The API 4F specifications for wind loads based on the velocity component approach is integrated into the PSE Petroleum Structural Engineering® software. Accordingly, drilling structures are classified based on their Structural Safety Level (SSL) and their offshore or onshore location.

The design reference wind velocity value represents a 3-second gust wind measured in knots at an elevation of 10 m (33 ft) in open water, with an associated return period of 100 years.


The Petroleum Structural Engineering® software has a tool to generate wind and ice loads on open structures such as drilling structures. It allows generating automated ice loads or wind loads on each element of the structure.

The PSE software automates wind loads applied to members. These loads are calculated based on the projected area, projected pressures or velocity components approaches. The program offers a variety of wind profiles and automates the determination of the shape coefficients (drag factors).


The shape factor is automated in the PSE software for various section shapes. The program accounts for the gust factor and the reduction factor for shielding by members and appurtenances.


The API 4F specifications are applicable to the following wind environments:
– Operational wind
– Erection wind
– Transportation wind
– Unexpected wind
– Expected wind

The PSE software allows different configurations of the drilling structure models according to a given wind environment. The program requires the input of the rated design wind velocity, Vdes, and accounts for the design reference wind velocity and wind velocity multiplier. The program computes the local wind velocity, Vz, by scaling the rated design wind velocity by the appropriate elevation factor, ß, in order to obtain the velocity for estimating the wind forces.


A wind profile in a selected direction provides the wind intensity that generates the wind loads to structural members and surface areas. As many as required wind directions can be defined through different basic loads.


Member selection procedures allow the application of the wind profile to the entire structure or to specific zones and excluding members behind or in front of wind walls. It is possible to apply the API 4F wind loads directly to elements such as equipment, wind walls and other objects attached to the drilling structures.

KEY features

The PSE is a structural engineering software solution for the analysis, design and rehabilitation of drilling structures including drilling masts, derricks and substructures.

The advanced structural analysis of the PSE software allows engineers to achieve specialized analyses crucial to offshore and onshore projects related to the oil and gas industry.

Wind loads, based on the velocity component approach, are defined according to API 4F Specification for Drilling and Well Servicing Structures (5th edition).

Vessel dynamic motions are defined according to API 4F Specification for Drilling and Well Servicing Structures (5th edition).

Other environmental forces such as wave and current loads are also considered for the analysis and design of offshore drilling structures.

The PSE software allows to verify, design and optimize steel members of drilling structures according to various international design codes.

2020 © All rights reserved. PETROLEUM STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING is a registered trademark of SAFI QUALITY SOFTWARE, INC.