Field measurements of the response of a number of drilling risers indicate that vortex-induced vibration (VIV) occurs significantly less often than predicted by the industry-standard fatigue analysis computer program SHEAR7 V4.4. Several comparisons to model tests and field data, including one published by BP and 2H in 2007 [1], demonstrate that this analysis program is generally quite conservative, given that VIV occurs. Furthermore, this conservatism does not take into account those situations in which VIV fatigue is predicted but none is observed in the field, which adds yet another layer of “hidden” conservatism to design analyses. In an effort to address this and reduce conservatism to a more appropriate level, the probability of occurrence of vortex-induced vibration (VIV) is examined using full-scale measured data. The data has been collected over the past several years from five drilling risers without VIV suppression devices. These risers are on rigs under contract to BP at high-current-susceptible sites worldwide. Collectively, the data correspond to 9,600 10-minute field measurements, equivalent to 0.18 years of continuous monitoring. The riser response is obtained from motion loggers placed at selected positions along the riser as described in [1]. Each logger measures 3D accelerations and 2D angular rates. Through-depth currents are measured via Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCP). By comparison of measurements to computer predictions based on the observed current profile, a relationship is developed between the intensity of the fatigue damage predicted and the probability that VIV is observed in the field. Subsequently, an approach is proposed for scaling analysis predictions to reflect the relative likelihood of VIV. The database of measured and SHEAR7 maximum predicted fatigue damage rates is statistically characterized to determine how it may be used to determine factors of safety (FOS) for VIV design. A worked example for a deepwater drilling riser in the GoM is used to show how the FOS methodology can be applied in the case of multiple design currents each with a different annual probability of occurrence.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.