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Proceedings of the Nineteenth (2009) International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference Osaka, Japan, June 21-26, 2009 Copyright

© 2009 by The International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers (ISOPE) ISBN 978-1-880653-53-1 (Set); ISSN 1098-618

Latest Developments in Upheaval Buckling Analysis for Buried Pipelines
James Wang, Ayman Eltaher, Paul Jukes, Jason Sun, and F. Steven Wang
Advanced Engineering Group, J P Kenny Houston, TX, USA

Upheaval buckling (UHB) of a buried offshore pipeline occurs when the pipeline is subject to high axial compression from thermal expansion. Predicting possible upheaval buckling is key to proper design of a buried pipeline and can be complicated because of uncertainties in the soil properties and pipeline vertical profile as well as because of various project requirements. Upheaval buckling, if not predicted and mitigated, results in significant damage to the pipeline, which leads to expensive remediation and intervention work. This paper describes latest developments in upheaval buckling analysis and a state-of-the-art finite element (FE) tool/model that has been developed as part of the SIMULATOR, J P Kenny’s in-house pipeline analysis package. The FE model is designed to simulate pipeline upheaval buckling for different pipeline configurations (single, pipe-inpipe, straight pipeline, pipeline with expansion loops, etc.) under various conditions. The analysis methodology, which involves an integration of a global model of the pipeline and a local representation (FE model or an analytical solution) of the potential upheaval location, is presented. Also presented are key features of the FE model; a comparison study between predictions from the FE predictions and available analytical solutions; design challenges related to conceptual, detailed and construction phases; and of seabed imperfections; efficiency of expansion loops; and importance of safety factors. Conclusions are then drawn as to the importance of various design conditions and scenarios, so the required soil cover and/or rock dump can be accurately estimated. This paper expands the understanding of the response of buried high temperature pipelines, and the literature survey, analysis results and conclusions presented in this paper provide general guidance to designing these pipelines against upheaval buckling.

a b d f3 m OD WT Expansion Loop Dimension Expansion Loop Dimension Expansion Loop Spacing Design Factor Stress Ratio, σh / σy Pipe Outer Diameter Wall Thickness Hoop Stress von-Mises stress Temperature Derated Yield Strength



A buried (or trenched and backfilled) pipeline is subject to buckling if the adjacent net soil restraint is incapable of countering the translated effect of thermally induced axial expansion. Should lateral restraint exceed vertical uplift restraint - a product of pipeline weight per unit length, pipeline bending stiffness and soil cover - a pipeline may become unstable and dramatically move in the vertical plane. This phenomenon is described as upheaval buckling. If, however, the vertical uplift restraint exceeds lateral restraint, resultant pipeline expansion would feed into buckling sites in the lateral plane. The occurrence of upheaval buckling is a result of pipeline out-ofstraightness, which may be introduced as a result of trench bed imperfections, mill-derived pipe-joint deflection and/or girth weld misalignment. Prediction of upheaval buckling is key to the safety and integrity of pipeline projects. Details of the procedure are discussed in a number of publications (Nielsen et. al., 1988; Nielsen and Lyngberg, 1990; and Saadawi, 2001). More papers are listed in Reference section. In onshore projects, mitigation measures are used such as incorporating

KEY WORDS: ABAQUS, Boundary Condition (BC), Finite Element (FE), Limit State Function (LSF), Monte Carlo Simulation, Structural Reliability Analysis (SRA), Upheaval Buckling (UHB)