The objective of this paper is to answer the questions posed and in doing so create an awareness of the necessity to use reliability based design when looking at vessel operating windows rather than working stress design which has been used for marine drilling riser analysis and design for many decades. In answering, this paper presents several case studies of drilling riser stresses and operating windows when drilling to access reservoirs with pressure greater than 15,000 psi and up to 20,000 psi. This paper examines the need for full and proper use of a more probabilistic design over working stress design for a set of water depth, subsea equipment, environments and loading conditions.

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