Drilling risers are regularly deployed in deep water (over 1500 m) with large sections covered in buoyancy modules. The smooth cylindrical shape of these modules can result in significant vortex-induced vibration (VIV) response, causing an overall amplification of drag experienced by the riser. Operations can be suspended due to the total drag adversely affecting top and bottom angles. Although suppression technologies exist to reduce VIV (such as helical strakes or fairings), and therefore reduce VIV-induced amplification of drag, only fairings are able to be installed onto buoyancy modules for practical reasons, and fairings themselves have significant penalties related to installation, removal, and reliability. An innovative solution has been developed to address this gap: longitudinally grooved suppression (LGS). Two model testing campaigns were undertaken: small scale (subcritical Reynolds number flow), and large scale (postcritical Reynolds number flow) to test and confirm the performance benefits of LGS. The testing campaigns found substantial benefits measured in hydrodynamic performance that will be realized when LGS modules are deployed by operators for deepwater drilling operations.

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