1. Introduction

Risers are conduits required to transfer materials from the seafloor to production and drilling facilities on the water surface, as well as from the facility to the seafloor. Subsea risers are a kind of pipeline developed specifically for this type of vertical transportation. Whether serving as production or delivery vehicles, risers are the connection between the subsea field developments and the production and drilling facilities. Although they may be similar to subsea pipelines, risers are different because, 1. They are subject to environmental loading along the water column, 2. Subject to platform deflections, 3. And they·re typically subject to more stringent acceptance criteria due to their location and criticality. 2. Types of Risers There are a number of different risers, which include attached risers, pull tube risers, steel catenary risers, top-tensioned risers, riser towers and flexible risers, as well as drilling risers. 

Attached Risers ² Used on Fixed Platforms, Concrete gravity Structures & Compliant Towers. Steel Catenary Risers ² Connect Seafloor facilities to production facilities above as well as two floating production platforms. Top Tensioned Risers ² Completely vertical systems that terminate directly below the facility. Flexible & Hybrid Risers ² Ideal for floating facilities as vertical & horizontal movement take place. Single Line Offset Risers ² Relatively new, consists of a vertical steel riser section connected by a jumper to the production vessel. Drilling Risers ² Connect the subsea BOP stack at the bottom to the rig at the top, and transport the drilling fluid to surface.

3. Riser Selection Based on the terrain requirements, the production facility(FPSO) & the deep water depths in the Perth Canyon, the only option is to use a Flexible Riser. Flexible Risers have the following characteristics,  Applied to water depths up to 8000 ft, high pressure up to 680 bar & temperatures above 65°C.  Ability to withstand large vessel motions in adverse weather conditions.  Has low relative bending to axial stiffness due to use of many layers of different materials for pipe wall fabrication which slip past each other under influence of external & internal loads.  Has advantages like prefabrication & storage on reels, which leads to reduced transport & installation costs.

4. Installation A Flexible riser·s body is built of a number of independent spiral laid steel and thermo-plastic layers and an outer carcass; this beneficial feature gives it the ability to accommodate high curvature, allowing ease of installation and accommodation of dynamic motions. The installation of the flexible risers in deepwater is limited by the collapse resistance of the pipe as it is installed empty to keep the riser weight within the laying vessel·s tensioning capacity. Their flexibility allows them to be spooled continuously on to a reel for efficient and quick transportation and installation. The riser is then rolled out onto the sea floor and is wet stored, it is simply lifted from the seabed and connected to the host vessel when it is brought on station. 

Installation speeds can average 500m per hour. They can be installed from a large number of reel lay vessels. The riser will be laid in a J-lay fashion and will be configured to be in a Lazy wave or a Steep wave depending on the pipeline termination assembly. Essential devices such as Top Stiffeners and End Fittings will be installed to increase the stiffness of the riser and prevent overbending of the riser beyond its allowable bend radius.

5. Maintenance     

Waves and vessel motions cause fatigue damage to the riser, therefore detailed fatigue analysis are periodically carried out. The carcass and steel armour wires of the flexible riser are not very susceptible to corrosion but corrosion preventative maintenance will be carried out when required. Hydrocarbon carrying pipes are susceptible to the formation of wax or hydrate deposits therefore pigging will be performed when required. To prevent the build-up of gases in the annulus due to diffusion, a venting system is incorporated into the pipe structure to enable the annulus gases to be vented out to atmosphere through valves. Systems like HIPPS and Integrity will be in place.

5. Reliability A Riser is a critical structure in the subsea production system, although the fatigue life of the riser is usually 10 times its service life, fatigue remains as the most critical concern, hence periodic fatigue analysis is carried out regularly. Usually a riser monitoring system is designed to monitor the following,  Environment & Vessel induced riser response.  Riser/soil interaction.  Specific component performance.  Fatigue concern.

6. Costing Equipment Cost of the Riser Cost (A$) Depends on the length, for which the FPSO positioning is needed.(Cost per metre is $2600 for 9µ thickness) Approx 150,000/km 5 - 700,000 (limited data, 3yr life)

Cost for J-lay HIPPS (including all pipeline downstream of manifold)