The method of pulling a steel catenary riser (SCR) through a steel tube (termed as a pull tube) is common practice for deepwater riser tie back applications. Vortex-induced vibration (VIV) of such a system is complex. VIV analysis programs, such as Shear7 [1], are suitable only for a single, chain-like structure. The application of such a software tool in VIV design of the SCR-pull tube system requires careful consideration of a number of structural and hydrodynamic factors.

This paper presents a methodology for VIV analysis of the combined structural system of the SCR with the pull tube. Firstly, the entire SCR-pull tube system is modeled with the finite element program Flexcom [2]. The modes are then calculated for the entire structure with program Modes [3]. Afterwards, the structural nodes are rearranged for VIV analysis with Shear7. The pull tube is secured on the platform through a number of guides on the truss structure of the hull. The diameter of the pull tube is much larger than that of the SCR, and the pull tube is much stiffer in bending than the SCR is. If the entire structure is analyzed with Shear7, the mode for the pull tube (a mode involving a large motion of the pull tube section), which is very high in order, would be embedded in the analysis. It makes sense to single out the pull tube mode for study as if it is the first mode. A computer program, named as V-Span [4] for subsea span VIV analysis, is used to analyze both in-line and cross-flow VIV of the pull tube.

A numerical example is presented to demonstrate this methodology. This is a deepwater SCR, which has a diameter of 9 inches. The water depth is 6,300 ft. The pull tube is 640 feet long and 20 inch in diameter. Both the loop-eddy and background currents are analyzed. The fatigue damage resulted from both in-line and cross-flow VIV is estimated.

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