A Dynamic Boat Positioning System – How Does It Work?

Oil and gas operations positioned offshore can sustain damaging consequences due to the uncontrollable winds and waves of the ocean. Regardless of the disturbances caused by these elements and the strong currents that are involved, offshore vessels must remain stable and operational at all times. This includes ensuring the stable positioning of boats associated with these operations. A boat positioning system that utilizes dynamic positioning technology can produce the desired results.

Drilling Operation Movements

In shallower offshore drilling activities, subsea professionals can make use of a jack up to anchor position on the seafloor over the location. However, in deep water drilling operations, a floating rig is utilized that is positioned above the location. Deepwater drilling equipment is often extends thousands of feet unlike before it reaches the ocean floor. If this equipment is disturbed above the surface of the water due to waves and when, the negative consequences to the entire drilling operation can be significant.

It is important to maintain the position of floating equipment, whether that equipment is involved in drilling or production operations. Drilling and production risers are flexible in nature to accommodate movements that are the result of ocean current disturbances. Excessive movements can precipitate damage to the equipment that requires repairs to start up production again.

Dynamic Positioning for Stability

A dynamic and boat positioning system provides a significantly stable and dependable method of maintaining the position of a vessel in the midst of currents that counteract the desired position.

The method of dynamic positioning for these vessels utilizes thrusters or powered propellers installed on the vessel which are located on the front and back in each side of the vessel. As they operate they help maintain a steady position of the vessel while external forces attempt to move the vessel out of a stable position.

A computerized boat positioning system activates the propellers or thrusters. With sensors located on the ocean floor, a vessels position can be accurately tracked. The entire computerized system receives information about wind and other weather phenomena through satellite communications that enable the study control of the vessel’s movements. The system activates thrusters on the vessel based on data it receives in order to effectively counteract the vessel’s undesired movements from outside elements.


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