Abstract

Flexible risers are commonly used in ultra deepwater offshore fields to convey fluids from the subsea equipment to the floating production unit. During the development of the production systems, the flexible pipe installation is a critical operation. In this scenario, an operational procedure for the installation frequently used in offshore Brazil is known as Direct Vertical Connection. In this concept, the Vertical Connection Module (VCM) is connected to the flexible pipe through a flanged joint, and lowered in to the subsea equipment with assistance of an installing cable. During the installation procedure, excessive loads may occur in the VCM due to reaction loads induced by the flexible pipe.

The present paper aims to describe the Direct Vertical Connection installation and to propose a methodology to study the forces induced by the flexible pipe into the VCM during such operation. For this purpose, a numerical model is developed for the Direct Vertical Connection and it is represented to simulate the installation procedure through a commercial software OrcaFlex.

The dynamic behavior of the system is investigated by varying the payout velocity of the installing cable, and the results are shown in terms of bending moment, wall tension and shear forces acting in the flange of the VCM. Numerical simulation result in the present work allows to evaluate the range of loading which acts during the Direct Vertical Connection to help operational design of the installation process, and avoid failure of components during the procedure.

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