Designing Deepwater Steel Catenary Risers for Industrial Maritime Needs • Stewart Technology AssociatesStewart Technology Associates

Designing Deepwater Steel Catenary Risers for Industrial Maritime Needs

[Posted on June 10th, 2013 by Bill Stewart]

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Used frequently for pipeline work and drilling offshore projects, steel catenary risers allow for offshore pipeline attachments when the critical connection needs to be made to a floating platform from deep below. These pipelines are not small connections, often spanning a foot in diameter. They are also designed to function under extreme water pressure, being able to withstand up to 5,000 psi with tidal ocean pull. The above said, steel catenary risers have not been used for a very long period in maritime history. The first major project was a Shell offshore construction system in 1994, connected to an underwater point 874 meters deep.

Today’s steel catenary risers are now manufactured in different types and assemblies, from a simple steel catenary riser to a steep wave or bottom weighted riser to a buoyant wave or lazy wave riser. The major difference often tends to be the length of the catenary system, the number of buoys attached, and the diameter of the pipeline delivery involved. The variation in manufacturing is also designed in different ways to deal with varying ocean and underwater conditions as well as deep sea pressures and ocean current strengths.

Stewart USA has been in the business of ocean-based structural design and technology since 1986. Founded to provide international technology consultancy, Stewart works with all types of offshore seakeeping analysis and seafaring studies to determine the best approach to unique construction challenges.

Stewart’s advanced technology capability when addressing steel catenary risers needs is also supported by its unique use of OrcaFlex and Orcina software technology. Both programs are specifically designed for complex ocean-based technology modeling and design work. Because of the unique nature of this technology tool, Stewart USA is able to address modeling demands in far greater detail that other consultants may be able to provide. The company can also use the same tools to provide expert analysis on what may have gone wrong or malfunctioned with other work and designs, again being able to model and show what should have worked and why something went awry under an ocean technology scenario. It’s no surprise then that Stewart USA has been used by the likes the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, major oil companies with offshore projects, legal teams, and maritime insurance companies as well as evaluators.

Whether it be a deepwater design of complex steel catenary risers or an off-land pipeline connector mooring, Stewart USA has the experience and knowledge to design the best approach for a client’s needs. As a result, the company is often called upon for the most challenging design work on new ocean projects.

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