Platform drilling has been effectively employed for several Spar applications in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). As the drilling day rates surge in the recent market, this option becomes more attractive and has been increasingly considered by operators. The Spar drilling riser has been traditionally supported by a hydraulic tensioner. On the other hand, buoyancy can riser tensioner (BCRT) systems have been successfully used for top tensioned production risers on Spars in deepwater oil and gas developments in the GOM. The authors herein propose a conceptual design for using a BCRT system to support the Spar drilling riser in possible practical applications. The paper presents system configuration and general arrangement of the BCRT system supported drilling riser for application in 5,000 ft of water in the GOM. The maximum pressure rating of the drilling riser is assumed 10,000 psi. The BCRT system will provide required top tension, as well as redundancy capacity, required for various drilling operations. Design requirements are carefully considered for this previously-unused concept. Furthermore, as needed, the drilling riser BCRT system can be converted for supporting a production riser after all drilling operations are completed.

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