Probabilistic methods can improve the reliability of fatigue damage evaluation in top tensioned (production) risers because they tend to provide less biased estimators on their safety, which can be used for more reliable decision making concerning their design. Such methods consider the collective impact of uncertainties in the riser system, which is not accurately assessed in conventional fatigue analysis. The large factors of safety that are commonly used in deterministic-based fatigue damage assessment tend to assure the high safety of the design, still they are generic factors that do not take advantage of available data for accurate quantification of system safety. This paper presents a probabilistic method toward fatigue reliability and integrity analysis of TTR systems. By using rules of probability, a simplified method is developed to estimate the probability of failure of the TTR system in its lifetime, considering the uncertainties with the Palmgren-Miner rule, the cyclic loads, and the fatigue strength of the components, and other analysis approximations. The method is then used for a comparative assessment on the fatigue reliability of the TTR components and calculating its fatigue Integrity Index. The method is illustrated in a case study and is used to provide recommendations that could possibly improve the TTR fatigue design by reducing its cost, increasing its safety, and maximizing its integrity.

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