Offshore Structural Analysis Software

Petroleum Structural Engineering® (PSE)

PSE Software

Petroleum Structural Engineering® (PSE)

The Petroleum Structural Engineering® (PSE) software specializes in Offshore Structural Analysis and Design for oil & gas drilling structures, including platforms, rigs, masts, and substructures in compliance to the API 4F 5th edition requirements.


Offshore Structural Analysis and Design Software


The Petroleum Structural Engineering® software is a technology  for Offshore Structural Analysis and Design​. The PSE is used for the design and rehabilitation of drilling structures for the oil & gas industry, including Offshore Platform Rigs, Land Drilling Rig Substructures, Land Drilling Rig Masts, Derricks, Drilling Masts, Rigs and Substructures. The PSE Software is an integrated structural analysis and design software for Onshore and Offshore structures according to the API 4F 5th edition requirements.

The PSE is a robust and reliable structural software based on more than 37 years of Research and Development. The program, designed with the latest technological innovations in its field, is equipped with a sophisticated and user friendly graphical interface. ABS American Bureau of Shipping has approved the PSE Petroleum Structural Engineering® Software for the analysis and design of offshore derricks and structures.

This engineering software solution is used worldwide by several notable international companies in production work for building innovative offshore and onshore structures.


PSE Petroleum Structural Engineering


Petroleum Structural Engineering® software

Thank you for your interest in the PSE Software – Offshore Structural Analysis. To receive more information about the PSE Software, please complete the following form. One of our experts will get in touch with you shortly.

We look forward to assisting you with your inquiries and providing you with the information you need.

Improve productivity for the Analysis, Design and Rehabilitation of drilling structures - Onshore and Offshore

Petroleum Structural Engineering® (PSE)

Enjoy unlimited access to the PSE software for 1 year

Request PSE Brochure

Learn about the features and functionality of the Petroleum Structural Engineering® (PSE) software. You will discover tremendous capabilities, intuitive modeling features and comprehensive analytical tools allowing to solve engineering challenges more efficiently.

PSE Offshore Structural Analysis

Compliance with the API 4F 5th edition

Structural finite element analysis FEA

Automated wind wall calculation

Automated Calculation of Member Unbraced Lengths

Vessel Dynamic Motions

Wave and Current Loads

Training & Webinars available

''The SAFI PSE software is one of the most suitable structural analysis and design tool for onshore and offshore rigs. I was fortunate to work in both environments and I find that it is closely tailored to the industry's compliance. What can I say about customer support? Imagine that customer support is just a call away, always available and knows exactly what I need. ''
Sugrim Sagar
M.Sc. P.Eng. - Texas, USA
''The SAFI software was built with the engineer and designer in mind. The SAFI team has thought of every feature an engineer needs to design and optimize a structure. The program is very intuitive and easy to pick up. The support team is very responsive and knowledgeable. They can troubleshoot any modeling issue that comes up. ''
Veristic Technologies, Inc. - Houston, USA
The PSE Petroleum Structural Engineering® software is based on the API 4F (5th edition) Specification for Drilling and Well Servicing Structures. In the PSE software, wind loads, based on the velocity component approach, and vessel dynamic motions are defined according to API 4F Specification for Drilling and Well Servicing Structures. The PSE software systematically incorporates the latest requirements and recommendations for suitable steel structures for drilling and well servicing operations for the Oil&Gas industry.

The PSE software is an innovative solution aiming to increase productivity of international companies helping them to achieve the most complex structural engineering projects. Our engineering team is devoted to making the PSE Software a technology that continues to push boundaries year after year providing an additional competitive advantage in the industry.

API Specification for Drilling and Well Servicing Structures (5th edition)

Wind loads

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

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 Vref value chosen should be a 3-second gust wind measured at an elevation of 10 m (33 ft) in open terrain or water, with an associated return period of 50 or 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 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.

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

    The shape coefficient (Cs) is automated in the PSE software for various section shapes. The program accounts for the gust factor (Gf) and the reduction factor for shielding (Ksh) for members and appurtenances.

    Vessel motions

    In the PSE Petroleum Structural Engineering® software, vessel dynamic motions are defined according to API 4F (5th edition) Specification for Drilling and Well Servicing Structures.

    The inertial forces due to the vessel dynamic motion as well as radial, tangential and translational forces due to the acceleration of masses attached to the drilling structures have a significant influence on design and reliability.

    In various production wells, the offshore drilling structures are located on top decks of vessels, semisubmersible or floating hulls. Vessel motion includes roll, pitch and yaw rotations and heave, sway and surge translations.
    The PSE software computes the inertial forces due to the vessel dynamic motion as well as radial, tangential and translational forces due to the acceleration of masses attached to the drilling structures. These forces have a significant influence on the structural design and reliability of offshore structures.

    The PSE software accepts three types of user input in order to estimate the inertial forces induced by the vessel dynamic motions:
    – Linear displacements, angular rotations and time periods
    – Linear and angular velocities and accelerations
    – Linear accelerations at two points in the vessel which are converted to linear and angular accelerations by the program.

    High pressure mud piping, electrical cable trays, junction boxes, racking boards, tong counterweights, turning sheaves, deadline anchors, crown accessories, casing stabbing baskets and other outfitting items add weight to the derrick. Weight data is converted to masses applied at the correct locations on the derrick.

    Wave and current loads

    Wave and current loads generated forces applied to submerged structural members in platforms and floating hulls are analyzed through linear and nonlinear kinematics in accordance with the API RP 2A specifications.

    The PSE software computes wave and current forces applied on the structural members. The wave kinematics can be established using either Airy’s linear theory or Fenton’s nonlinear theory.

    The linear kinematic theory is valid where the wave height is small compared to the water depth. On the other hand, the nonlinear kinematic theory, proposed by J.D. Fenton, solves the motion equations by representing the velocity potential and surface elevation with a Fourier series.


    The later method minimizes the error of each parameter governing the wave motion equations and is valid over the entire spectrum.

    The PSE software accounts for the following wave profiles and kinematic parameters:

    • Wave period
    • Incidence angle
    • Elevation of the sea bed
    • Elevation of the still water line (SWL)
    • Kinematic reduction factor
    • Crest position criterion

    Preview of the wave surface profiles, velocities and accelerations at any point is readily available.

    According to commentary C.3.2.1 of the design code API RP-2A-2003, the Doppler effect is accounted for by calculating an apparent period defined as the wave period as seen by an observer moving with the current.

    Marine growth increases the cross section diameter and surface roughness of the members and it is defined by a set of elevation-thickness pairs.

    In the PSE software, the current profile is described with respect to the sea bed. The current speed is defined by a set of elevation-velocity-angle triplets and the reduction of the current speed in the vicinity of the structure or the blockage factor is accounted for.


    In order to combine the current with the wave profile, the current needs to be stretched, or compressed, to the local wave surface. Two stretching methods are available:


    • The linear stretching method, also known as the Wheeler stretching
    • The nonlinear method, or hyperbolic stretching

    The input for the member wave loads consists of the following six parameters:


    • Current profile
    • Wave profile
    • Marine growth profile
    • Drag coefficient
    • Inertia coefficient
    • Shielding factor

    The member forces, calculated using Morison equation, vary according to the position of the waves with respect to the structure. In order to obtain the maximum forces in the members, the critical position of the wave crest is determined by the program.

    Perform Advanced Structural Analysis

    The Petroleum Structural Engineering® software is a technology built on a powerful user-friendly interface offering comprehensive analysis options and intuitive modeling features.

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

    The PSE Petroleum Structural Engineering® software accounts for advanced structural analysis, FEA, wind loads, vessel dynamic motions as well as wave and current loads. Other loads such as seismic, snow and ice loads for far northern extreme weather are also considered for the design of masts, derricks, platforms and substructures.

    The PSE software has comprehensive structural analysis methods such as:
    FEA Finite Elements Analysis, Static Analysis, Linear and Nonlinear Analysis, P-Delta Analysis, Natural Frequency Analysis, Static Equivalent Seismic Analysis, Dynamic Time-History Analysis, Seismic Time-History Analysis, Modal Analysis, Spatial Objects and Spatial Loads, Buckling Analysis, Response Spectrum Analysis, Advanced Section Stress Analysis, Torsion and Warping, Built Up Sections, Catenary Cables, Nonlinear springs, Diaphragm Analysis, Horizontal Notional Loads, Loads and Load Combinations.

    State-of-the-art analysis tools
    FEA including plates and shell elements
    Torsion including restrained warping of open sections
    Linear and exact non-linear cable elements (catenary cables)
    Non-linear analysis using load control and displacement control strategy for better convergence
    Possibility to add non-structural components using spatial objects

    Complying with seismic requirements
    Automated static equivalent method of the building codes (NBCC and IBC)
    Seismic response spectrum, seismic time-history, and dynamic time-history analysis
    Customized response spectrums and accelerograms Fully customizable analysis parameters
    Maximal response using CQC and SRSS methods
    Automated or user defined damping
    Graphical display of response spectrums and accelerograms
    User defined incidence angle of seismic loads and vertical components Customized analysis and output time steps
    Time-history results can be provided for selected parts of the models

    Benefit from result animation
    The PSE software allows users to animate results from different types of analysis such as:
    Static linear analysis
    Static P-Delta analysis
    Buckling analysis
    Natural frequencies analysis
    Seismic and dynamic analysis

    Users can animate various static linear and P-Delta analysis results such as:
    Structure displacements
    Internal forces
    Support reactions

    Frequency and Buckling
    The frequency and buckling analysis provide multiple mode shapes describing multiple behaviors of the structure. With large models, the animation is helpful to discern and understand the mode shapes. It is easier to determine if the buckling mode is a local or global phenomenon. It also provides a very accurate interpretation of the participating mass of each mode in a seismic spectral analysis.

    The animation function displays every saved time-step to provide an accurate representation of the displacements, velocities, accelerations and internal forces acting on the structure.

    This will provide users a better understanding of the structure behavior during the dynamic event, such as finding the critical time of the dynamic loading.

    Animating the envelopes helps minimizing the amount of information on the screen. Users can focus on the most critical regions of the model.

    Learn more about the Animation Feature

    Steel Design

    The design and verification are performed according to the American Standards AISC 360-16 (LRFD and ASD), AISC-LRFD-99 and AISC-ASD-89. The PSE Software accounts for the member axial compression, bending, axial tension and bending, shear as well as torsion and warping design.

    The Petroleum Structural Engineering® Software accounts for the reduced sectional properties for hollow structural steel sections in the standard AISC section library of the Steel Construction manual AISC Fourteenth Edition. (T eff=0.93 T nominal). It includes the Direct Analysis Method (DAM) and the Effective Length Method (kL) for AISC 360-16 standard. The DAM considers initial imperfections using notional loads, it reduces the stiffness according to AISC 360-16. Semi-automated command to calculate the buckling factors (K).

    Design of steel sections and cold formed steel sections.
    Standard sections CISC, AISC, Euro, India, Russia) or parametric section shapes (over 40 shapes available).
    Non-standard sections available.
    Linear and catenary cable sections.
    User defined section properties.
    Composite sections available.
    Pre-defined and custom built-up sections.
    All parameters required to calculate the resistance of the elements such as unbraced length, buckling lengths, buckling factors and others can be customized either graphically or from spreadsheets.
    Latest revisions of CAN/CSA S16, AISC, ASD and LRFD, Eurocode 3 and 4 standards and Indian IS 800-2017.
    Latest revisions of CSA S136 and AISI S100.
    Singly symmetric, asymmetric and built-up section shapes are covered for all design codes.
    Limit states design of the optimized structure are presented in colors.

    Steel verification includes sections classification, resistance and stability checks according to the applicable code.
    Calculation of the bending, compression, tension, shear and combined resistance of steel and composite elements based on the results of a linear, P Delta, non-linear, seismic, dynamic or moving load analysis.
    The design of composite beams accounts for long term deflections, partial composite action, plain slab or slab cast on standard or user defined steel decks and user defined studs.
    The slab reinforcement can be considered in the calculation of the elements resistance.
    It is possible to consider the analysis of composite beams with the full composite inertia or the effective inertia in positive moment regions or the steel beam inertia in negative moment regions.
    Complete check of deflection according to a comprehensive set of criterions.
    Intuitive modeling features

    Users can model drilling structures using an intuitive graphical user interface powered by DirectX 11 and OpenGL 2.0 for increased speed and capabilities and generate executive and customizable formatted reports in Microsoft Word and Excel worksheets.

    Manipulate models graphically with extreme flexibility.
    The unmatched graphical user interface of the PSE software allows to create, analyze and design large and complex models quickly and easily. Models can be shown as lines, wire frames, or can be rendered as 3D solids. Functionalities of the PSE program allow to generate automatically detail elements in an automatically generated mesh perimeter. An object transparency option is available for various components such as current selection, solid members, plates, surfaces, spatial objects, panels.

    Versatile modelling tools to create any type of structures
    The PSE software includes powerful and productive features to generate any type of models: Local coordinate systems
    Linear or circular lines of constructions for model creations
    Automated commands for model creation such as move, rotate, extrude, copy, attach, subdivide and others
    Models can be edited either graphically or by means of spreadsheets
    Elements can be created in batch or one by one
    Elements of the models can be selected either graphically or according to a set of criterions
    Persistent groups of selected objects can be created and edited graphically or by means of spreadsheets
    Powerful edition and automatic generation tools
    Similar connected members can be merged together
    Elements of the structure can be renumbered according to several criterions
    Element attributes can be set graphically or by means of spreadsheets (sections, analysis parameters, rotation angles, etc.)
    Surfaces can be used for load transfer and self-weight calculation.

    Unit systems
    Metric, imperial, and mixed unit systems are allowed and can be modified at any time. Reports are printed according to any unit system.
    Display Features

    The program manages to scale the size of the various pictures including toolbar buttons in order to make the user interface easy to use on every monitor, even on very high-resolution monitors.
    3D solid display of all section shapes.
    Ultra-fast 3D visualization in wire frame or solid modes.
    Customized display of all graphical objects.
    Partial model visualization.
    Results can be displayed on screen for the whole or a part of the structure.
    Results can be displayed for each element separately by means of graphics and numerical results spreadsheets.
    Results can be displayed for a set of elements by means of numerical results spreadsheets.
    Graphical display of seismic and dynamic analysis results.
    Model size limited only to the physical capacity of the computer.
    Objects transparency for various components such as current selection, solid members, plates, surfaces, spatial objects, panels.
    The level of transparency may be customized for each type of object from the Display Options command.
    Functionalities of the PSE program allow to generate automatically detail elements in an automatically generated mesh perimeter.
    These functionalities are specifically related to the refinement area, the opening, the linear constraint and the punctual constraint.
    All detail elements added to the PSE model will be automatically connected to the finite element mesh.
    The mesh perimeter will also connect any elements already in the model to the mesh perimeter automatically if they are in the plane of the mesh contour.
    Comprehensive reports

    Results can be visualized either graphically or numerically.
    Input data and results may be printed for the whole structure or partial structures using a graphical selection or a range of elements.
    Customized list of input data and results to be printed.
    Reports are available in several formats including SAFI™ reports, Microsoft Excel worksheets, Microsoft Access databases and ASCII text files.
    All graphics can be printed or copied to the clipboard for use in external programs.
    File import and data exchange

    The integration of the IFC in the PSE program enables importation of models from a large number of architectural and structural software. IFC-Architecture interface for importing models from Revit or other IFC compliant programs. IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) is an open and neutral data format allowing the definition of related classes to all construction objects. It is dedicated to the building sector and aims to software interoperability (all editors, all applications). IFC is the most widely used protocol for information exchange and sharing between different platforms of BIM (Building Information Modeling).

    AutoCAD interface to import and export models by way of a DXF file.
    The solid view of the structure may also be exported when exporting to AutoCAD.
    The SDNF (Steel Detailing Neutral File) interface exports beams, columns and braces to SDNF compatible detailing software.
    The KISS (Keep It Simple Steel) interface exports beams, columns and braces to KISS compatible estimation software.
    If required, members subdivision and account for physical elements will be carried out automatically.

    PSE Quote request

    Petroleum Structural Engineering® Software