In previous Spar designs where pull tubes were used to board the risers (either export or flowline risers), the pull-tube extended a considerable distance beyond the keel and used a tapered design to form a bend restrictor that supported the riser throughout the riser/hull interface. In a current Spar design, the pull-tube is terminated at the hull keel and the bending loads are carried by a double sided stress-joint in the riser that pivots on a centralizer located near the bottom of the pull-tube. Essentially, this is an adaptation of the double-sided stress joint used for top tensioned risers exiting the bottom of their buoyancy can stems to the similar condition of an SCR exiting a pull tube terminating at the Spar’s keel. This new pull-tube and SCR configuration can be applied for both Truss and Classic Spars. SCRs boarding Spars through pull tubes have several advantages over stress joints or flex-joints anchored in porches, notably, eliminating both the need for divers to make large piping connections at 500 to 600 water depths and the possibility of those connections leaking over time. Moving the bend restrictor function from the pull tube to the riser provides the additional advantage of adding flexibility for the Spar to accommodate future risers whose size and weight are not known at the time the pull tubes are designed and the platform is installed. With the stress joint as part of the riser, the bend restrictor can be custom designed for each riser since the pull tube works the same for all risers. The SCR and stress joint, pull-in and in-place analyses have been performed by using the finite element program ABAQUS. The nonlinear capabilities of ABAQUS including the hybrid, gap and contact element formulations are utilized in the analysis of the pull-in process. The nonlinear contact elements with finite sliding capability are modeled with an exponential over-closure relationship.

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