How to design your SPM for long-term goals

To be sustainable means that the offshore terminal is designed, engineered and managed in such a way that it favours longevity over short-term burn-out. But how does one design, build and operate an offshore terminal with long-term goals in mind?

There is no prescribed one-size-fits-all solution, but in the past 50 years, MARSOL has developed a method that can be applied to both greenfields and brownfields projects. This method helps to find the right solution for each individual terminal, taking into account its risks, OpEx, efficiency and overall goals.

Every business and its terminals are unique, and as such it is important to establish your company goals and fiduciary duties before optimisation or design begins. This type of data collection and analysis will help guide your minimum viable product and steer all actions with the big picture in mind.

Predicting terminal requirements for your long-term vision

Maintenance and preservation, for example, is a good place to start. MARSOL’s preservation practices ensure that the performance of the whole system is consistent throughout its working life. Data may reveal that a specific terminal faces more deterioration on its hoses than another. Adding routine inspections for this terminal will protect you from unforeseen events. Upgrading to a different hose manufacturer could also help you to lower OpEx in the long run.

Through applying integrity-based Inspection Repair and Maintenance (IRM) and creating a marine asset history, MARSOL can establish operations and maintenance philosophies specific to the terminal in question. By modifying associated work programmes periodically, the terminal can stay up to date and reflect changes brought about by any influencing factors and unusual events.

While collecting and analyzing data may take time and effort at first, it will soon become another normal part of project management and the rewards are worth it. By analyzing data collected over time, you will have the opportunity to review your current maintenance programme, identify areas of improvement and design changes on the system components to safely and economically optimise future activities and schedules. This type of long term commitment to optimisation and longevity will help you optimise related OPEX and lower risk.

What does it mean to align your offshore terminal with long term goals?
Lowering risk and OpEx are the first two things that come to mind when you think about the benefits of aligning your offshore terminal to long term goals, but it doesn’t stop there.

Understanding the fluctuating needs of your terminal will help you to prepare for them. This means that you will not overspend when there is low demand and you will not be under-resourced when there is an increase in demand. This type of planning will ensure that efficiency is applied to the right place at the right time.

In managing efficiency, you will also be able to establish the best times for optimisation such as training or major intervention. Planning for these events helps to prevent downtime by investing in reliability.

Reliability is directly linked to your income, but it is also linked to reputation and fiduciary duties are often overlooked. When your offshore terminal is aligned to a long-term vision and its risks minimised, unforeseen events are prepared for and their effects are often therefore well mitigated. By being reliable, you will instil trust with suppliers and clients, but also your teams and the communities affected.

Finally, with a long-term vision in mind, you will know where to invest CapEx and how to guarantee return on investment. Extending marine asset lifespan, for example can only be done responsibly when you have data at your side.

Where to start?

Aligning your offshore terminal to long-term goals starts with data. Get in touch with a reputable service provider who cares as much about your business as you do.
This service provider needs to be experienced in designing and operating terminals throughout its lifespan so that you know the future of your terminal is as well understood as its present and past.

As MARSOL is actively involved in all phases of the SPM life cycle (i.e. from the cradle to the grave), we are in a unique position to understand the typical points of failure over time. We value longevity and take a holistic approach to maximising the Asset’s service life, irrespective of whether MARSOL is contracted by Owners/Operators, Consultants, Contractors or others.

As a commercial and technical marine service solutions provider, MARSOL covers Engineering, Project Management, Operations & Maintenance, Inspection Repair & Maintenance (IRM) and Integrity management among other subsea and maritime services. This means that all influencing factors are taken into account when optimisation occurs.

Best Practices for your SPM Hose Management Plan

Are you putting together your SPM hose plan or revisiting your O&M strategy? Here we discuss examples of marine hose applications, lessons learned and best practices that help you to fulfil your fiduciary duties.


It’s never too early or too late to start your SPM Hose plan the right way.

When hoses begin to show symptoms or points of failure we apply the following process:

1. Find Root Cause 

Before you hastily begin to treat symptoms such as ruptures, for example, ask yourself why they have occurred in the first place. This will help you identify numerous holistic factors that could be affecting your SPM hose plan.

2. Assumptions vs Facts / Data / History 

Don’t let years of experience blind you. No two terminals are exactly the same.
Change is a constant and the sooner you realise this, the sooner you will begin to value data that can guide your SPM hose plan. 

3. Analysis / Knowledge + Experience 

Once you have obtained the required data, you can begin to cast an analytical eye.
This is where the application of knowledge and experience is pertinent. Derive correlation and explore all known and unknown paths.

4. Proactive Long Term Solutions 

When you have successfully identified the root cause and you have taken into account all holistic factors, you can begin to create a more robust SPM hose plan with long term durability, efficiency and sustainability in mind.

3 steps to SPM Hose System Integrity

Determining the root cause of issues in your SPM Hose Plan 

When looking for symptoms of failure in your SPM hose plan, it is paramount that you determine the root cause through holistic analysis.
Here are some pinpoints to look for.

List of Hose Indicator examples

  • Wrap-around
  • Kinking
  • Auto-submergence
  • Change in buoyancy
  • Contact
  • Sheltering & Chafing
  • Leak detector activation
  • Catastrophic Failures
  • Bearing
  • Hose Handling
  • Contact
  • Float Loss
  • String Length
  • Environment
  • Handling
  • Exceeding hose life
List of indicative events that can cause SPM Hose failure

SPM Hose Plan – Lessons Learned

In this section, we highlight two case studies, each with its own challenges and bespoke solution for the best performing SPM hose plan.

Case study 1: Changing Environment 

In this project, our belief that change is constant was yet again proved by the ever-changing environment and its effects on terminal efficiency and longevity. 

Project overview

  • System Design 
  1. Assumptions
  2. Regional data vs Site-specific data
  • Landscape changes
  • Coastline changes
  • Operational consequences

What the hoses told us:

Upon inspection of the current hoses in use, we discovered that local conditions have changed from the basis of design. This was clear through the hose misbehaviour and symptoms, or points of failure.


Rapid abnormal wear of floating hoses and tanker rail components.

Our listening method:

Collected and analysed data

What we heard: 

Through SPM hose plan analysis and site experience we identified

  • Root Cause
  • Cost-Effective Solutions
  • Optimum hose life
How the ocean can affect machinery and equipment on your SPM

Case study 2: Design Assumptions

In this project, we investigated the effect that seabed assumptions in modelling can have on hoses, buoys and PLEM loading. 

Project overview

  • Seabed variations
  • Winter and summer positions
  • Near and Far Scenarios
  • Understanding current direction & magnitude throughout the water column
  • Effect on behaviour and integrity

What the hoses told us:

These hoses showed signs of impact that not only required a temporary fix to preserve the current hoses but also long term solutions that would prevent further damage.


• Subsea hose string to hose string contact

• Subsea hose string to seabed contact

Our listening method:

Collected and analysed data

What we heard: 

Through SPM hose plan analysis and site experience we identified

• Chain trenching, affecting chain pretension

• Increased buoy excursion

• Predominant winter & summer buoy position

• Change in hose profile

SPM terminal operations and maintenance

Fiduciary duties linked to your SPM hose plan

It is your fiduciary duty to make informed decisions regarding your SPM hose plan.

If you listen to your system you will get to know it. Once you know your system intimately any changes in performance or signs of upcoming symptoms will easily be noticed. This will help you adapt to change and maintain the intrinsic value of the facility.

It is your fiduciary duty to avoid interruption in your efficiency by predicting system behaviour. This, in turn, will help you to protect the environment and offer safe operating practices with reduced risk. 

When your system is understood holistically you will begin to progress from O&M towards integrity, resulting in all the above-mentioned successes.


It is important to give SPM Hose plan management the tools to make informed decisions regarding hose and system O&M.
At Marsol we strive to share our holistic philosophies that have proven success time and time again.

  1. Listen to the hoses
  2. Find the root causes
  3. Implement optimum solution

These best practices within the SPM hose plan enable design modifications and operational changes that are fit for purpose.

Is your management team equipped with the best tools and processes for the job? Find out today.