Interference between top tensioned risers (TTRs) is a key design challenge. Due to TTR tensioner stroke limits combined with large vessel offsets, the space out of wellheads is limited. Therefore, riser-to-riser contact is more likely to occur in extreme current conditions.
Riser clearance between adjacent risers is evaluated accounting for the effects of wake, vortex-induced vibrations, current directionality (including variation through-depth), vessel offset, riser configuration, and drilling sequence. Accounting for all of these effects simultaneously and in detail when assessing TTR interference can be challenging.
The typical TTR array interference approach consists of a combination of riser deflection shape matching and detailed wake assessment. In this paper, a revised TTR interference analysis approach is discussed, with the inclusion of an intermediate step involving screening for critical riser pairs using a simplified wake model assessment. Riser deflection shape matching ensures that the likelihood of clashing is minimized. The riser interference screening process avoids detailed wake modelling of non-critical riser pairs. The screening analysis method emphasizes avoidance of false positives (unrealistic riser clashing pairs) and false negatives (missing riser clashing pairs). It employs a simplified conservative wake model using a stratified downstream current profile to determine which riser pairs are critical and warrant detailed wake modelling. To illustrate the efficiency of the screening approach, results from this approach are compared to results from analysis with detailed wake modelling.
An implementation of this approach is presented for riser joints with fairings and strakes. Nominal drag coefficients for these joints are obtained based on experimental testing and/or computational fluid dynamics simulations. Drag amplification of the upstream riser is obtained from vortex induced vibration (VIV) analysis and is also incorporated in the analysis.