The Auger export pipelines are connected to the TLP by steel catenary risers (SCRs). This is believed to be theftrst time steel pipe has been used for catenary risers. SCRs offer advantages over tensioned risers, since SCRs need no heave compensation and no subsea connections, and over risers made of "flexible pipe", since SCRs are much less expensive. However, significant design effort was required to prove that the SCRs could safely withstand environmental loads and the effects of TLP motions. The design effort consisted of extensive dynamic analyses as well as full scale fatigue testing of both the riser joint welds and the flexible joint that connects the riser to the TLP pontoon. Devices which suppress vortex induced vibrations were also tested. SCR installation is accomplished by lowering the riser on the abandonment and recovery cable from the J-Lay installation vessel and transferring the riser on a chain that is run through a chain jack hung from the TLP upper deck structure. A special Installation and Maintenance System was built for this purpose.


Oil and gas export pipelines are connected to Shell's Auger Tension Leg Platform (TLP) by steel catenary risers (SCRs). Each SCR is essentially an extension of the pipeline [1], suspended in a near-catenary shape from a TLP pontoon to the seafloor. See Figure 1. The SCRs are composed of steel pipe sections welded end-to-end, terminating at a flexible joint which is supported by a receptacle mounted on the pontoon. Piping is routed from the deck down a TLP column and along the pontoon, where there is a flange connection to the top of thei1exible joint. This is believed to be the first application of steel pipe for catenary risers.

SCRs offer advantages over risers made of "flexible pipe" since SCRs are much less expensive. SCRs also offer advantages over top tensioned risers since SCRs need no heave compensation, no subsea connections, and no flexible jumpers to transition to fixed piping at the production deck. For some applications a disadvantage of catenary risers compared to top tensioned risers is the length of active footprint on the seafloor, but this is not the case for Auger.

Each SCR has an outside diameter of 12.75 inches and a wall thickness of 0.688 inch. The pipe material is API 5LX-52. The entire riser has a triple coat epoxy/polyethylene coating for corrosion protection and high abrasion resistance in the touchdown area. The upper 500 feet has a 0.5-inch thick neoprene coating for additional protection and marine growth prevention, plus triple-start helical strakes for suppression of vortex induced ibration (VIV). The flexible joint provides a rotation capacity for the upper end of the riser of ±14 degrees from the installed orientation of the riser, which is 11 degrees from vertical. See Figure 2. The maximum operating pressure is 2160 psi and the maximum operating temperature is 100 degrees F.

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