Stephen Ferguson, CD-adapco.
Current design standards require that platforms be built to survive so-called 100-year storms,
which generate wave heights of up to about 70 feet. However, during Hurricane Ivan peak
wave heights of over 90 ft were measured (including one that severely damaged the Chevron
Petronius platform) consistent with a once in 2500-year storm. The problem is compounded
by the fact that many of the 4000 platforms operating in the Gulf of Mexico were designed
before 1988, when the current 100-year design standards came into operation (although
some of the destroyed platforms were of recent design).
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