Simulation of complex marine operations





Stein Inge Dale
Sigurd Pettersen
Magne Sjaastad


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SimVis is the visualization module of a real-time simulator for complex marine operations developed for Equinor. The simulator has been used for several cases spanning pipe laying and heavy lifting operations. SINTEF's analysis software performs the numerical calculations as basis for visualization.

An important use case for SimVis  has been to study pipe installation processes using 3D visualization of the pipe on irregular seabeds at large water depths and strong currents, c.f. the screenshot below.  SimVis has been used as an important visualization tool to find the optimal route and to perform free span analyses along the selected route. The forces and tension on the pipe are visualized on the pipe using vector arrows and color coding.

Another major use case for SimVis has been operations planning and evaluation of heavy lifting operations. One of the scenarios has concerned the huge templates on the Ormen Lange gas field. Lift-off from the barge is one of the most critical phases of the operation. The screenshot below shows a visualization of the crane vessel, sea condition, barge, and template for a given time step during simulation. The color-coding of wires denotes wire force.

SimVis has also been used to show critical stages of riser installation, including positioning of vessels, platforms, and mooring lines. The objectives of the simulation were to consider the effects of different operations, wave situations, impact forces and tilting when the load was transferred from the crane to the deck.  The simulations and visualizations were used to find the best installation sequence, identify operating boundaries, training of personnel and to prepare the platform crew for the actual operation.

The Ceetron Solutions team has had a leading role in the development of SimVis since 2001 in collaboration with SINTEF and Systems in Motion AS.

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