Steel catenary risers (SCR) are used in deepwater oil and gas developments to transfer produced fluids from the seabed to surface facilities. SCRs can be subject to fatigue loading from a variety of sources including wave and tidal motion, vortex induced vibration (VIV) and operating loads. When the produced fluids are sour (ie contain water and H2S) higher fatigue crack growth rates (FCGR) are expected, and this can have a significant effect on defect tolerance. The aim of this paper is to provide guidance on the current best practice methods for performing engineering critical assessments (ECA) on internal surface breaking defects in SCRs operating in a sour environment and subject to VIV fatigue loads. Example ECA calculations are presented for circumferential girth weld flaws, based on the failure assessment diagram (FAD) approach within the framework of BS 7910 . The influence of certain key input variables is demonstrated, including the FCGR, determined from recent sour test data generated as part of this research.