The term ‘riser recoil’ refers to the situation when the lower end of a top tensioned riser is released, and the riser is lifted up by the riser tensioner and/or top motion compensator system on the supporting vessel. The elastic energy stored in the riser is then released, and the riser ‘recoils’. This paper focuses on the case of planned disconnect. Recoil of Marine Drilling Risers has been the subject of several research papers over the past two decades. Some examples are listed in references [2] through [7]. Completion and Work Over (CWO) risers are unique in the sense that they may be simultaneously connected to both the riser tensioner system and the top motion compensator system of a drilling vessel. A Marine Drilling riser, on the other hand, is only connected to the riser tensioner system. Typically the riser tensioner system has a stroke of ± 8–9 m, whereas the top motion compensator system has only ± 3.5–4 m. It is imperative that the connector is lifted clear of the subsea structure in order to avoid damage to the equipment after the riser has been disconnected. The operating window for planned disconnect of CWO risers is severely limited by the available stroke of the top motion compensator. One of the purposes of the disconnect analysis is to establish the maximum wave height at which there is still sufficient clearance between the connector and the subsea structure after disconnect. Previous experience has shown that this may be the governing limitation for workover operations. The current industry practice is to use a regular wave approach in the analysis. The wave frequency is varied in order to find the maximum response, and hence one is actually searching for the extreme response, without paying attention to the probability that this will occur. In this paper a new method is presented, where the analysis is based on an irregular wave approach and the Monte Carlo technique, using time-domain simulations. Acceptance criteria are established based on a stochastic analysis, and are based on target levels of probability of exceedance. The results are documented through a case study of a typical CWO riser system connected to a semi-submersible in typical North Sea environmental conditions. The semi-submersible and the CWO riser system are exposed to both regular and irregular waves. Comparison of the resulting allowable wave height indicates that using the approach presented here with irregular waves will give a considerable increase in the operating window, and the resulting operability, compared to a regular wave analysis.

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