For deepwater offshore drilling operations, planning and operations must take into account the necessary time required to pull the drilling riser in case of an emergency. Operational limitations prevent the complete recovery of the riser prior to location evacuation, and physical limitations may cause a riser to stress fail catastrophically if hung off. Uncertainties in predicting the size and course of storms combined with the above limitations severely restrict the operational envelope of deepwater riser drilling. Both operators and contractors would benefit from a system that would allow a riser to be abandoned and later re-entered easily in deepwater.

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