Offshore exploration and production of oil and gas continue to increase and move into ever deeper water. Steel catenary risers (SCRs) are one of the most cost effective type of risers in deep water. However, high sensitivity to vessel motions and hydrodynamic loading in the touchdown zone may limit the feasibility of SCR applications. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the use of Lazy-wave catenary riser (LWR) due to their better fatigue performance in the touchdown zone through the damping effect of the buoyancy section.

The design of LWR involves numerous parameters that lead to a wide range of configurations. Each of these configurations needs to be evaluated against several criteria with respect to geometry, strength and fatigue for instance. This paper presents how tools recently proposed to improve the design of standard SCRs can be extended to benefit LWR applications. The dimensionless groups governing the structural response of LWRs are established in the aim of easing sensitivity analysis to key input parameters for LWR design, assisting experiments and reducing the number of numerical simulations. Moreover, the DAF (dynamic amplification factor) approach for dynamic response which has previously been explored for SCRs could also be used to simplify design of LWRs. As DAF relies on the analytical determination of static response, this framework shows that analytical boundary layer solutions in conjunction with the use of a Winkler type soil model can efficiently and accurately predict the static stress range of LWRs observed in the TDZ.

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