The offshore industry is devoting considerable effort to develop a dry tree production Semi-submersible with motion characteristics similar to a Spar but with the functionality of a Tension Leg Platform (TLP) or a Semi-submersible in terms of fabrication, installation and commissioning. Installation of these Semi-submersibles in the Gulf of Mexico environment exposes the risers to high surface current which result in high fatigue damage due to Vortex Induced Vibration (VIV). In the existing dry tree production systems, the Spar shields the riser from the high velocity surface currents in depths to approximately 600 ft. In the dry tree Semi-submersible the upper sections of the risers are exposed to surface currents. In addition, most dry tree Semi-submersibles designs have to support Keel Joints similar to a Spar. Thus, installing and replacing conventional VIV mitigation devices like the fairings and strakes could become difficult. In comparison, the TLP has no keel guides making it easier to install risers with strakes or fairings to improve the riser’s response to currents in terms of VIV. There are two basic proven techniques to reduce VIV damage on a riser. These involve application of standard fairings or strakes and direct protection of an exposed riser to currents. This paper discusses a methodology for VIV suppression using a riser stem. This mechanism does not reduce the VIV directly on the riser, but it in fact shields the riser from the surface currents, and thus reduces the fatigue damage on risers. This riser is shielded inside a conduit section called a stem which extends from the deck of the Semi-submersible to the keel. The paper quantifies and discusses the reduction in fatigue damage when the stem is used. The analysis is based on typical deep water current conditions for the Gulf of Mexico.

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