Rigid subsea jumper systems are typically used as interface between subsea structures and are required to accommodate significant static and dynamic loads. Due to constraints imposed by in-line planar jumpers (e.g. U shaped and M shaped jumpers), the industry is shifting towards the use of multi-planar jumper systems (e.g., Z-shaped jumpers). These multi-planar jumper systems have increased tolerance to end displacements and can be tailored to accommodate cyclic end motions of subsea structures. Multi-planar systems, however, come with unique challenges of their own including the coupling of flexural and torsional responses under vortex induced vibrations (VIV), fluid induced vibration (FIV) and slugging. In particular, the development of hydrodynamic slug flow is a common occurrence in oil and gas pipelines. It is understood to be initiated by instabilities of wave on the gas-liquid interface. It is also understood that slug flows are the source of vibration within pipework when a change of direction occurs e.g. 90° bend at a subsea riser base or top side piping. In standard slug flow vibration analysis, averaged slug frequency and length are used to calculate the force generated. In the case of a multi-planar rigid jumper, several changes of direction occur within a short length of pipe. After each bend the characteristics of the slug flow are modified. It is necessary to accurately capture these changes in order to reproduce the forces generated at critical points along the jumper length. This paper presents a methodology for analyzing slugging induced fatigue that has been developed in an on-going study undertaken by MCS Kenny for design of multi-planar rigid jumper systems. In this methodology, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is used to accurately simulate the flow within the jumper and provide pressure fluctuations on the internal pipe wall for the vibration analysis. The pressure fluctuations are then incorporated in a Finite Element (FE) model of the jumper system and further used to determine the slugging fatigue damage. CFD (Star-ccm+) and FE (Flexcom, ABAQUS) software programs are used to accurately capture the response of the jumper system. Key conclusions and challenges overcome during the course of this study are presented herein.

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