You are on page 1of 10

OTC 6467

Effect of Jackup Spud Cans on Piles

R.J. Siciliano, J.M. Hamilton, and J.D. Murff, Exxon Production Research Co., and R. Phillips,
U. of Cambridge

Copyright 1990, Offshore Technology Conference

This paper was presented at the 22nd Annual OTC in Houston, Texas, May 7-10, 1990.

This paper was selected for presentation by the OTC Program Committee following review of Information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper,
as presented, have not been reviewed by the Offshore Technology Conference and are sUbject to correction by the author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect
any position of the Offshore Technology Conference or Its officers. Permission to copy is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words. Illustrations may not be copied. The
abstract should contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper is presented.

ABSTRACT spUd can may penetrate to significant depths,

but such depths may not be large in comparison
This paper describes the determination of to the spud can diameter. Therefore, surface
lateral soil displacement profiles surrounding effects may need to be taken into account.
a j ackup rig spud can penetrating in soft Also, unlike penetrating piles where laterally
clay. The displacement profiles were inferred displaced soil moves primarily outward, a spud
from pile moment data obtained from centrifuge can may have soil flow around and above it as
tests which modeled a spud can penetrating it penetrates.
next to three instrumented piles. A beam-
column model that incorporates movable soil In order to address this problem, a series of
supports was employed to infer the soil centrifuge experiments have been initiated at
displacements from the pile moment data. At the Geotechnical Centrifuge Center of the
distances as close as 0.5 spud can radii from University of Cambridge. The objective of the
the spud can edge, the soil displacements were tests is to simulate the penetration of a spud
found to be small (:s 0.02 spud can radii). can adjacent to installed piles. Three piles
The inferred displacements were found to be instrumented with strain gauges along their
consistent with physical measurements within length are used. The piles are spaced at in-
the model. creasing lateral distance away from the spud
can edge. As the spUd can penetrates, the
moment distribution in each of the piles is

In soft clays, independent-leg jackup rig spud The following sections contain a description
cans often penetrate to significant depths. of the test program and present some of the
This causes the displacement and remolding of resul ts. A method of analysis that uses a
large volumes of soil. Where j ackups are beam-column model with movable soil supports
employed in workovers of existing facilities is also described. Using this model and the
or drilling new wells, this soil movement can measured moment data, the associated optimum
place significant loads on in-place founda- lateral soil displacement profiles were
tions. determined for various levels of spud can
penetration and increasing distance from the
The problem of determining the magnitude and spud can edge. The optimum soil displacement
extent of soil movement surrounding the spud profiles were used to construct a generalized
can is difficult. The soil displacements must four-parameter model of displacement as a
also be converted into loads on the piles function of the spUd can penetration and
adjacent to the spud can. Existing analytical distance from the spud can.
and numerical methods for evaluating penetra-
tion of objects in a semi-infinite medium do
not appear well suited for determining the ANALYTICAL STUDIES
soil displacements in this case. A jackup rig
In association with the data interpretation
efforts reported in this paper, several
References and illustrations at end of paper analytical studies were also conducted. Limit


- ---

--------~--- _. ----------------

; - j atf-_-
- --- ~-____:=o_--~

---0------ ---==::.==-=;::.~_.. _----==- ---:;;;:-- ~=-~~~::=---_--:_=-- -- =-

------=- - -~==---::- ---:;:---: - -"'~~

---- -=-=

analysis procedures were used to examine position at the full penetration of 20 centi-
potential failure mechanisms of the spud can meters (20 meters prototype scale). The pile
penetrating the soil. It was concluded that closest to the spud can is also shown in the
extensive remolding of the soil is localized figure.
laterally to within a spud can radius. As
will be shown below, this was supported by The aluminum tube piles are instrumented with
shear strength measurements taken in and strain gauges mounted on the pile exterior and
around the spud can footprint of the centri- wired in a full bridge configuration. The
fuge test. gauges and wiring were protected by a coating
of polyurethane varnish and sealed against
Two additional numerical studies were carried water ingress with heat-shrink tubing. The
out to assess the soil deformation pattern. pile diameter was selected to model a 1.2
In the first of these studies, non-linear meter diameter pile at prototype scale. The
finite element analyses were performed. pile was constructed to have the same bending
Subsequent to the development of the full rigidity (EI - 4700 KN-m 2 ; E - modulus of
collapse load, incremental soil displacements elasticity, I - moment of inertia) of a steel
were determined at yield by an incremental pile with a 40 millimeter prototype wall
displacement of the spud can. These soil thickness. All piles were embedded into the
displacement increments were projected over a clay to a depth of 32 centimeters (32 meters
larger spud can penetration. A series of such prototype scale). The pile closest to the
penetrations were then combined to predict spud can had eleven levels of strain gauges at
soil movement for the complete spud can 26 millimeter spacing. The other two piles
penetration. This approach led to predictions had five levels at 52 millimeter spacing.
that were roughly an order of magnitude
greater than observed values, but the general Mounted on the top of the test package with
shape of the soil displacement profile was the spud can load actuator were devices for
correct. performing in-flight cone penetrometer and
vane shear tests.
At the other extreme, another set of analyses
was conducted assuming linearly elastic soil. A line of vertically inserted lead threads was
The spud can loads were incrementally applied placed in a plane passing through the vertical
at selected penetrations. Using St. Venant's axis of the spud can. These were used to
Principle, it was reasoned that displacements determine gross plastic soil movements and to
away from the spud can due to these loads identify the development of any rupture
should be valid where the response was elas- surfaces as a result of spud can penetration
.tic. Again, the general shape of the dis- and withdrawal. After the test, the soil
placement field was reasonable, but the sample was extruded from the test package and
displacements themselves were roughly an order carved into a 150 millimeter wide section that
of magnitude lower than the measurements. contained the threads. The section was then
X-rayed to determine the distorted shapes of
It was hoped that the intuitive approaches the lead threads.
described above might serve as good engineer-
ing approximations of the process of spud can Clay Sample Preparation
penetration, which is clearly very complex.
Since we did not achieve reasonable quantita- Speswhite fine china kaolin was used as the
tive agreement, further development of these soil test medium (LL - 69 percent, PI - 31
approaches has been deferred. In place, we percent) . The soil sample was prepared so
have simply applied dimensional analysis that at 100g, it would have a linearly in-
techniques to generalize the experimental creasing shear strength profile with a non-
results. Obviously, it would be helpful to zero value at the surface. As measured with
validate these generalizations over a broader the in-flight vane shear device, the shear
range of soil and geometric properties. strength was 9.0 kPa at the surface and in-
creased 1.4 kPa/meter penetration at prototype
The linear shear strength profile was obtained
Kodel Description using a hydraulic gradient technique during
the preconsolidation phase of sample prepara-
Figure 1 illustrates the layout of the piles tion. The required preconsolidation stress
relative to the spud can in the centrifuge was determined from the target shear strength
test package. The spud can was machined from profile and the vertical effective stress in
a solid piece of aluminum and has a prototype the sample at 100g using the following rela-
diameter of 13.7 meters at the centrifuge tionship:
acceleration of 100g. The three instrumented
piles are spaced 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 spud can Su/a~ - 0.19OCRO.67 . . . . . (1)
radii from the edge of the spud can. The
closest pile had a pinned condition at the where Su is the undrained shear strength, a~
pile head, while the other two piles were is the vertical effective stress in the
fixed at the pile head. Figure 2 shows the centrifuge and OCR is the overconsolidation
elevation view of the test arrangement indi- ratio. This equation is based on testing done
cating the initial spud can position and the at the University of Cambridge.


-----==- ~ ~=-~~~::=--::"_--:_~-:~-
- _.~==-- ._.~--'- -==---::-~-~ .-"'~~
-=---==-~----- - -

---- =-=


ANALYSIS MODEL function of the distance from the vertical

center line of the spUd can is shown in Figure
The moment data from the piles were analyzed 3. These measurements were made at 19 after
using a beam-column model with movable soil the spud can had been retracted from the soil
supports which was incorporated into a com- at 100g. Considering depths affected by spud
puter program. The lateral soil resistance is can penetration only, the soil profiles at one
calculated from a modified version of the spud can radius and greater are essentially
Matlock p-y criteria for soft clay (1). The the same, suggesting that there was no re-
modifications account for the linearly in- molding of the soils at those distances.
creasing soil shear strength profile and a However, for the profiles at the spud can
change of the ultimate resistance bearing center line and edge, the undrained strength
factors. A better fit was obtained to data is reduced by about 50 percent from the
from a separate centrifuge study of laterally surface to 14 centimeters penetration at model
loaded piles if the ultimate resistances were scale. At a depth of 18 centimeters model
changed to 6S u and l2S u at the top and bottom scale, the remolded strength at the spud can
respectively, of the zone from the surface to edge is 75 percent of the original strength.
the depth at which the ultimate resistance The differences in the profiles suggest that
bearing factor reaches its maximum value the maximum zone of influence is smaller than
(critical depth). API criterion specifies one spud can radius from the spud can edge.
values of 3S u and 9S u at the top and bottom of
this zone (2). Also included in the figure is the strength
profile obtained in-flight using the vane
The unique aspect of the beam-column model is shear device. This is the strength profile
that the p-y response is governed by the used for the analysis of the moment data.
relative displacement between the deflected Note that the strength of the soil at 19 is
pile under load and the soil displacement considerably lower than the in-flight measured
profile. Given a distribution of soil dis- values. This effect is consistent with other
placements along the embedded length of the observations and is probably related to
pile and the boundary conditions at the top of changes in water content that occur when the
the pile, the program calculates the moment acceleration decreases as the centrifuge is
distribution. The beam-column algorithm was brought to a stop.
also combined with a simplex optimization
algorithm. The soil displacement profile that Moment Data and Inferred Soil Displacement
resulted in the best fit between the moments Profiles
measured in the centrifuge test and those
calculated from the computer program could Figures 4, 5 and 6 show the moment data in the
then be obtained automatically. three piles as measured during spud can
penetration. The measured moments are indi-
The analysis requires a set of specific depths cated by the symbols (*). Spud can penetra-
at which the soil displacements are to be tion increases with the graphs that go up and
determined and interpolates over the length of to the right. The change in the moment
pile in between those points. For example in distribution can be seen as the spud can
this analysis, more displacement evaluation penetrates. Also indicated in the figures are
points were concentrated at depths just above the best fit moment curves from the analysis
and below the penetration of the spUd can. program (solid line). This shows that the
Relatively fewer points were specified at optimized soil displacement solution could
depths near the surface if the spUd can was model the measured data very well.
near its final penetration. Likewise, fewer
points were specified at the bottom of the It is important to note that although the pile
pile if the spUd can was near the surface. head condition of the pile closest to the spud
This approach assumes that the highest gradi- can was supposed to be pinned, some moment was
ents in the soil displacement profile would be induced in the pile at the connection. This
in the vicinity of the spud can. was because the pin did provide some resis-
tance to rotation at high g-level. Also,
Beyond the specification of the depths at because of some rotation and displacement of
which soil displacement values were deter- the fixed head connections that occurred under
mined, the optimization algorithm placed no increased g-level, some moment was induced in
constraints on the nature of the solution that the other two piles. The imposed moments were
was obtained. The program was allowed to find included with the other boundary conditions at
whatever displacement profile shape resulted the top of the pile during the analysis with
in the best fit to the moment data. the beam-column model and did not present a

TEST RESULTS Figures 7, 8 and 9 show the soil displacement

profiles that gave the best fit to the mea-
Change in Undrained Shear Strength sured moments (solid lines). It can be seen
that when the spUd can is near the surface,
After the centrifuge test, the clay was the maximum lateral soil displacement is also
sampled to determine the change in the shear near the surface. With increasing penetra-
strength due to remolding. The variation in tion, the depth at which the maximum soil
the undrained shear strength profiles as a displacement occurs also increases and is


_ _ _ _- - - ~-____:=o_--~

-_.---- =-=

roughly equal to the spud can penetration. the spud can. For shallow spud can penetra-
With further spud can penetration, soil tion, the generalized model tends to be
displacement at the mudline tends to decrease, conservative as it over-predicts the moment in
particularly for the piles closer to the spud the pile. The generalized displacement model
can. The maximum depth at which soil dis- does a better job of fitting the measured
placement occurs is about one spud can radius momenta with deeper spud can penetration. The
below the spud can penetration. generalized model also does a better job at
shallow spud can penetrations for the piles
The soil surface location is labeled in each more distant from, the spud can aa shown in
of the figures. It occurs at zero length for Figures 13 and 14.
the second pile because of differences in the
way the data were analyzed due to a malfunc- Figures 15, 16 and 17 show the variation in
tion of the load cell at the top of the pile. the four parameters of the generalized model
as a function of spud can penetration and the
It is interesting that even for the pile pile to spud can edge distance. In the
closest to the spud can, the soil displace- figures, the penetration and the pile to edge
ments are relatively low. The maximum soil distance have been normalized by the spud can
displacement does not exceed about 12 centi- radius. The maximum soil displacement for
meters at prototype scale. ~is is confirmed shallow spud can penetrations (Normalized Spud
by X-ray examination of the lead threads that Can Penetration < 0.2) ia governed by the
were installed in the sample. Because of the displacement at the mudline. This causes the
large volume of soil that is displaced during change in slope of the lines in Figure 15.
spud can penetration, it seemed reasonable
that the soil displacement would instead have At very shallow spud can penetrations, strict
been on the order of several tens of centime- use of the figurea can result in an inappro-
ters. However, the smaller displacement priate displacement profile. mis can be
magnitudes are consistent with the observation easily avoided by making sure that in a plot
of a limited failure region and the soil of depth versus displacement, the point of
flowing up and around the spud can as it maximum soil displacement does not fall above
penetrates. and to the left of a line drawn between the
displacement at the mudline and the greatest
It ia also notable that a deep-seated bearing depth of soil displacement.
capacity slip-circle type of failure is not
observed beneath the spud can. From examina- As an example of what can be done with the
tion of the radiograph in Figure 10 of a generalized profiles, the analysis software
sample from another test where the spud can has been used to generate a series of pile
was left in place, it appears that the soil moment curves using the generalized soil
immediately below the spud can is extruded displacement model. The pile ia assumed to
laterally, and that the stronger soil beneath have the same properties and conditions as the
this level does not participate in the lateral pile closest to the spud can in the centrifuge
displacement. The lead threads can also be test. In this case, however, the pile head is
seen to curl around and above the spud can. fixed in rotation but allowed to translate
laterally. The curves are plotted in Figure
18 for increasing spud can penetration. An
GENERALIZED SOIL DISPLACEMENT MODEL envelope of all the pile moment cumes ia also
drawn in the figure. A similar moment
Based on the optimized soil displacement pro- envelope could be used to modify the pile
files, a four parameter model was developed to design for an installation where work with a
construct generalized soil displacement jackup is planned.
profiles. Given the pile to spud can edge
distance and the spud can penetration, the
model provides the lateral soil displacement CONCLUSIONS
profile. The soil displacements can then be
used to determine the pile moment distribution Lateral soil displacements have been inferred
with pile top boundary conditions appropriate from moment data obtained from centrifuge
for a pile extending from a steel jacket leg. model tests of a spud can penetrating next to
instrumented piles. Based on optimum soil
Figure 11 shows the generalized displacement displacement profiles that provided a best-fit
model and the four parameters that define it. to the moment data using a beam-column analy-
The parameters are the displacement at the sis, a procedure was developed to generate
mudline, the maximum soil displacement, the displacement profiles for more general condi-
depth below the mudline of the maximum soil tions.
displacement and the greatest depth of soil
displacement. Figures 7, 8 and 9 also show Values of the four parameters required to use
the corresponding generalized profiles (dashed the generalized displacement model are pro-
lines) for comparison with the optimized vialed in Figures 15 thru 17. The model is
solution profiles. offered as a means to determine the impact of
spud can penetration near piles of a steel
Figure 12 is a comparison of the measured jacket structure. Certa3-nly, this can only
moments and the moment distributions using the provide an approximation of the moments deve-
generalized profiles for the pile closest to loped in a pile subjected to soil movement.


. . .
There are at least two concerns that should be have been normalized by the spud can radius,
taken into account if the data are to be used. the influences of the shape and relative size
The first is that the soil profile linearly of the spud can have not been investigated.
increases with depth and is non-zero at the
surface, The shape of the generalized profile
could be affected by soil conditions where the REFERENCES
strength increase with depth is greater or
less than that of the test. However, the 1. Matlock, H., Correlations for Design of
nature of the p-y model ia such that increases Laterally Loaded Piles in Soft Clay,
in soil strength are directly proportional to Proceedings of the Offshore Technology
the magnitude of the displacement. Therefore, Conference, Paper No. 1204, (April,
the displacement profile shape should be valid 1970) .
for soil conditions where the strength in-
creases with depth at about the same rate as 2. American Petroleum Institute, Recommended
the test profile. Practice for Planning, Designing and
Constructing Fixed Offshore Platforms,
The second concern is that the results are API RP 2A, Eighteenth Edition, (Septem-
based on a single test. Although the results her, 1989).

6 mm drainage hole

Pinned Head

Line of Lead threads

137 mm diameter
Fixed Head PILE 3
1.0 spud radii Fixed Head
from spud edge 2.0 spud radii
from spud edge

Figure 1
Layout of Instrumented Piles Relative to Spud Can


. . .
Undrained Shear Stength (kPa)
o 10 20 30 40

OJ I 1 1 ! I ! I

Spud Can Loadceil

Loadcell Spud Can 50

Free Water
I /mw77fl I

Pile 1 200 mm

,... ., w,,
~ i
{ i ,,,
......- ...........
,,.... ...... ,,,

,-...... ....---- ,,,

~ ........ d


II Figure 2
a At 100g

Figure 3
Elevation View of Spud Can Penetration Undrained Shear Strength Profiles

-16 -8 0 8 16
I , 8

T J-il


* spud can
10 [
8 [
30 * 6
2 ]~!~i

40 [
Figure 4
Moment Curves
ComparisonofMeasuredand Calculated
Pile 1 -0.5 Spud can Radii from Edge

- .__
,:. .
~ - __z_. __= ______

.,. . ~- . . - __+ a: -. .--

. . .
I 1
1, MOMSNT (MN-m)
,,, I

MOMSNT (MN-m\ \t Y

-16 -8 0 6
I 1

Soil Surface 1 .\~ k!



P +
40 40
Figure 5 Figure 6
I I Comparison af Measured and Calculated Moment Curves Comparison of Measured and Calculated Moment Curves
1 1

Pile 2-1.0 Spud can Radii from Edge Pile 3-2.0 Spud can Radii from Edge
1, I
1, ,
, ,11, DISPL.4CEMNT (am)
~ ,/1,
,, /1 II
1,, ,

6 [1.
,1 [[V
I I 40
1 Figure 7 Figure 8
1~1 Comparison of Optimum and Generalized Soil Displacement Profiles
Comparison of Optimum and Generalized Soil Dispkxment Profiles
1 , Pile 1 -0.5 Spud can Radii from Edge
II ~1
Pile 2-1.0 Spud can Radii from Edge
I ,

- .__
,:. .
~ - __z_. __= ______

. . .
I 1
rdom (MN-m) MOMENT (MN-m)
-16 -s0 6 16 -16 -8 0
1,1 Irweaeing
1 I

,,, Spud can

rA ; 10 ,

MONSNT (MN-m) /--%--% N [-1A \
-la n Ar-R x ,RriA I \, i+ .,
-,*/ ~ I
Soil Surface
1 I
1;/ ,/

/ //
10+ I I so
20 meter
/+i spud can
l! penetration
20+ 14 40
, II
40 [L 40
11 LENGTS (m) LENGTH (m)
Figure 12 Figure 13
I I Comparison of Measured and calculated Moment Curves (Generalized Profile) Comparison of Measured and Calculated Moment Curves (Generalized Profile)
1 1
Pile 1 -0.5 Spud can Radii from Edge Pile 2-1.0 Spud can Radii frrmrnEdge
1, I
1, ,

, ,11,

~ ,/1,
,, /1
1,, ,

0 w 0.8 1.2 i.6 Zo 2.4 28

Spud Can Penetration/Spud Can Radiue (M/m)

Figure 15

,1 Normalized Soil Displacement at Mudline

I I 41+
1 Figure 14
1~1 Comparison of Measured and Calculated Moment Curves (Generalized Profile)
1 , Pile 3-2.0 Spud can Radii from Edge
II ~1
I ,
1, 11111
\ co
1 I I I I I

(au/w) sn!pe~ ue~ pnd~uatueoeldsla I!OSJOqldaa ~sa~ea~~

(uJ/w) sn!pe~ ue~ pndsfluaweoeids!a HOSumuqxe~ JOq~daa


. . .