Irregular seabed bathymetry around subsea pipelines can lead to the formation of pipeline free spans. When exposed to on-bottom currents these free spans can be subject to Vortex-Induced Vibration (VIV), with consequential effects on the fatigue life of the pipeline. Traditional VIV suppression technologies such as strakes and fairings present installation challenges and durability concerns due to the significant increase in overall diameter associated with the geometric profiles of strakes and fairings.
Longitudinally Grooved Suppression (LGS) technology was developed from a concept stage through to field deployment on active drilling risers (Johnstone et. al., OMAE 2017) . The low profile and VIV suppression abilities of LGS present an opportunity for a more effective and operationally beneficial VIV suppression solution for pipeline free spans. Based on existing Class guidance for assessing pipeline free spans, a simplified framework for assessing free spans with LGS under a response based approach is presented. The simplified assessment implied a suppression efficiency (reduction in vibration amplitude) of up to 80%. An alternative comparative analysis using a force based approach was also performed in SHEAR7 of a bare pipeline and a LGS-wrapped pipeline. The requirements for qualification of new VIV mitigation technologies are also addressed and an example of an actual field installation of the device is presented, on an existing pipeline free span with low seabed clearance.