Increasing deep-water oil and gas recovery has highlighted the need for high integrity, high fatigue performance girth welds in steel catenary riser systems. Such systems include girth welds made from one side. However, the widely used fatigue design classification, UK Class F2, for such welds is not well founded, but probably over-conservative for pipeline welds. In an attempt to justify upgrading current fatigue design classifications and providing a better basis for design, fatigue tests were performed on a range of girth-welded pipes produced by pipeline welding contractors. This paper presents the results of those tests and their evaluation in terms of the factors that influence the fatigue performance of girth welds, including welding process, welding position, backing system, joint alignment, weld quality, specimen type and fatigue loading conditions. Conclusions are drawn regarding the scope for adopting higher design classifications and the conditions that must be met to justify them.

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