While naval architects had determined forces on ships by developing empirical formulae, no such experience was available to apply to the platforms and unusual structures which would be used for offshore development. Basic theoretical studies were undertaken together with experiments in the Gulf of Mexico to determine the loads that would arise from waves acting on the structures. The Oceanography Department of Texas A & M University, sponsored by Shell, Chevron, Humble Oil & Refining Co. and others, made field measurements to determine wave forces on a vertical cylinder and compared the results to analytical methods in the early 1950’s. R. O. Reid, and C. L. Bretschneider played major roles in developing this technology. The work of W. H. Munk was used in the early design of platforms. Munk’s formulae included the drag portion of the wave force. Later, the inertial components were included thanks to the work of J. R. Morison in the 1950s.
Recognizing the pioneering efforts of the following people and companies who contributed to the development of this technology:
Leon E. Borgman, Charles L. Bretschneider, J. R. Morison, Walter H. Munk, Robert O. Reid, Chevron (Chevron), Humble Oil & Refining Co. (ExxonMobil), Shell, Texas A & M University, University of California (Berkeley)