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, and builds on ref. [1] which was based on a simplified riser analysis using a rigid body to represent the riser. In the present paper, the methodology has been applied to an elastic riser model in the riser analysis software RIFLEX, from MARINTEK in Trondheim, Norway, which includes axial damping elements required for modeling of the tensioner systems. 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 analysis may also establish a maximum tension level, and seastate, to avoid hard stroke-out of the top motion compensator cylinders. This requires an elastic riser model, since a rigid body will yield unphysically large impulse loads in case of stroke-out. The current industry practice is to use a regular wave approach in the analysis. In accordance with ref. [1], the present analysis is performed with irregular wave analyses. 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 irregular waves. Comparison of the resulting allowable wave height shows that using the approach presented here with an elastic riser model yields less conservative results than the previous methodology with a rigid body model. This should be coupled to the findings with the rigid riser model, ref. [1], that irregular waves yield a considerable increase in the operating window, and the resulting operability, compared to a regular wave analysis. Hence, using a regular wave approach combined with a simplified riser model that neglects the flexibility of the riser is expected to yield overly conservative results for the EQDP elevation after disconnect.

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