One of the major requirements for a floating vessel designed to support top tensioned risers is to have the heave response within a minimum specified range in extreme environments. The heave has a significant influence on the riser stroke. Usually floater designs aim to use conventional riser tensioners, available commercially, which typically have a maximum stroke range in the order of 30 to 35ft. One of the limitations of traditional Semi-submersible designs to support dry trees is that the heave ranges seen in central Gulf of Mexico (GoM) are outside the range that can apply a conventional tensioner. The Extendable Semi-submersible (E-Semi) utilizes a retractable Second Tier Pontoon (STP) to suppress heave motions and reduce its heave motion in order to support top tensioned risers in central GoM ultra deep waters. The design is based on an established deep draft Semi-submersible with the STP attached. This paper presents a comparison between motion characteristics of the deep draft Semi-submersible with and without the STP attached. The comparison is based on numerical computations to predict the responses together with model test results in the same environments. The analysis essentially shows the effectiveness of the STP is suppressing the heave motion.

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