PIANC Guidelines: Oil and Petrochemical Terminal Design

June 3, 2016
Publication: ASCE Ports Conference 2016
Author(s): Martin Eskijian Ron Heffron William Asante Gayle Johnson Jerko Kocijan

This new PIANC reference will provide a set of recommendations to the global community involved in the initial design, analysis, or upgrade of marine oil and petroleum terminals. Potential users include owners/operators, port authorities, consulting engineers and others. It will also provide guidance for inspection/assessment/rehabilitation of an existing terminal.

This paper is an update to one presented at Ports 2013 [Ref. 1] and provides a resolution of some key issues. This project has involved major oil companies, terminal operators, consultants and vendors and is scheduled to be published in 2016. This paper will focus on three major issues that have been resolved:

1. Design loads and applicable codes

2. Loads transferred to mooring dolphins from multiple quick release hooks

3. Geotechnical recommendations for each phase of the design

For the design loads and codes, there are two primary options. The first is an American approach, involving the MOTEMS [Ref. 2], and conventional steel and concrete codes. And if the structures are steel tubular jacket type structures, API RP 2A would be applicable. The second approach is European, using the British Standards [Ref. 3] and applicable Eurocodes. Other options presented include the English translation of Japanese standards, and references to the Spanish ROM and Russian codes. Each of these choices mandates specific loading combinations and design factors.

The second issue involves the determination of the appropriate design load for the anchorage and design of mooring dolphins, with multiple quick release hooks. A simple equation has been agreed upon, based on the safe working load (SWL) of the hooks. This maximum calculated load is then compared to the maximum factored mooring load, and the larger of the two is used for the design of the dolphin.

The third issue is what are the necessary geotechnical investigations and reports recommended for each phase of the design, from pre-FEED, FEED and final design. A table of recommended actions and studies is provided, and gives guidance to both the engineer and the client, to ensure that the resulting design in based on sound geotechnical tests and studies.


[1] “New PIANC Guidelines for Marine Oil and Petrochemical Terminal Design” by Ron Heffron, William Asante, Martin Eskijian, and Gayle Johnson, presented at Ports 2013 in Seattle, Washington.

[2] “Marine Oil Terminal Engineering and Maintenance Standards”(MOTEMS), Chapter 31F, California State Lands Commission, California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 2, 2011.

[3] British Standard 6349, “Code of Practice for the Design of Quay Walls, Jetties and Dolphins”, 2010.

Services: Structural Design