Dry Tree Semisubmersibles (DTS), with the capability of supporting surface wellheads and allowing drilling and completion through direct vertical access risers, have attracted intense interest from the oil and gas industry. A wet tree deep draft semisubmersible has been carefully reconfigured considering the balance between the overall floater configuration and the tensioner stroke for a harsh environment application. A large amount of simulation efforts have been performed for the optimization of the integrated hull/deck/mooring/riser system. Recently, a basin model test was also successfully completed and further demonstrated its technical feasibility.
The paper presents the overall design of a Top-Tensioned Riser (TTR) system for a DTS application focusing on the complexity of the DTS-TTR interface including ram style tensioning system, riser conductor and riser top assembly design with keel joint, etc. Due to the heavy weight of the TTR system in the ultra-deep water application, the riser top sections are subject to high reaction loads with the DTS in severe environments. The riser system faces the challenge to have a feasible and economic top assembly design. In this paper, an engineered riser conductor pipe is introduced to interface the riser top assembly with hull. The riser conductor pipe, which spans from deck to keel, is integrated with riser top assembly and the tensioner system design. The riser conductor protects the riser in the splash zone and prevents the high reaction loads directly transferring from hull to riser, thus reducing the riser keel joint and tension joint size. The feasibility and performance of the TTR system are demonstrated through the static and dynamic analyses. Pipe-in-pipe (PIP) contact model is employed in the simulation to ensure the dynamic interaction loads between riser and riser conductor are captured. The TTR overall system design consideration for the DTS application is discussed.