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Deep Offshore Technology International, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Dec 2010

Dynamic Response of Deepwater Lazy-


Wave Catenary Riser

Songcheng Li, 2H Offshore Inc. & Chau Nguyen, 2H Offshore Inc.

1 Abstract
Lazy-wave catenary risers have gained popularity as a viable solution to improve fatigue and
strength performance at the touchdown zone of a simple catenary riser. With the objective to
provide technical reference for a lazy-wave shaped riser, this paper focuses on the study of
lazy-wave configurations and dynamic responses when the riser is supported from high
motion floating production platforms such as semi-submersibles and FPSOs. The study
explores the behavior of lazy-wave risers with respect to a variety of input parameters, such as
critical curvature radii, hang-off angle, top tension and buoyancy distribution. A systematic
approach to pinpoint driving factors and critical locations is discussed. Equations are also
presented to provide an analytic and deterministic approach to a desired lazy-wave shape for
further numerical assessment of strength and fatigue responses.

2 Introduction
The application of lazy-wave catenary riser (LWR) has been popular in deep water application
due to its adjustable payload on vessel and its options to control dynamic strength and fatigue
response along the riser [1]. With help of commercial software or self-developed optimization
tools [2], current practices rely on numerical approaches using trial and error or iterative
procedures to explore a lazy-wave riser configuration [3], which demands a huge effort for
optimization. It is time consuming and not cost effective, especially during preliminary
screening stage or riser study for a project. The challenge encountered in the optimization of
lazy-wave configuration is associated with the lack of parameterized equations for the
configurations.

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Deep Offshore Technology International, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Dec 2010

In this work, configuration of lazy-wave riser is derived analytically with two design input
options. The key factors for dynamic strength and fatigue responses are explored and
expressed as equations of the lazy-wave configuration parameters, which provide insight and
perspective in lazy-wave riser behavior. This work simplifies the riser optimization process
and can be used as a framework for lazy-wave configuration design.

3 Static Configuration of SCR and LWR


A simple steel catenary riser (SCR) is considered a cord of uniform density and cross-section
area hanging on two ends under gravity and buoyancy force in water [4], although slight
variation in density or cross-section may exist due to strakes, marine growth or special joints
such as taper stress joint. A typical SCR is characterized by downward wet weight along its
length.

A lazy-wave catenary riser (LWR) is a special SCR with a segment of its length equipped
with external buoyancy modules, where its upward buoyancy force in water is greater than its
downward gravity force and thus an equivalent negative “gravity” force. A typical LWR
consists of three segments, each segment a catenary, namely the hang-off catenary (hanging
and jumper sections), the buoyancy catenary (lift and drag sections) and the touchdown
catenary, as illustrated in Figure 3.1. The buoyancy catenary lies between the hang-off
catenary and the touchdown catenary. A typical LWR has a sag bend and an arch bend. The
elevation difference between the top of the arch bend and the bottom of the sag bend is termed
arch height.

As a general rule of thumb, the buoyancy force provided by the buoyancy modules is around
twice the self-weight of the steel pipe with internal fluid. The variation of the net buoyancy
force from the buoyancy modules produces high-arch, mid-arch or low-arch LWR
configurations, or a shaped SCR[5]. A shaped SCR is defined as a degenerated LWR with no
sag bend or arch bend. That is, its lowest elevation along the hang-off catenary coincides with
the highest elevation along the buoyancy catenary at their connection point. A sag bend along
the hang-off catenary and an arch bend along the buoyancy catenary distinguish a LWR from
a shaped SCR.
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Deep Offshore Technology International, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Dec 2010

The equations in the subsequent sections apply to SCR, LWR and shaped SCR.

8000
Hangoff Buoyancy Touchdown
7000 Catenary Catenary Catenary

6000 Hangoff Location


Elevation from Seabed (ft)

5000 Hanging Section

Arch Bend
4000 Lift Section

Lift Point Drag Section


3000
Drag Point

2000 Jumper Section


Sag Bend

1000
Touchdown Point

0
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
Horizontal Distance from Hangoff (ft)

Figure 3.1 – Example Configuration of Lazy-Wave Catenary Riser

3.1 General Characteristics of SCR


As a special SCR, the LWR shares some common characteristics of SCR such as correlations
between curvature, riser mass density, arc length and hang-off angle. A catenary is governed
by a hyperbolic cosine function [6] in Equation (1) as illustrated in Figure 3.2:
x x
x a 
y  a (cosh  1)  (e a  e a  2) , (1)
a 2
where a is the curvature radius of a catenary at its origin, since curvature k or
d2y
| |
dx 2 1
k 3  , (2)
 x
2
2 2
dy a cosh
1  ( )  a
 dx 
where dx  ds cos  , dy  ds sin  , (3)
at origin x  0 gives

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Deep Offshore Technology International, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Dec 2010

1
k . (4)
a

Y Y
X T+dT

ds β
ds dy
T
dx

Qds=mgds

X
O

Figure 3.2 – Coordinate System of Catenary

Curvature Equation (2) can be rewritten as


1 a
k  ,
a cosh 2
x (a  y ) 2
a
which dontes the maximum curvature or the lowest curvature radius along a catenary occurs at
the origin y=0. The catenary curve is symmetric about the Y-axis in Figure 3.2. Without loss
of generality, the absolute values of X and Y are used for the equations in this paper. The arc
length of a catenary from its origin can be obtained from
2
 dy  x
S   ds   1    dx a sinh . (5)
 dx  a
The inclination angle β suffices
dy x S
tan    sinh  . (6)
dx a a
From horizontal equilibrium
 T cos   (T  dT ) cos   0 ,
one obtains
d (T cos  )  0 ,

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Deep Offshore Technology International, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Dec 2010

which implies a constant horizontal force along a catenary. By defining horizontal force N and
wet weight per unit length Q:
N  T cos   const , Q  mg , (7)
where m is the wet mass per unit length and g the acceleration of gravity, the relationship
between the horizontal force N and wet weight per unit length Q can be derived using vertical
equilibrium equation:
 T sin   Qds  (T  dT ) sin   0 ,
or d (T sin  )  Qds ,
or d (T cos  tan  )  Qds . (8)
Substituting (3) and (7) into (8) gives

dy dy
d (N )  Qdx 1  ( ) 2 ,
dx dx

d2y dy
or N 2  Q 1  ( )2 . (9)
dx dx
Substituting Equation (1) to (9), the relationship between the horizontal force N and wet
weight per unit length Q is obtained:
N
N  aQ  const , or a  . (10)
Q
This implies that the curvature radius at origin can be adjusted by varying the horizontal force
N or the wet weight per unit length Q.

3.2 General Characteristics of Lazy-Wave Riser


The static equilibrium of the LWR illustrated in Figure 3.3 (a) and (b) indicates that, the
resultant forces at the sag bend B and the arch bend D are horizontal and both equal to the
horizontal force N at the touchdown point. In the vertical direction, there are no shear forces at
points B and D, which requires static equilibrium of the weight of the jumper section BC and
net buoyancy force of the lift section CD, as well as the drag section DE and the touchdown
catenary EF. In other words, the net buoyancy force of the lift section CD “lifts” the wet
weight of the jumper section, and that of the drag section “drags” the wet weight of the
touchdown section.

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Deep Offshore Technology International, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Dec 2010

Lift Section N N
Drag Section
D D

C
E

N
Jumper Section
B Touchdown Catenary N

(a) (b) F

Figure 3.3 – Static Equilibrium Analysis of the LWR

In local coordinate systems x-B-y, u-D-v and p-F-q, as shown in Figure 3.4, the hang-off
catenary ABC, the buoyancy catenary CDE and the touchdown catenary EF can be expressed
as the following equations:
x u p
y  ai (cosh  1) , v  a j (cosh  1) , q  ak (cosh  1) . (11)
ai aj ak

where ai , a j and ak are the curvature radii at their corresponding origins B, D, and F.

Hangoff Buoyancy Touchdown


Catenary (i) Catenary (j) Catenary (k)
S1 S2 S3 S4 S5
A
β

y1 y

D
u
V y3
v y4
y2 C

B x E
ya

ys q
y5

F p
x1 x2 x3 x4 x5
H

Figure 3.4 – Local Coordinate Systems of Catenary Equations

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Deep Offshore Technology International, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Dec 2010

Assuming mi , m j and mk the wet masses of steel pipes with internal fluid at unit length of the

hang-off catenary, the buoyancy catenary and the touchdown catenaries, the wet weights of
riser per unit length are
Qi  mi g , Q j  F  m j g , Qk  mk g , (12)

where F is the net buoyancy force from the buoyancy modules pointing upward. Application
of the dimensions in Figure 3.4 to Equation (5), the arc lengths of the jumper section and the
lift section become
x2 x
S 2  ai sinh , S 3  a j sinh 3 . (13)
ai aj

The vertical equilibrium in Figure 3.3 (a) requires


S2 Q j
S 2Qi  S3Q j , or  (14)
S3 Qi
Equation (14) implies that the lengths of the jumper section and the lift section are
proportional to their vertical weight at unit length. Further derivations using Equation (10)
give
S 2 x2 y2 Q j ai
    . (15)
S3 x3 y3 Qi a j

Similarly, for the drag section and the touchdown catenary, the following is true:
S 4 x4 y4 Qk a j
    . (16)
S5 x5 y5 Q j ak

Usually same materials and same geometric properties are utilized for both the hang-off
catenary and the touchdown catenary, that is
Qi  Qk or ai  ak . (17)
Combination of Equations (15) through (18) obtains
S 2 S5 Q j S  S5 Q j
  , or 2  . (18)
S3 S 4 Qi S3  S 4 Qi

3.3 Configurations of Lazy-Wave Riser


For a lazy-wave configuration, there are usually two design input options. One option give the
lengths of the three catenaries, and the other the elevations of the sag bend and the arch bend.
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Deep Offshore Technology International, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Dec 2010

For design input option 1, given the lengths of the hang-off catenary Si , the buoyancy

catenary S j , either the water depth V at the hang-off location A or the touchdown catenary

length S k , the configuration of the LWR is determined. Without loss of generality, the

touchdown catenary length S k is assumed provided herein, as presented in Equations (19)


through (21).
Si  S1  S 2 (19)

S j  S3  S 4 (20)

Sk  S5
The total length of the LWR is therefore
S  Si  S j  S k (21)

Combination of Equations (19) through (21) provides the arc length of the hanging section:
Qj
S1  S  (1  )S j . (22)
Qi
On the other hand, application of Equation (6) to the hang-off location gives
S1  ai tan   ai cot  , (23)

where  is the given top hang-off angle, and   900   is the inclination angle at the hang-off
location, as shown in Figure 3.4. Substituting Equation (22) into Equation (23) obtains the
curvature radius of the sag bend or the touchdown point:
 Qj 
ai   S  (1  ) S j  tan  . (24)
 Qi 
Substituting Equations (23) and (24) into Equations (5), (10) and (11), one obtains the spread
and height of the hanging section:
x1
x1  ai arcsin h(cot  ) , y1  ai (cosh  1) .
ai
Equations (11), (13) and (19) give the spread and height of the jumper section:
Si  S1 x
x2  ai arcsin h( ) , y2  ai [cosh( 2 )  1] .
ai ai

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Deep Offshore Technology International, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Dec 2010

Equation (15) gives the spread and the height of the lift section:
x2Qi yQ
x3  , y3  2 i .
Qj Qj

Equations (16) and (21) provide the length of the drag section:
Qi
S4  ( S  Si  S j ) .
Qj

Subsequently, the curvature radius at arch bend is


Qi
aj  ai ,
Qj

the spread and height of the drag section are


S4 x
x4  a j arcsin h( ) , y4  a j [cosh( 4 )  1] ,
aj aj

and the spread and height of the touchdown catenary are


S  Si  S j y4Q j
x5  ai arcsin h( ) , y5  .
ai Qi
With all the dimensions calculated above, the sag bend height is determined by:
y s  y 4  y5  y 2  y3 ,
and the arch bend height becomes
y a  y 4  y5 .
The water depth V at the hang-off location can be checked by
V  y1  y 4  y 5  y 2  y3 .
For design input option 2, the LWR configuration can also be uniquely determined if the sag
bend height ys , the arch bend height ya and the water depth V at the hang-off location A are
provided. Starting with the height of the hanging section
y1  V  ys ,
Equations (6) and (11) give the curvature radius at the sag bend as
y1
ai  . (25)
cosh[arcsin h(cot  )]  1
The curvature radius at the arch bend is given by Equations (15) and (25) as

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Deep Offshore Technology International, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Dec 2010

Qi y1
aj  . (26)
Q j cosh[arcsin h(cot  )]  1

The spread of the hanging section is calculated from Equation (25) as


x1  ai arcsin h(cot  ) .
Given the arch height, or the vertical distance between the arch bend and the sag bend,
y 2  y3  y a  y s . (27)
Equations (15) and (27) produce the heights of the jumper section and the lift section:
Q j ( ya  y s ) Qi ( ya  ys )
y2  , y3  .
Qi  Q j Qi  Q j

Subsequently, the spreads of the jumper section and the lift section are thus
y2 y
x2  ai arccos h(  1) , x3  a j arccos h( 3  1) .
ai aj

The same derivations apply to the drag section and the touchdown catenary. Given the arch
bend elevation
y 4  y5  y a , (28)
Equations (16) and (28) yield the heights of the drag section and the touchdown catenary:
Qi ya Q j ya
y4  , y5  .
Qi  Q j Qi  Q j

Hence their spreads can be expressed as


y4 y
x4  a j arccos h(  1) , x5  ai arccos h( 5  1) .
aj ai

As a result, the arc length of each catenary can be calculated using Equation (5) as follows:
x1 x x x x
Si  ai (sinh  sinh 2 ) , S j  a j (sinh 3  sinh 4 ) , S k  S5  ai sinh 5 .
ai ai aj aj ai

For both design input options, the total horizontal distance from the hang-off location to the
touchdown point is
H  x1  x2  x3  x4  x5 ,
the horizontal force at any point along the LWR and at touchdown point is
N  aiQi  a j Q j  ak Qk , (29)

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and the top tension at hang-off location is


T  N / sin  . (30)
Combination of Equations (29) and (30) gives
T sin  T sin  T sin 
ai  ,aj  , or ak  . (31)
Qi Qj Qk

4 Dynamic Response of Lazy-Wave Riser

4.1 Wave and Drift Motion Response of Lazy-Wave Riser


The first order motions in heave, surge and sway directions at the hang-off point A are mainly
translated into heave motions at the sag bend B due to the constraint of the length of the hang-
off catenary and the drag of the buoyancy modules at lift point C, as shown in Figure 4.1. For
example, the horizontal surface motion ∆x as a function of time at point A becomes a heave
dominated motion ∆y at sag bend B due to the motion difference in amplitude and phase
between A and C.

Y
∆x
P
A

R C
Q

∆y X

Figure 4.1 – Heave Motion at Sag Bend due to Horizontal Motion at Hang-Off Point

As opposed to the first order motion, the relatively long period of the second order motion
gives the more time for the LWR to respond globally, especially along the buoyancy catenary.
The second order motions at the hang-off point A turn into both horizontal motion and heave
motion at the sag bend, as shown in Figure 4.2. For example, a horizontal second order motion
at the hang-off point A is followed by dominant horizontal motions at the lift point C and the
drag point E. This generates open and close movements of the sag bend or the arch bend,

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Deep Offshore Technology International, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Dec 2010

fluctuating curvature radii along LWR, especially at such critical locations as the sag bend B,
the arch bend D and touchdown point F.

Hangoff Buoyancy Touchdown


Catenary Catenary Catenary

∆xA
A
β

∆uD
D

V ∆uC
B
C

E
∆uB ∆uE

∆uF
F

x1 x2 x3 x4 x5

Figure 4.2 – Illustration of Second Order Motion along LWR

Techically, the critical locations for curvature radius refer to critical zones. The local top point
D may travel along the buoyancy catenary, such that the points near the arch bend D on the
riser take turns to become the local top elevation to account for tension variations and section
length adjustment during dynamic motions. In this sense, the arch bend is actually a zone in
length instead of a fixed point, so are the sag bend and the touchdown point.

The length of these critical zones varies with dynamic motions as well as vessel offsets, as
shown in Figure 4.3. At a far offset of 10% water depth, a LWR shape with a decent arch
height at near offset may degenerate into a low arch LWR, or even a shaped SCR if failed to
optimize the buoyancy catenary for large offsets. Extreme far and near offset positions should
be checked for a LWR configuration to avoid undesired buckling problem of a low-arch
configuration, and to avoid local high stress at the arch bend at near offset.

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Critical curvatures along LWR are associated with extreme vessel positions under driving load
conditions and are functions of the horizontal force N or top tension T and hang-off angle θ as
indicated in Equation (31). A configuration with higher top tension T or greater hang-off angle
θ gives larger critical curvature radii and generally provides a better dynamic strength
response. Restricted by vessel payload, sag bend can also be adjusted for a given top tension
cap. The density, length and thickness of the buoyancy modules are among other key
parameters for optimization of LWR configuration.

Figure 4.3 – Variation of LWR Configuration with Large Offsets

4.2 Strength Response of Lazy-Wave Riser


Taper stress joint or flex joint is widely used for stress relief at the hang-off location, while
other critical locations along LWR have to rely on the optimization of the buoyancy catenary.
The horizontal motion and the heave motion at the hang-off location lead to an open and close
movement of the sag bend, the arch bend and the touchdown zone as illustrated in Figure 4.2.
The lowest curvature radii at these critical locations governs their stress response since stress
and bending moment are proportional to curvature, as shown in Figure 4.4. The highest stress
frequently occurs at the arch bend where the most critical curvature is more likely when the
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Deep Offshore Technology International, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Dec 2010

lift point and the drag point move out of phase with the vessel at near offset position. On the
other hand, the preference of high net buoyancy force for arch height optimization also results
in lower curvature at the arch bend. Other critical curvatures occur at the touchdown point and
the sag bend. For an optimized LWR, the stress at the touchdown point and the sag bend is
normally not driving in strength response, which is another feature of the LWR.

0.8 7000

0.7 6000
Von Mises / Yield Stress Ratio

0.6

Elevation from Seabed (ft)


5000

0.5
4000
0.4
3000
0.3

2000
0.2

0.1 1000

0.0 0
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000

Horizontal Distance from Hangoff (ft)

Figure 4.4 – Strength Response of High Arch Lazy-Wave Riser

Riser mass density is another factor for LWR optimization. A lighter riser or smaller Qi
including internal fluid improves the strength response at the sag bend and the touchdown
point as suggested in Equation (12). As equivalent negative mass along the buoyancy catenary
where Q j  F  m j g , lower net buoyancy force F favors a greater curvature radius, but may

result in an undesirable low-arch configuration at vessel far offset. For instance, the stress
response of a low-arch lazy-wave configuration with sag bend and arch bend elevations of
2900 ft and 3100 ft, respectively, is shown in Figure 4.5. Heave motion at the sag bend
becomes whipping and buckling wave motion between sag bend and the arch bend, which
results in local curvature and stress much higher than those otherwise at the sag bend or the
arch bend. The structural and hydrodynamic damping effect is significantly compromised in
this case.

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Deep Offshore Technology International, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Dec 2010

0.8 7000

0.7 6000

Von Mises Stress / Yield Strength Ratio 0.6 5000

Elevation from Seabed (ft)


0.5 4000

0.4 3000

0.3 2000

0.2 1000

0.1 0
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000

Horizontal Distance from Hangoff (ft)

Figure 4.5 – Strength Response of Low Arch Lazy-Wave Riser

4.3 Motion Fatigue Response of Lazy-Wave Riser


Strength response is driven by extreme curvature at critical locations, while fatigue response is
controlled by curvature fluctuation range associated with higher stress range. The highest
curvature fluctuation occurs at the sag bend, the arch bend or the touchdown point. The low
fatigue lives occur at these high curvature fluctuation zones, as shown in Figure 4.6. Critical
fatigue damage is observed at the touchdown point and at the riser hang-off location. The
fatigue damage at the touchdown zone is driven by soil-structure interaction under more
frequent occurrence of small stress cycles from low seastates, while at the top hang-off section
it is driven by combination of tension and bending moment from less frequent but high stress
range from high seastates.

Three case studies are presented in this section for sensitivity of the fatigue response of LWR
attached to an internally turret-moored FPSO.

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The first case explores the first order fatigue sensitivity to arch heights. Three configurations
with different arch heights – namely high arch, mid arch and low arch – are developed by
varying the length of the buoyancy catenary. The vessel payload remains the same in all
configurations with a constant hang-off angle and sag bend elevation. It is observed that
fatigue life at the touchdown point (TDP) improves with arch height. With the same buoyancy
thickness, a higher arch configuration requires a longer buoyancy catenary that provides more
damping to motions. The buoyancy lengths of the three arch heights are compared in Figure
4.7, and their first order motion fatigue lives are presented in Table 4.1. The fatigue life of the
mid-arch configuration at the TDP improves slightly from the low-arch configurations, but
that of the high-arch configuration doubled. A higher arch diverts and damps cable wave
motion in more favorable directions. This also indicates nonlinear redistribution of structural
damping and hydrodynamic damping between different configurations.

1.E+12 7000

1.E+11
6000
1.E+10

1.E+09
Minimum Fatigue Life (years)

Elevation above Seabed (ft)


5000
1.E+08

1.E+07 4000
1.E+06

1.E+05 3000

1.E+04
2000
1.E+03

1.E+02
1000
1.E+01

1.E+00 0
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
Horizontal Distance From Hangoff (ft)

Fatigue Life Slick Section Buoyancy Section

Figure 4.6 – Example of Fatigue Response along Lazy-Wave Riser

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7000

6000
Sag Bend Height: 2400ft
Arch Bend Heights:
Low Arch 2600ft
Elevation from Seabed (ft)

5000
Mid Arch 3100ft
High Arch 3600ft
Archbend
4000

3000

2000
Sagbend

1000

0
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
Horizontal Distance From Hangoff (ft)

Low Arch Mid Arch High Arch Buoyancy 1742 ft Buoyancy 2261 ft Buoyancy 2722 ft

Figure 4.7 – Buoyancy Lengths Variation with Arch Heights

Riser Configuration Minimum Fatigue Life at


Arch Type Arch Height (ft) TDP (years)
High Arch 1200 1,500
Mid Arch 700 750
Low Arch 200 670
Table 4.1 – First Order Motion Fatigue Life Variation with Arch Configurations

The second case compares the first order fatigue responses to sag bend elevations. Two
configurations with different sag bend elevations are developed as shown in Figure 4.8. The
hang-off angle and arch height are kept constant. The lower sag bend configuration improves
the TDP fatigue life by 80%, however decreases the fatigue response at top of the riser by
13%, as compared in Table 4.2. The fatigue life increase at the TDP can be justified from
Equation (31). The lower sag bend configuration has longer hang-off catenary length hence
greater hang-off tension and smaller TDP curvature and bending stress range. The higher
dynamic tension fluctuation near the hang-off location adversely contributes to the fatigue
performance at top of the riser.

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Deep Offshore Technology International, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Dec 2010

7000

6000
Elevation from Seabed (ft)
5000
Buoyancy 2722 ft
4000

High Sagbend
3000
Buoyancy 2189 ft
2000
Low Sagbend
1000

0
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000
Horizontal Distance From Hangoff (ft)

Lazy Wave Sagbend 2400ft Buoyancy 10inch Thickness


Lazy Wave Sagbend 600ft Buoyancy 10inch Thickness

Figure 4.8 – Lazy-Wave Configuration with Varying Sag Bend Elevations

Minimum Motion Fatigue Life (years)


Location
Sag Bend 2400 ft Sag Bend 600 ft
Touchdown Point 1,500 2,700
Top Taper Stress Joint 2,400 2,100
Table 4.2 – Motion Fatigue Life Sensitivity to Sag Bend Elevations

The third case study is about fatigue response to current loading. Background current
interferences riser motion and helps dissipating cable wave energy in an addition to
hydrodynamic damping. As shown in Figure 4.9, the TDP fatigue life improves with increased
background current speed. Background current profile should be used with caution to reduce
conservativeness. Generally, application of background profile with 50% occurrence increases
TDP fatigue life 2~3 times from without background current depending on variation of current
directions and speeds.

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14,000

12,000

Minimum Fatigue Life (years)


10,000

8,000

6,000

4,000

2,000
Base Case (no background current)
0
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5

Surface Speed of Background Current Profile (knots)

Figure 4.9 – Effect of Background Current on Motion Fatigue Life at Touchdown Point

5 Summary
Consisting of three catenaries, namely the hang-off catenary, the buoyancy catenary and the
touchdown catenary, a lazy-wave riser has better strength and fatigue responses than SCR.
The buoyancy catenary produces effective hydrodynamic and structural damping to attenuate
cables waves from vessel motions propagating along lazy-wave riser. The critical locations for
strength and fatigue responses are at the top hang-off location, the sag bend, the arch bend and
the touchdown point. This work provides parameterized equations for configuration
optimization and strategic analysis.

The damping efficiency of the buoyancy catenary and the variation of the curvature radii at
the critical locations in conjunction with the top tension and hang-off angle are the driving
factors for lazy-wave riser strength and motion fatigue responses. The horizontal force along
the riser is a constant and a function of net riser wet weight at the hanging section and the top
hang-off angle. The curvature at the critical locations is a function of horizontal force and
submerged weight of riser section, which drives dynamic response. Dynamic response is
sensitive to arch height, sag bend elevation, top hang-off angle and background current
loading.
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Deep Offshore Technology International, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Dec 2010

6 References
[1] Torres, A.L.F.L. et al (2002), “Lazy-wave steel rigid risers for turret-moored FPSO”,
OMAE’02/OFT-28124

[2] Jaco, B.P. et al (2008), “Synthesis and optimization of steel catenary risers
configurtations through evolutionary computation,” 5th Report for Petrobras,
COPPE/UFRJ

[3] Edmundo Queiroz de Andrade et al (2010) “Optimization Procedure of Steel Lazy


Wave Riser Configuration for Spread Moored FPSOs in Deepwater Offshore Brazil”,
OTC 20777

[4] Hugh Howells, (1995). “Advances in Steel Catenary Riser Design: Advances in Steel
Catenary Riser design”, DEEPTEC '95, Aberdeen, February 1995

[5] Bin Yue et al, (2010) “Improved SCR Design for Dynamic Vessel Applications”,
OMAE2010-20406, Beijing, June 2010

[6] Lockwood, E.H. (1961) “A Book of Curves”, Cambridge University Press.

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