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Materials and design of high strength pipelines

Yong Bai
Stavanger University College, Stavanger, Norway
Gerhard Knauf
Mannesmann Forschungsinstitut, Duisburg, Germany
Hans-Georg Hillenbrand
Europipe, Ratingen, Germany
Materials and Design of High Strength Pipelines
Yong Bai
Stavanger University College, Stavanger, Norway
Gerhard Knauf
MFI (Mannesmann Forschungsinstitut), Duisburg, Germany
Hans-Georg Hillenbrand
Europipe, Ratingen, Germany
The demand for high-strength linepipe for
offshore applications has increased considerably
because of the challenges that the offshore
pipelines should be contracted in ever-deeper
waters and that for reasons of reducing
operational costs pipelines should be operated at
increased pressures. The development of new
steels and improved pipe manufacturing
capabilities enable high strength linepipe with
appropriate toughness to be supplied.
In this paper, the following subjects related to the
use of high strength linepipe are discussed:
Materials properties
Evaluation of the use of high strength steel
from design viewpoints;
Assessment of loading conditions for
installation and in-service conditions;
Development of additional design criteria
for the subjects not covered by codes, e.g.
strength design of linepipes with yield
The paper describes practical considerations on
material properties, design loads, code
requirements and concludes with the
developments in design criteria for strength
design of high strength pipes with yield
KEYWORDS: Linepipe, Materials, Design, High
The demand for high-strength linepipe for
offshore applications has increased considerably
because of the challenges that the offshore
pipelines should be constructed in ever-deeper
waters and that for reasons of reducing
operational costs pipelines should be operated at
increased pressures. The development of new
steels and improved pipe manufacturing
capabilities enable high strength linepipe with
appropriate toughness to be supplied.
These developments cover linepipe for both sour
and non-sour service. The materials under
consideration are grades X70 and X80 for non-
sour service and grades X65 and X70 with a wall
thickness of up to 40 mm for sour service.
Apart from structural strength, key considerations
Toughness of parent linepipe material and all
welded joints;
Corrosion performance of lines that operate
Weldability, including repairs and hyperbaric
Compatibility with external environment;
Availability of bends and fittings required to
complete a piping system;
Suitability for operational modifications
repairs and hot taps;
In this paper, materials properties and practical
design considerations will be given. The
anisotropy with respect to tensile properties of
linepipe and longitudinal and hoop design loads
will be discussed for S- and J-laid pipelines.
Existing codes have been evaluated and areas of
improvement have been identified. Finally, an
analytical capacity equation is outlined to design
pipe with yield anisotropy.
The desire to increase the through-put by
increasing the operating pressure or by
increasing the usage factor has led to ever
increasing demands for large-diameter steel pipe.
These requirements refer in particular to strength
properties and tolerances on dimensions. At the
same time, it is endeavored not to compromise
on operational safety and even to improve it,
where possible.
Thanks to the intensive research and
development work carried out and the quality
assurance measures consistently implemented in
pipe production, it has been possible so far to
meet the requirements placed by the market.
However, the limits of physical and technical
feasibility have almost been reached when
producing high strength pipe that can meet the
ever-increasing requirements. As the strength
increases, it becomes extremely difficult, if not
impossible to achieve the specified limits for the
yield-to-tensile ratio or to fulfill increased
toughness requirements.
In addition to the tensile properties in the
transverse direction, the tensile properties in the
longitudinal direction of the pipe play a crucial role
in the context of offshore pipelines. This fact has
been taken into account in the usual offshore
pipeline codes in that the values specified for
yield and tensile strength for the longitudinal
direction are the same as those specified for the
transverse direction. So far, the anisotropy with
respect to the strength properties of the pipe
produced by the UOE method has not been taken
into account adequately in the codes.
Figure 1 shows schematically the yield and tensile
strength frequency distribution curves for the
transverse and longitudinal directions for plate
and pipe. Because of the elongation of the
microstructure in the rolling direction, the yield
and tensile strength values for the longitudinal
direction are lower than those for the transverse
Figure 1. Comparison of strength distributions for plate
and pipe specimens in transverse and longitudinal
As a result of the pipe forming and subsequent
cold expanding, there is a marginal increase in
the tensile strength for both directions and in yield
strength for the longitudinal direction. In contrast,
the yield strength of the transverse, flattened strip
specimen is reduced. Comparison of these data
with those for the round bar specimen indicates
that the reduction of the yield strength in the case
of the strip specimen can be attributed to the
Bauschinger effect resulting from the flattening
operation of the specimen prior to the tensile test.
The anisotropy described and its development in
the course of pipe forming is typical of standard
pipe and depends on the material grade, chemical
composition and pipe geometry. This dependency
is readily seen in the case of low carbon sour
service grades.
Figure 2 shows, by way of example, the
distribution curves determined on a production lot
of grade X65 pipe intended for sour service. As
can be seen, the distributions for the transverse
specimens are shifted to the right relative to
those for the longitudinal specimens. It had been
necessary to optimize the rolling process to raise
the strength values for the transverse specimens
so that the tensile requirements specified for the
transverse specimens are also met by the
longitudinal specimens.
Figure 2. Results on 610 mm OD x 14.3 mm W.T. X65
production line pipe for sour service (PH3).
Such measures adopted to compensate for the
anisotropy result in pipe with transverse strength
properties corresponding to those of a next
higher material grade. Of course, these
measures are cost intensive and may have an
unfavorable effect on other material properties
(toughness, Y/T, corrosion resistance).
It is therefore prudent to check whether the
pipeline design can tolerate the anisotropy in that
6,5 8,5 10,5 12,5 14,5 16,5
Yield strength, transverse
7 9 11 13 15 17
Tensile strength, transverse
5 7 9 11 13 15
Yield strength, longitudinal
4 6 8 10 12 14
Tensile strength,longitudinal
Pipe : strip specimen
Plate : strip specimen
Pipe : round bar spec.
460 490 520 550 580
Yield strenght, transverse
520 550 580 610 640
Tensile strength, transverse
460 490 520 550 580
Yield strength, longitudinal
520 550 580 610 640
Tensile strength, longitudinal
it can accept reduced yield and tensile strength
values for the longitudinal direction.
Review of the Usage of High Strength Steel
Linepipes in Offshore Pipelines
For offshore pipelines, the current trend is
towards linepipe in grade X70 with a wall
thickness up to 40 mm. Fulfillment of the
requirements for DWTT transition temperature
will be progressively difficult as the wall thickness
increases. For wall thickness in excess of 30
mm, low transition temperatures can only be
achieved by means of highly expensive rolling
Until now, there has been only limited offshore
use of X70 material. The main installation
contractors have completed three projects with
X70 and have two planned until 1997. Again,
these references are only indicative and not
One example use of X70 linepipe in offshore
applications is the Britannia pipeline for which
Europipe supplied the linepipe. The Britannia field
is a gas condense reservoir in the Central North
Sea approximately 200 km northeast of
Aberdeen and 45 km north of Forties.
The Gas Export Pipeline, 682.4 mm OD 15.9
mm WT, is 186 km long. The pipeline design
pressure is 179.3 barg and the design life of the
pipeline is 30 years. The pipe grade is X70. The
mechanical properties of the pipe used are given
in Figure 3. The pipeline was subject to reliability-
based limit state design techniques in order to
justify a wall-thickness thinner than that permitted
by BS8010. The Britannia pipelines were
completed in 1997.
Figure 3. Production results on 682.4 mm OD x
15.9 mm W.T., API grade X70 linepipe.
Another large offshore project in grade X70 is the
pipeline in the North Sea operated by Statoil,
connecting Karst, Norway, together with
Dornum, Germany. This pipeline has a length of
600 km and is built of pipe 42 x 25 to 30 mm WT.
Europipe completed in the 1990's the
development of grade X80 pipe 48" in OD and
18.3 to 19.4 mm in wall thickness for onshore
pipelines. It has been demonstrated that it is
feasible to manufacture commercially large
diameter X80 pipe consistently for long
transmission pipelines, see Grf and Hillenbrand
As regards offshore applications, a series of
pipes have been supplied for qualification testing
with respect to pipelaying. Use of X80 linepipe for
offshore field development is being qualified by a
joint industry project EXPIPE.
For low-alloy steel pipelines operating in sour
service, X65 is currently the established material.
Special treatment in the steelmaking shop and
fulfillment of special requirements for chemical
composition help prevent the formation of
nucleation sites for HIC. Production trials show
big potential for the development of higher grades
up to X80 for slightly sour conditions, see Grf
and Hillenbrand (2000).
Potential Benefits of Using High Strength
It is clear that the obvious advantage for using
higher strength steels is cost saving. However,
new approaches to design, manufacture and
construction and the use of high-grade materials
will expose potential pipeline projects to
increased levels of technical and commercial
risks. This section of the paper identifies the
benefits and disadvantages associated with the
use of high strength steels.
Potential Cost Reduction
Increasing the grade of linepipe used for
construction of a pipeline provides the opportunity
to reduce overall material costs. The cost
reduction is based on the premise that increasing
material yield strength reduces the wall thickness
required for internal pressure containment and
hence the overall quantity of steel required. The

implications of using high-grade material are
considered in relation to linepipe manufacturing
and pipeline construction.
A published study (Price (1993)), which
considered both direct and indirect
consequences of using a high strength steel,
suggested a 7.5% overall project saving for a 42-
inch offshore line laid with X80 instead of X65.
Although the X80 pipe cost 10% more per ton, it
was 6% less per meter. Further savings were
identified for transportation, welding
consumables, welding equipment rental and
overall lay time.
On the recently completed Britannia gas pipeline,
cost studies during detailed engineering showed
that by increasing the linepipe material grade
from X65 to X70, an approximate cost reduction
of US$ 3.5 million could be achieved. The project
CAPEX is approximately US$ 225 million.
Although not directly related to the use of high
strength material, other potential cost savings
identified in the same study include:
Tighter than normal (API 5L) definition of
dimensions. Consideration should be given
to reducing linepipe tolerances on ovality
and wall thickness from API 5L
requirements. The actual tolerances
required will be determined by evaluating
potential cost reductions anticipated during
pipeline construction and mechanical
design, compared to the expected increase
in linepipe manufacturing.
Use of fracture mechanics acceptance
criteria for determination of maximum
allowable defect sizes in pipeline girth
welds. Traditionally, the acceptance criteria
for weld defects are based on workmanship
standards. More recently, alternative
criteria such as Engineering Criticality
Assessment (ECA) have been used to
determine the acceptability of defects, see
Knauf and Hopkins (1996).
Non-standard pipeline diameters should be
considered. Optimization of the pipe ID
based on modeling of the pipelines in
detailed design may demonstrate that the
linepipe cost can be reduced by procuring
pipe of the exact ID required as opposed to
selecting the larger standard size, for
examples on the Britannia gas pipeline.
Conversely, it may be of benefit to modify
the design flowrates to enable selection of a
more economical size of pipe.
A quick and reliable inspection of girth welds is
required in the context of pipelaying, especially of
high strength pipe. There have been considerable
advancements in recent years in this field.
Starting from conventional radiography, the NDT
equipment used for pipeline inspection has been
improved. Radiography systems are available
which produce a real-time image of the weld
being inspected. Such systems can also be used
for the quality control of production welds in pipe
manufacture, followed by automated evaluation of
the data. As an alternative to radiography, high-
speed ultrasonic inspection is available. The
radiographic images and also the ultrasonic
indications are stored electronically and offer
instant retrieval. The time to inspect each weld is
reduced compared to traditional methods, and
thereby significantly reducing construction costs.
Wall Thickness and Construction
Given two similar design conditions, increasing
the grade of linepipe in simplistic terms will
correspondingly decrease the wall thickness and
therefore provide cost benefits. In addition to this,
a thinner wall thickness will also have various
impacts on construction activities. A thinner wall
thickness will require less field welding and
therefore, in theory, has the potential to reduce
construction/lay time.
Increasing the material grade and strength of
linepipe is beneficial to laying pipe in deeper
waters. Furthermore, certain projects can only be
implemented with pipe having reduced weight and
optimized strength and toughness.
The maximum water depth by conventional S-lay
method is being stretched to the extent that
ALLSEAS have installed a 12-inch pipeline using
X70 steel in 1600 m water depth in the Gulf of
Mexico. However, it is questionable that the same
lay method can be used for a larger pipe diameter
in the same water depth. It is widely
acknowledged that the J-lay method is the most
suitable for laying pipe in waters beyond 1000 m.
A thinner wall thickness has a direct impact on
this installation method since the requirements for
lay barge tensioners is related to the water depth
and weight of pipe.
Pigging Requirements
The thicker walled sections of the pipeline in
deeper waters may restrict the full capabilities of
intelligent pigging. There is a limitation on the wall
thickness depending on the type of pigging tool
used, which can be overcome by the use of high-
strength steels
Potential Disadvantages of Using
High Strength Steels
Limited Suppliers
The worldwide availability of proven suppliers for
material grades above X70 is relatively limited.
Welding Restrictions
With regards to the weldability of X80 steel, there
is a medium risk of schedule extension and cost
increase since it has only been used on a small
number of onshore projects and there is no
experience offshore. Welding to the required
quality may be slowed by more process
restrictions and more complex controls. Due to
the limited worldwide experience of welding X80
linepipe, certain key welding issues will have to be
addressed in further studies, particularly that of
welding consumables.
Limited Offshore Installation Capabilities
The number of offshore pipelay contractors with
proven experience of welding X70 steel linepipe
is limited. Additionally, the experience of laying
deepwater pipelines by the J-lay method is limited
to relatively small diameter pipelines.
Fatigue and Fracture of High Strength Steel
While an onshore pipeline is essential subjected
to fatigue essentially due to internal pressure
fluctuations, an offshore pipeline experiences
fatigue stresses in the form of longitudinal tension
and bending. Fatigue life under offshore
conditions is used as the basis for many of the
limits placed on pipeline strength design. These
limits have often been established based on
empirical data from tests on low strength steels,
with a safety margin applied. In general, the ability
of steels to resist fatigue failure increases with
increasing strength. But, the notch severity
increases with increasing strength, a finding that
is of significance to the configuration of the girth
weld in the context of the fatigue life of offshore
Pipe materials, as a rule, should possess
adequate toughness to prevent the initiation and
the propagation of long-running fractures in the
pipeline, see Re et al (1995), ISO 3138 and DNV
OS F101 (2000). For pipes with increasing
strength also an increasing toughness level is
required. This relationship is also valid for girth
welds, i.e. with increasing strength of linepipe,
weld metals of increased strength and sufficient
toughness are required to ensure overmatching
behavior of girth welds.
The objectives of this chapter are to describe the
longitudinal loads acting on pipelines as below:
S-lay installation loads;
J-lay installation loads;
Reeling installation loads;
In-service loads for cold pipelines;
In-service loads for HP/HT (high pressure
high temperature) pipelines.
For large diameter pipelines, the preferred
installation method is S-lay when water depth is
shallower than e.g. 500 m. For deepwater
installation, J-lay is considered more suitable
because it demands less laying tension. The lay
rate for S-lay is 2-3 times faster than J-lay.
Typically a lay rate for S-lay is 3 km per day and a
day rate is approximately 3 millions NOK (0.4
millions USD) for both S-lay and J-lay.
Unless specifically defined, strain is meant to
be total strain.
Installation Loads for S-laid Pipelines
For deep water pipe lay with S-lay method, the
pipes departure angle on the stinger has to be
increased to minimize tension requirements and
provide seabed maneuverability. The requirement
of stinger departure angle is linked to the
minimum curvature radius, or laying strain
criterion. Less conservative laying strain
criterion, is being developed by Deepipe JIP,
Expipe JIP and design projects by operators and
engineering companies.
Recent research projects document that
allowable static strain may be 0.28%. Due to a
reduction of strain hardening for high strength
steel, the allowable laying strain for high strength
pipe is lower than that for X65 pipes. Further
research is therefore required to study the
feasibility of relaxing strain criterion for high
strength pipe in deep water.
High strength steels are beneficial both with
respect to wall-thickness sizing and less tension
requirements resulting from smaller weight during
installation. The limiting failure modes with
respect to pipeline installation are considered to
Girth weld fracture from weld defects;
Concrete tensile failure due to overstressing;
Low cycle fatigue due to installation and
in-service load cycling;
Buckling as a result of external-over pressure in
Collapse due to bending moment and internal
pressure during operation.
The girth welds are the potential week section if
one of the following situations is presented during
Strain concentration due to heavy concrete
coating or use of thick buckle arrestors;
Fracture due to less strict requirements of weld
defect inspection and repair;
Fatigue due to long holding period in a rough
wave condition during installation.
The assessment of acceptable defect depth and
length represents a key element evaluating the
strain level that can be accepted on the stinger
and during in-service condition. The acceptable
defect sizes depend heavily on the material
strength and fracture toughness. These material
properties are associated with significant
statistical scatter and systematic variations
around the girth weld. Two kinds of laboratory
tests can be useful to justify an increase of
allowable tensile strain:
Ductile fracture tests for improved fracture
resistance assessment;
Low-cycle fatigue tests.
Installation Loads for J-laid Pipelines
The J-lay method involves installing pipeline in a
vertical mode from a dynamically positioned
vessel and therefore allows installation in water
depth beyond the limits of the S-lay and Reeling
The feasibility of vertical J-pipelay, in particular
from smaller vessels, was examined by DeepStar
JIP (Ekvall et al, 1994) for deepwater installation.
The pipe diameter for such deepwater pipelines
is typically 10 to 20 while that in the case of the
current Blue stream project in the Black Sea is
24. The major technical difficulties are e.g.
strength against collapse under combined loads,
vessel positioning, stinger integrity, and pipe
handling. For vertical J-lay, the vessel can be
oriented arbitrarily with respect to the pipeline
route to minimize the wind and wave forces acting
on the vessel, allowing J-lay installation to
continue under a wider range of weather
conditions. For offshore pipeline installation,
regardless of the pipelay method, a stinger is
normally used to control the deflection of the
suspended pipe span and to keep the bending
strains within an acceptable limit. A shorter and
less curved stinger is required for J-laying
(compared to S-laying) pipelines in deep waters,
since the pipe span lifts off at a less steep angle.
The maximum bending stress along the
suspended span occurs in the sagbend or around
the stinger.
A major design concern is that pipe strength in
the sagbend is very sensitive to collapse during a
vertical J-lay installation, since the pipe in this
region is subjected to very high stresses due to
combined bending and external pressure.
At the touchdown point, the stress due to change
of the configuration as well as contact force from
the seabed, can be very high. This may induce
some cross-sectional ovalisation that may further
reduce pipe collapse strength. At the touchdown
point, the bending collapse is a displacement-
controlled situation. The laying strain-limit may be
determined using external pressure curvature
interaction equations. Typical strain is 0.2%
during J-installation of pipelines.
Fatigue loads should also be included to design
for an abnormal weather situation, where cyclic
loads may be repeated if the pipe is on-hold for a
long period, due to e.g. repair needs. The
calculation of fatigue loads may be conducted
using dynamic installation analysis.
The methods of strength design for S-laying
installation, as discussed earlier, are generally
applicable to J-laying situations.
Installation Loads for Reeled Flowlines
Strain Level During Reeling
The different stages of the reeling process are:
Reeling on;
Reeling off;
Pipe passing the entry guide and ;
Bending at pipe straightener.
Strain as Pipe is Lowered to the Seabed
As in traditional S-lay, the reeled pipe may be
bent as it passes over a stinger leaving the
vessel, and bent in the opposite direction as it
meets the seabed. These bending scenarios are
often referred to as overbend and sagbend,
Strain During Pressure Testing
Prior to putting a pipeline into operation the pipe
will be hydrotested to a test pressure higher than
normal operating pressure. The procedure and
the test pressure depend on the pipeline code
used for design. The longitudinal strain at a hydro
test is about 0.2% and the equivalent stress is
close to SMYS (Specified Minimum Yield Stress)
at critical locations (e.g. spans) in a hydro test.
In-service Loads for Cold Pipelines
For cold pipelines, the in-service loads are:
Fatigue due to extensive repair period or rough
wave conditions during installations;
Functional loads (e.g. pressure, temperature,
weight and support reaction);
Environmental loads (e.g. wave and current
Accidental loads (e.g. impacts, dropped objects,
explosion, fire and anchoring);
Trawling loads (fishing gear loads during impact,
pull-over and hooking process).
The internal pressure may be reversibly
estimated from wall-thickness and material grade
using (pressure containment) hoop stress
criterion. Typically internal pressure is 200 barg
for gas export lines and 350 barg for infield
flowlines, although the exact value is to be given
case by case. The intention to list the above
values is to show that high pressure in offshore
pipelines is far higher than that experienced in
onshore pipelines.
The weight is to be estimated considering the
volume of steel, pipe contents density, coating
thickness and density. The contact force between
a cold pipeline and the seabed may be simply
calculated based on force equilibrium.
The wave and current loads on pipeline are
estimated using Morissons equations given by
design codes. The wave and current velocities
are calculated based on water depth and the gap
distance between the pipe and the seabed.
Again, equations are available from the codes to
calculate wave and current velocities. Statistical
values are used to estimate leads:
For ultimate strength analysis, the extreme
values corresponding to n years return period
are used;
For fatigue strength analysis, characteristic
values are used;
For design against accidental loads, normal
operating loads are to be used;
For design against fishing gear pull-over loads,
loads corresponding to the specific span
heights are to be used.
The characteristic fatigue loads for cold pipelines
Cyclic loads during installation phase, e.g.
induced by wave loads or reeling loads;
Cyclic loads due to free-spans, e.g. due to
vortex-induced vibrations or caused by cyclic
wave force in a shallow water.
For cold pipelines, the temperature induced axial
displacement is negligible. It is perhaps correct to
assume that the typical normal operating loads
are internal pressure. However, global buckling
(e.g. upheaval buckling & lateral buckling) should
not be excluded from design if operating pressure
is high and soil friction is low.
Unless fishing gear loads are large, longitudinal
loads are not a demanding requirement. Normally
very little seabed intervention is required for the
safety of a pipeline in operating conditions.
Unfortunately for design of pipelines in the North
Sea, pull-over loads are governing design
parameter where fishing activities are frequent
and water depth is less than 350 m. The pull-over
loads consist of vertical (downward) component
and horizontal component. Both are functions of
span height, and trawling velocity. The time-
history of the pull-over loads are available from
design guidelines made by the pipeline industry.
As daily practice in design offices, finite element
in-place analysis is conducted to estimate the
structural response due to fishing gear pull-over
loads, and comparisons with limit-state design
criteria are carried out to ensure the structural
response is acceptable.
In-service Loads for HP/HT Pipelines
HP/HT (High Pressure High Temperature)
pipelines are defined as
Design internal-over pressure is
t D

8 . 0 SMYS
Operating temperature is 130C and above.
The HP/HT pipelines are typically infield flowlines
where oil and gas are transported without
expensive cooling process.
Seawater is a good cooling system. At a distance
of a couple of kilometers from a platform or a
template, the temperature of the pipe containment
becomes lower than 10 C.
As for cold pipelines, the in-service loads for
HP/HT pipelines are:
Functional loads (e.g. pressure, temperature,
weight and support reaction);
Environmental loads (e.g. wave and current
Accidental loads (e.g. impacts, dropped
objects, explosion, fire and anchoring);
Trawling loads (fishing gear loads during
impact, pull-over and hooking process).
Differences between Cold Lines
and HP/HT lines
In the following, the difference between HP/HT
pipelines and cold pipelines are described:
The major difference is temperature-
induced strain and thermal buckling. As
known by pipeline industry for many years, a
HP/HT pipeline may experience upheaval
buckling if the pipeline is rock-covered.
Lateral buckling (snaking) may occur if the
line is free on the seabed.
Design of HP/HT pipeline against fishing
gear loads becomes a crucial issue since
large stress and moment may be observed
under pull-over loading and the pipeline
industry does not allow strain-based design
for pull-over loads yet. The moment criteria
for load-controlled situations from design
codes are rather conservative.
Seabed intervention cost for protection of
in-service pipeline is governed by pull-over
Strain level in operating flowlines
The main source of cyclic loading during
operation is repeated heating-up and cooling-
down due to shut-downs/start-ups. For a pipe
laying on the seabed with no rock cover, the
thermal expansion may cause the pipe to deform
laterally or feed pipe into free-spans, resulting in
bending strain. Similarly, for a fully constrained
buried pipeline there will be radial and hoop strain
variations resulting from the start-up/shut-down
Summary of Loads and Load Combinations
Reeling Maximum
2% longitu-
dinal strain
& local
For small
S-Lay Maximum
0.3 %
in sag-
J-lay Maximum
0.3 %
for sagbend
in sagbend
For deep
large &
small pipe
0.3% strain
or stress
of 0.9
stress of
for sea-
bed inter-
0.3% strain
or stress
of 0.9
stress of
for sea-
bed inter-
Table 1. Summary of Installation and Operation
Limit-state Design of Offshore Pipelines
Limit state based strength criteria may be
developed for pipelines covering the potential
failure modes:

Out of roundness for serviceability;
Bursting due to internal pressure, longitudinal
force and bending;
Buckling/collapse due to pressure,
longitudinal force and bending;
Fracture of welds due to bending/tension;
Low-cycle fatigue due to shut-downs;
Ratcheting due to reeling and shut-downs;
Accumulated plastic strain.
The limit-states are to be defined for the following
load situations:
Installation condition;
Empty condition;
Water filled condition;
Pressure test condition;
Operational conditions;
Shut-down conditions.
The strength criteria are to be defined for the
following design situations:
Static and dynamic installation criteria;
In-place behavior;
Trawl pull-over response;
Static free-spans;
Dynamic free-spans.
It should be documented that adequate structural
safety is maintained against the potential failure
modes for the given design situations when the
strength criteria developed are satisfied.
Pipe dimensions, operating conditions and
material dictate the allowable moments, stresses
and strains.
The experience from design of North Sea
pipelines is summarized in the following sections.
Experience from Design of Large Diameter
Export Pipelines
The following is a summary of design experience
on loads and strength:
When water depth is less than 350 m, the
wall-thickness design is normally governed
by internal pressure containment
requirement, e.g. hoop stress criterion. In
order to achieve cost saving, it is
necessary to use high strength steel pipe.
When water depth is greater than 350 m, a
study is required to investigate the nonlinear
relation between the costs and steel grade
for different water depths. Higher yield
strength also helps increase the pipe
buckling/collapse capacity for external-over
pressure situations, however, this
relationship is no longer linear.
As long as strain-based design can be
applied for operating conditions, the
longitudinal loads are far below the capacity.
Therefore, the required longitudinal yield
strength is not so high leading to a
potential use of pipes whose hoop yield
strength is far higher than longitudinal yield
When a pipe is under a load-controlled
situation, the buckling/collapse capacity of
the pipe may be assessed using moment
Experience from Design of Infield Flowlines
The following is a summary of design experience
on loads and strength:
Flowlines are typically installed using reeling
methods. A detailed welding qualification
program is required to ensure that no
fracture or local buckling occurs during the
reeling process and there is no threat to the
fatigue strength after line installations.
For small diameter flowlines in the North
Sea, the governing design loads are the
trawling loads. In this instance,
buckling/collapse criteria (moment criteria)
are governing design parameter.
The purpose of this chapter is to describe the
material requirements, and compare the
requirements for longitudinal direction and
circumferential direction. Typically, the material
properties requirement in hoop direction are
related to pressure containment hoop stress
criterion and buckling/collapse under external
pressure, while longitudinal properties are directly
specified for buckling/collapse under bending and
tension, and weldability.
It is beneficial from the viewpoint of
manufacturing to allow hoop yield strength higher
than longitudinal yield strength. In the following,
requirements will be described regarding CTOD,
yield stress, ratio of SMYS and SMTS, fatigue
properties and wall-thickness tolerances.
Material Property Requirement in Hoop
Necessary CTOD value requirements for HAZ
and weld metal are to be established that are
relevant for the specific design conditions with
regard to type and extent of longitudinal weld
defects likely to exist. Typically, the required
CTOD value is established through ECA
(Engineering Criticality Assessment) using British
Standard PD 6493.
The extent of longitudinal weld defects that likely
to exist, is defined in the operators welding
qualification specifications. Typical values are:
depth 3 mm and width minimum of 25 mm and
pipe wall-thickness.
The required CTOD value, as calculated based
on codes, is rather stringent, due to large
scatters in the CTOD values from tests. Practical
experience from field use of the line pipes have,
demonstrated that there has been very little
structural failure due to lack of CTOD value in
hoop direction for line pipes. It is therefore
suggested to closely evaluate the following:
CTOD testing methods, scatters and statistical
evaluation of scatters;
Possibility to reduce the number of CTOD tests;
Safety factors used in ECA determination of
CTOD requirements;
ECA design equations and analysis methods.
Similar observations may be made on the CTOD
requirements for the longitudinal direction.
It is likely that fracture occurs in the weldment.
Then the CTOD requirements made to pipe base
material are not relevant. However, the CTOD
value for HAZ (Heat Affect Zone) may be
relevant for fracture in HAZ. Weldability of the
pipe is a more important parameter than CTOD
Material Property Requirement in
Longitudinal Direction
The CTOD value for line pipes in longitudinal
direction is influential for fracture limit-state when
ECA such as PD6493 is applied to calculate the
limiting loading condition to avoid fracture.
The CTOD value needed to avoid fracture
depends on the extent of girth weld defects likely
to exist and the applied load. For a defect depth
of 3 mm, a wall thickness of 25.4 mm and loading
up to 0.5% total strain a defect length of 177 mm
(7 x wall thickness) was shown to be safe when
CTOD is minimum 0.10 mm, see Knauf and
Hopkins (1996).
The discussions on unstable fracture and CTOD
for hoop direction are also valid for longitudinal
The fact is that the yield stress in longitudinal
direction does not significantly affect pipe
strength as long as strain-based design is
applicable to the design situation. The reasoning
for this statement is that strain acting on pipelines
in operating condition is typically as low as 0.2%
unless the pipeline is under a high pull-over load.
With exception of some special material
problems, the Y/T (SMYS/SMTS) ratio
requirements can be replaced by introducing
strain-hardening parameters such as
and n
used in a Ramberg-Osgood equation. In Bai et al
(1994), a set of equations are given to relate
SMYS and SMTS with strain-hardening
and n.
The material strain-hardening effect may be
accounted for in fracture mechanics assessment
and local buckling/collapse checks through use of
the stress-strain curves. In fact, a set of design
equations was given by Bai et al (1997) and Bai
et al (1999) for local buckling/collapse. In the
papers by Bai et al. (1997, 1999), the effect of
material strain hardening parameter on
buckling/collapse have been discussed in detail.
The level-2 and level-3 failure assessment
diagrams in PD6493 do also account for strain-
hardening effects.
Comparisons of Material Property
Which material properties are dominant in local
buckling/collapse? The answer is dependent on
loads as the following:
For internal pressure containment, hoop SMTS;
For external-pressure induced buckling, hoop
For bending collapse, longitudinal SMYS;
For combined internal pressure and bending,
hoop SMTS;
Longitudinal SMYS & SMTS;
For combined external pressure and bending,
hoop SMYS;
Longitudinal SMYS & SMTS.
Pipe strength under combined internal pressure
and bending is an important design case, if
fishing activities are frequent.
It is difficult to compare the requirements of the
material property in hoop and longitudinal
directions. Rather the following is a discussion
on cost-effectiveness of raising materials
performance in hoop and longitudinal directions.
Raising hoop SMYS will directly result in a
proportional reduction of the required wall-
thickness of the line pipe for water depth
shallower than 350 mm. However, if the design
codes, on buckling/collapse for external-over
pressure case, are further upgraded, this water
depth may be extended from 350 m to 450 m. It is
the authors' opinion that the existing design
equations for external-over pressure situations
are rather conservative. To achieve yield and
tensile strength values that conform to the
requirements, as specified for the transverse
direction, a corresponding increase in the
strength in the longitudinal direction is needed.
This in turn leads to increased production costs
and may lead to difficulties in meeting the
requirements for yield-to-tensile ratio, toughness
and sour service suitability, etc..
As a conclusive remark on materials property
requirements, it is believed that:
The minimum CTOD values in both hoop and
longitudinal directions typically should be
0.1mm; the applicability of lower CTOD
values can be validated by ECA methods.
It is economically beneficial and technically
justifiable that for pipe grades X60 to X80
yield and tensile strength in longitudinal
direction can be lower by up to 10% than
those in the transverse direction for water
depths shallower than 450 m.
For fracture and local/buckling failure modes,
the Y/T value requirement can be removed
if the strength analysis explicitly account for
the difference of strain-hardening whose
parameters (
and n) are a function of
SMYS and SMTS as the equations given in
Bai et al(1997).
As a further study, it is proposed to compare the
Y/T ratio requirements from alternative codes
(e.g. 0.93 from API for onshore pipelines, 0.85
from EPRG and 0.87 from DNV96 guideline). It
is perhaps possible to find some other rational
criteria that can replace the Y/T ratio requirement
in strength design. In order to develop alternative
criteria, it is necessary to understand the
reasoning of using Y/T ratio as a design
Anisotropy has been taken into account for the
first time in the recently established DNV
offshore standard F101 in that the minimum
tensile strength required in the longitudinal
direction has been reduced by 5%, compared to
that in the transverse direction. It should be
endeavoured to pursue other codes to adopt this
approach and to apply this approach also to yield
strength. Reduction of the strength levels in the
order of 10% for the longitudinal direction is
technically justified.
An analytical solution may be derived for the
calculation of the moment capacity of a pipe with
a corrosion defect subjected to internal pressure,
axial force and bending moment. The maximum
capacity is defined in the solution as the moment
at which the entire cross section yields. The
corrosion defect is conservatively assumed to be
symmetrical to the bending plan.
Criteria for buckling/collapse calculations of
corroded pipes with yield anisotropy were derived
by Bai et al (1999).
The moment criteria were re-visited and extended
for design of high strength steel pipes with yield
The paper provides technical information from
linepipe manufacturing and design viewpoints to
promote use of high strength linepipes. The
following is conclusive remarks:
1. Material properties are given for high strength
2. Practical considerations on use of high
strength steel have been given, focusing on
cost impact, welding, material and corrosion
3. Pipeline design loads have been summarized
for S-laid large diameter export lines and
small diameter infield flowlines.
4. The requirements of material properties have
been discussed to justify use of yield
anisotropy line pipe.
5. Strength design equations have been
developed for high strength linepipes that
have yield anisotropy.
6. Regulatory bodies, specifications and design
codes should pay more attention to the
technical feasibility of pipe properties. Close
co-operation among designers, pipelaying
contractors, pipeline operators and pipe
manufacturers should be intensified.
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States for Pipes under Combined Tension and
Bending, International Journal of Offshore and Polar
Engineering, pp.312-319.
3. Bai, Y. Igland, R. and Moan, T. (1997): Tube Collapse
under Combined External Pressure, Tension and
Bending, Journal of Marine Structures, Vol. 10, No.5,
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of Pipes with Yield Anisotropy, Proc. of ISOPE99.
5. DNV (2000): DNV OS-F101, Submarine Pipeline
Systems, Det Norske Veritas.
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Salzer, J.R., and Welsman, B.D. (1994): Evaluation of
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Linepipe and Pipeline Construction.
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(1993): Production of Large-diameter Line Pipe and
Bends for the Worlds First Long Range pipeline in
Grade X80 (GRS 550) PRC/EPRG Ninth Biennial
Joint Technical Meeting on Line Pipe Research,
Houston, Texas, May 11-14
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of Large Diameter Line Pipe - State of The Art and
Future Development Trends Europipe GmbH.
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Development of larger-diameter linepipe for offshore
applications, 3
International Pipeline Technology
Conference, 22-24 May 2000, Brugge, Belgium.
11. Hillenbrand, H.G., Niederhoff, K.A., Amoris, E.,
Perdrix, C., Streisselberger, A. and Zeislmair, U.
(1997): Development of Line Pipe in Grades up to X
100, PRCI-EPRG 11
Biennial Technical Meeting,
Arlington Virginia, April.
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Pipe in Grades up to X100, TM Processed Plate HG
Pipeline Technology, Volume II.
13. ISO 3138-2 (1996): Petroleum and natural gas
industries - Steel pipe for pipelines - Technical
delivery conditions - Part 2: Pipes of requirement class
14. Knauf, G. and Hopkins, P. (1996): The EPRG
Guidelines on the Assessment of Defects in
Transmission Pipeline Girth Welds, 3R international
(35), heft 10-11/1996, pp. 620-624.
15. Pistone, G. R., Vogt, G., Demofonti, G. and Jones
D.G. (1995): EPRG Recommendations for Crack
Arrest Toughness for High Strength Line Pipe Steels,
3R International, Vol. 34 November 10, pp 606 - 611.
16. Re, G., Pistone, V., Vogt, G., Demofonti, G. and
Jones, D.G. (1995): EPRG Recommendation for
crack arrest toughness for high strength line pipe
steels, 3R International (34), Heft 10-11, pp607-611.