Novel Vessels, Offshore Units & Technology

Please note: Some of the Web sites listed below are not federal government Web sites, and may not necessarily operate under the same laws, regulations and policies as federal Web sites.

CG-ENG-1 analyzes novel designs not covered in current regulations and coordinates with stakeholders to determine equivalent safety standards and establish “design basis” agreements for individual vessels.  We also develop policy and regulations to ensure new technology meets a minimum safety level. Our current focus is developing safety standards for vessels that conduct Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Activities. 

Key areas of focus include:

Design Basis for Offshore Supply Vessels (OSVs)

The Office of Design and Engineering Standards has delegated responsibility to the Marine Safety Center (CG-MSC) for reviewing and approving design basis requests for certain OSVs. From now on, OSVs less than 6,000 GT ITC (500 GRT) carrying more than 36 offshore workers, and OSVs of at least 6,000 GT ITC (500 GRT) with keels laid or contracted before August 18, 2014 may submit design basis letters to CG-MSC for approval. This transfer of authority will significantly increase the efficiency with which the Coast Guard reviews design basis requests and will ultimately improve the design review process for the maritime industry. For more information, please view the Interim Rule published in the Federal Register (79 FR 48894).

Dynamic Positioning (DP) Systems

Dynamic Positioning design and operation is critical to many deepwater OCS activities.  The Coast Guard published interim voluntary guidance in two Federal Register Notices on May 4, 2012 (77 FR 26562) and October 12, 2012 (77 FR 62247). The FR notices recommend owners or operators of DP MODUs and vessels other than MODUs voluntarily follow the guidance provided in the Marine Technology Society DP Operations Guidance Part 2, Appendix 1, on MODUs (March 2012); Part 2, Appendix 2, on project construction vessels (July 2012); or Part 2, Appendix 3, on logistics vessels (July 2012), as appropriate. The Coast Guard also published policy letter CG-5PC Policy Letter 77 FR 26562 which clarifies protocol for voluntary reporting of MODU DP incidents and outlines how the Coast Guard would use voluntary incident reports to facilitate industry wide improvements to DP reliability by using lessons learned from voluntary reports.

Floating OCS Facilities

As the offshore industry continues to expand and move into deeper water, the design of floating OCS facilities is becoming technologically complex. CG-ENG has published the following policy letter to assist the offshore industry with demonstrating compliance with existing regulations that are applicable to FOI and FPSOs. 

  • CG-ENG Policy Letter 01-13: Alternate Design and Equipment Standard for Floating Offshore Installations (FOI) and Floating Production, Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) Units on the U.S. OCS.