirements, so it can't be assumed that the design for the environmental loading will automatically mean that the seismic criteria has been fulfilled as well. FYI, if the platform was designed per ISO 19901-2, then a seismic analysis would need to be performed since ISO 19901-2 has a lower threshold for performing seismic. My main goal is to find someone who has run into this issue in the past to see what the resolution was.

Jason Hrncir

RE: Seismic Analysis Requirements in Areas with Low Seismic Activity

The likely resolution would be to perform an elastic level seismic analysis using DLE and allow a 70% increase in allowable steel stress per API.

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