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FAKULTET FOR TEKNISK
NATURVITENSKAPELIGE
FAG




Offshore Pipeline Design

Ove T Gudmestad,

University of Stavanger, Norway

Stavanger 5
th
January 2007




















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Offshore Pipeline Design

1 General

This note gives a brief introduction to design of offshore pipelines. It should be noted that the
text is on an introductory level. Simplified analytical expressions are included to give the
reader a first introduction to design aspects. For more detailed discussions see Bai (2001) and
Guo et al. (2005). Detailed design should be done in accordance with international standards,
for example DNV-OS-F101 (DNV, 2000)

The major general aspects with regards to pipeline design are:

• Design of the size; the inner diameter of the pipeline.
• Design of the structural elements (the steel pipe and the buckle arrestors), the
corrosion protection, the concrete cover etc.
- The steel pipe provides strength, through a combination of wall thickness and steel
Grade (quality)
- Corrosion protection: Layer of tar (asphalt) in combination with anodes (Zink)
- Layer of concrete for
- Impact protection
- Giving the pipe the correct submerged weight
• Practical aspects regarding pipe manufacturing, transport and installation


2 Pipeline Design

2.1 Determination of the Pipe Size

During field development studies the production profile has to be decided in accordance with
economical and technical analysis, particularly including the reservoir characteristics. Figure
6.1 shows a typical production profile for an oil field over time. Note that there are three
different phases in the lifetime of an oil field before it is abandoned:

1. Production build-up
2. Plateau production
3. Tail production

Note that oil quantities often are expressed in US-units, where:

1 barrel = 159 l
1 m
3
= 6.29 barrels (bbl)
1 m
3
oil ≈ 800 kg (condensate) to 950 kg (oil)

Some considerations which affect the design aspects of a pipeline are listed below:

• Oils from different reservoirs have different densities and chemical properties
• The inner diameter of the pipeline is chosen to take the production from the field
• If the plateau production is very high, there is need for large amounts of process
equipment and lager oil pipelines.
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• For a rich gas pipeline, a certain minimum pressure is needed to avoid the
condensation of large amounts of fluids in the pipeline.

Hence, the size of the pipeline diameter is dependant on several factors. A trade-off should be
made between the pipeline investment costs (which imply the size of the pipeline), and the
production level, which gives the income from an oil field.





Figure 1. Typical production profile of an oil field.


The oil from a field is either produced into a tanker or into a pipeline system for long distance
transport. It is essential to distinguish between the different products within the pipeline, since
oil can be regarded as an incompressible fluid, whereas gas, on the other hand, is
compressible. Equation 6.1 gives the dependence between the input pressure, P
1
, and output
pressure, P
2
, by means of Bernoulli’s equation for incompressible flow of oil.

oil
i
V
D
L
P P ρ λ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ = −
2
2
2 1
(1)

Where:
P
1
: input pressure, determined by the project. This is the internal pressure the pipe
must be designed for, in order to give the output pressure P
2
. A margin (safety
factor) is to be applied to the inlet pressure for determination of pipe strength
properties in accordance with the applicable code (e.g. DNV, 2000).
P
2
: required (or obtained) output pressure
λ : Friction coefficient
L: pipe length

oil
ρ : Oil density (oil is regarded as an incompressible fluid)
D
i
: inner diameter (
i
r ⋅ 2 )
V: velocity of the oil flow

oil production
bbl/day
time (years)
Production
build-up
Plateau
Production
Tail
Production
Abandonment
4
The mass of oil that can be transported is a product of the volume per meter pipe length and
the velocity, with which the oil is shipped through the pipeline, as given in Equation 6.2. For
design purposes the mass-flow will be governed by the maximal plateau production the
pipeline must be able to handle.


2
4
i
oil
D
M V
π
ρ

= ⋅ ⋅ (2)
Where:

M: mass-flow [kg/s]

Dimension check of Equation (2):

We have:

3
m
kg
= ρ , D = m, V = m/s

This gives:
M =
s
kg
s
m
m
m
kg
= ⋅ ⋅
2
3
=> mass-flow

We have a relation (Equation 1) between the input pressures, P
1
, the pipeline internal
diameter, D
i
, the mass-flow, M; through the pipeline and the output pressure P
2
. We must find
a balance between these parameters and decide on the required input pressure, P
1
, and the
inner diameter of the pipeline, D
i
, for transport of the fluid.

As gas is compressible, different equations apply for the flow in gas pipelines. Offshore gas
pipelines also often use high input pressures (~ 180-200 bars) to provide phase transport of
gas and condensate in gas form.

2.2 Pipeline Design
Pipeline cross section
Figure 2 shows the typical cross-section dimensions of a pipeline together with the main
features of a pipeline.

The characteristic dimensions of a pipeline and the associated features are:

• Inner diameter D
i

• Inner radius r
i

• Outer radius of steel pipe r
0

• The pipe might be coated with epoxy on the inside, this will reduce the friction and
possibly the corrosion hazards
• Steel wall thickness, t
s

• D
i
and t
s
are often given in inches because pipeline production equipment was
originally set up to produce according to US-units, where the conversion between
inches and centimetre is given by: 1” = 2.54 cm
• Outer diameter of steel pipe D
o
= D
i
+ ⋅ 2 t
s

• Thickness of tar/asphalt t
k
~ 1cm (tar with glass-fibre wrapping)
5
• t
concrete
will give impact protection and required on-bottom weight as one must make
sure, that the pipe when empty does not float to surface [Note that the pipe is empty
during laying]




Figure 2 Pipeline dimensions and main features of a pipeline


Weight design to avoid flotation of the pipe
The dimensions of the concrete layer are governed by the minimum requirement: W
submerged
>
0 + a safety factor, which means that the weight of the pipeline in a submerged state must be
larger than the buoyant forces. Additional requirements to stability to avoid movements under
wave and current actions are discussed later in this chapter. Equation (6.3) expresses the
condition whether a pipeline does not float and thereby get unstable.


0
4 4
) 2 (
4
2 2 2
>

⋅ −
|
|
¹
|

\
| ⋅ − ⋅


o
water
s o o
steel
D t D D π
ρ
π π
ρ (3)

Rearranging of Equation (6.3) gives:

0 ) 2 (
2 2 2
> ⋅ − ⋅ − −
o
steel
water
s o o
D t D D
ρ
ρ

We want to find a criterion in terms of
s
t
D
0
as parameter:

0
4 4
2
2
0
2
2
2
0
2
2
0
2
2
0
> ⋅ −
|
|
¹
|

\
| ⋅
+
⋅ ⋅
− −
s steel
water
s
s
s
s
s s
t
D
t
t
t
t D
t
D
t
D
ρ
ρ


Di
Tar (asphalt)
tsteel
tconcrete
6
0 4 4
0
2
> −
|
|
¹
|

\
|
⋅ +
|
|
¹
|

\
|

s s
o
steel
water
t
D
t
D
ρ
ρ


Let
s
t
D
x
0
= , then:
0 4 4
2
≤ + ⋅ − ⋅ x x
steel
water
ρ
ρ
=> Equation to avoid flotation of empty steel pipe

By using typical values for the densities of water and steel (
seawater
ρ = 1025 kg/m
3
and
steel
ρ ≈
7800 kg/m
3
) the above equation can be solved:

26
0
≤ = ⇒
s
t
D
x (4)
If 26
0

s
t
D
, we need a concrete layer to avoid that the pipe floats up when empty.

Why do we need this criterion?

• Pipes are laid empty for handling reasons
• We fill the pipe with water when we have finished the pipe laying
• We can not accept that the pipe floats up uncontrolled prior to water filling
• We perform a pressure test with a pressure higher than the operating pressure and
empty the pipe, dry it and start production
• The pipe needs a certain submerged weight so it does not move horizontally or
vertically under the actions of waves and currents.

Some typical figures for offshore pipelines are as follows:

• Large offshore oil and gas pipelines 30” to 42” (Outer diameter, OD)
- In water depths less than 150 m, the internal pressure is normally representing the
design level for rich gas pipelines
- Typical steel thicknesses are ¾” to 1”
- For larger water depths, the outer pressure is normally more important than the
internal
• In-field pipelines typically have diameters (OD) of 12” or 20”
• Pipelines from sub sea templates in a field to a gathering point (manifold) are typically
12”-16” pipes (umbilical), for cables or hydraulics: 4”-8”

We can try to commingle a number of small in-field pipelines within a pipe bundle. In a pipe
bundle the internal pipes and wires are protected by an outer carrier pipe, see Figure 3.

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Figure 3 Example of pipeline bundle (Statoil, Snøhvit, Northern Norway)

2.3 Pipeline design to resist pressure, bending and axial stresses

The pressure field of a pipeline is governed by:

• The installation depth, which gives the outer hydrostatic pressure
• The operating pressure within the pipeline
• The pressure during the testing, typically at 10 % above the design pressure

These pressures are eventually transferred to the pipeline steel, which must be designed to
cope with the exerted stresses within the pipe wall.

Stresses in the pipe wall (steel) due to the inner pressure are:

S
i i
p
t
D p
i


=
2
σ (5)

Stresses in the pipe wall (steel) due to the outer pressure are:

S
O o
p
t
D p
o


=
2
σ (6)

Where: σ
pi
: circumferential (hoop) stresses in the pipe wall due to inner pressure
σ
pi
: circumferential (hoop) stresses in the pipe wall due to outer pressure
p
i
: inner pressure
p
o
: outer pressure
t
s
: wall thickness (steel thickness)
D
i
: inside diameter
D
o
: outside diameter

Normally a pipeline sees its ultimate stresses during the installation phase, where the pipeline
is laid empty without a beneficial internal pressure to mitigate the stresses induced by the
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outer pressure, the axial stresses in the pipeline due to laying and the bending stresses during
the laying operations.

During operations the pipe will see radial stresses from outer pressure and inner pressure,
bending stresses, axial stresses due to tensioning of the pipe and the stresses caused by
temperature expansion effects.

The resistance capacity of a pipeline is depending on the steel grade. A characteristic measure
to describe the resistance capacity of a pipe is given by defining the yield strength, f
y
, of the
pipe.

An Allowable Stress Design (ASD) check for the pipeline may be used as a preliminary
simplified criterion of the local buckling check for internal overpressure. (DNV, 2000, page
132). In the final design stage, however, a Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD)
criterion shall be used in accordance with this standard. The following stress conditions shall
be satisfied for the ASD check:

y e
f ⋅ ≤η σ
y l
f ⋅ ≤η σ (7)

Where:

2 2 2
3
lh l h l h e
τ σ σ σ σ σ + − + = (8)

|
|
¹
|

\
| −
∆ =
2
2
2t
t D
p
d h
σ

σ
e
= the equivalent stress
σ
l
= longitudinal stress = σ
h
/2 = hoop stress/2
η = usage factor as given by DNV (2000) for different safety classes as determined by the
standard; η = 1.0 for low safety class, 0.9 for normal safety class and 0.8 for high safety class
(see Table 1).
f
y
= yield strength
D = nominal outer diameter
t
2
=t
s
-t
corr

t
corr
= thickness of corrosion allowance
τ
lh
= tangential shear stress, which in most cases is equal to 0 as no torsion is present (Guo et
al., 2005)
∆pd = design differential overpressure

Guo et al. (2005) do also discuss the design factors (p. 70). In addition to requirements for the
longitudinal stresses and the combined stress, the hoop stress is limited in accordance with
ASME codes as follows:

0.72
h t y
F f σ <

Where F
t
is a temperature de-rating factor for steel pipes.
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Table 1 Classification of safety classes according to DNV (2000).
Safety class Definition
Low Where failure implies low risk of human injury and minor environmental
and economic consequences. This is the usual classification for the
installation phase.
Normal For temporary conditions where failure implies risk of human injury,
significant environmental pollution or very high economic or political
consequences. This is the usual classification for operation outside the
platform area.
High For operating conditions where failure implies high risk of human injury,
significant environmental pollution or very high economic or political
consequences. This is the usual classification during operation in location
class 2, i.e. near to a platform in accordance with a risk analysis or to a
distance of minimum 500m from the platform.


Due to the requirement of resisting the pressure regime, the pipeline must maintain its
cylindrical form, as an ovalized pipe looses much load capacity. If, for instance, a local dent
has been induced during pipe laying, the pipe will be ovalized locally. Furthermore, if such a
dented pipe gets to a certain water depth (with the associated outer pressure) it will collapse.
This is called the imitation pressure for a pipe buckle. When the pipe has a local buckle, the
pipe may not be able to withstand the pressure, and the buckle will propagate if the pressure is
higher than buckle initiation pressure. The pipe will be (damaged) buckled until the external
pressure has reached the propagating pressure level given by:

2
initiation
n propagatio
p
p ≈ (Buckling propagates as a domino effect) (9)

The potential risk of a pipeline failure due to buckling cannot be accepted. Hence, the pipeline
must be strengthened in order to avoid a propagating buckle. Alternative measures for
strengthening the pipeline are used:

• Use thicker pipes for each 12
th
pipe (n
th
pipe) => In-welded buckle arrestor
• Use thicker steel or higher steel grades for all pipes
• Use a sleeve pipe for each 12
th
pipe (n
th
pipe) => Sleeve buckle arrestor

A flattening of the pipe will be stopped by sleeve buckle arrestors, whereby stopping of the
total collapse mode (U-shaped buckle) requires an in-welded buckle arrestors. Hence, by
additional strengthening of individual pipeline sections, the risks of loosing the whole pipe or
long sections are counterbalanced.

2.4 Stress-Strain relationship for pipelines

A typical stress-strain relationship for pipelines is shown in Figure 4. The behaviour of the
deformation during increasing stress is characterized by a linear and a plastic region. The
transition between linear and plastic behaviour is normally defined as the yield stress.

10
For pipelines some plastic behaviour is usually allowed. We define σ
Y
as the stresses that will
give us 0.5 % strain (0.005). The stress-strain curve will generally follow the experimentally
found formula, see Equation 10.


(
(
¸
(

¸

|
|
¹
|

\
|
⋅ + =
k
E
0
7
3
1
σ
σ σ
ε (Ramberg – Osgood Formula) (10)

Yield API
Yield DIN
X 52
X 60
X 65
S
t
r
e
s
s

(
N
/
m
m
2

)
100
200
300
500
400
Strain
0.002 0.005 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.18 0.19 0.20

Figure 4 Stress strain relationship for pipelines

The parameters σ
0
and k are experimentally determined. The ultimate strain the pipe can
handle, whereupon it breaks is found at 0.18-0.20

The quality of steel pipe will normally be determined from formulas given in American
Petroleum Institute (API) Specification (API, 2004). Stresses are either referred to in SI-units;
N/m
2
, or US-units; lbs/in
2
(pounds per square inch).

Pipeline steel of type X60 means that the yield strength is 60 ksi (60 ksi = 60 kilopounds/in
2
).
The transformation from US-units to SI-units is presented in the following example:

Example:
60 ksi =
3
2
2
0.459 10 9.81
60 60 6.895 414 ( / )
25.4
N mm
⋅ ⋅
⋅ = ⋅ =

When performing reliable calculations one must be aware of:

• Transformation factors from one unit to another
• Units the computer program uses, for instance (m, mm, inches)
• Units of the results from a computer program, which might deviate from the input data
• The inherit value of checking dimensions of a formula and the results of a calculation
by self-check and independent checks

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Quality in calculations is obtained through:

• Self checking
• Supervisor check/Colleague to check
• Independent check with independent software


2.5 Limit state design format

In the limit state format (DNV, 2000), the design resistance, R
d
, can normally be expressed in
the following format:

m SCs
k k
d
f R
R
γ γ
) (
=

Where:
R
k
is the characteristic value of the resistance
γ
m
is the material resistance factor (equal to 1.15 for the SLS, ULS and ASL limit state
categories and equal to 1.0 for the FLS categories
γ
SC
is the safety class resistance factor set equal to 1.046 for low safety class, 1.138 for normal
safety class and 1.308 for high safety class (see Table 6.1 for definition of safety classes)
f
k
is the characteristic material strength

6.3 Installation of pipelines

In the following some methods of installation of pipelines are given:

• The Reel Method, see Figure 5

Pipe laying by the reel method involves bending of the pipeline far into the plastic region.
Hence, the maximum pipe size diameter is limited to 8”-12” (OD) due to satisfying that the
bending radius on the reel does not exceed the critical bending radius of the pipeline, leading
to structural failure.



Figure 5. The Reel method of pipe laying (MSV Norlift, laying the 10’’ pipeline, between the
Neptune and Mercury fields, ref. British Gas).
• Towing, see Figures 6a,b
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The pipeline is prefabricated, i.e. welded together, at an onshore yard into sections of
typically 4-5 km and then towed out to the installation site offshore by use of tugs. Each
section is then connected to each other by offshore welding. Beside the close bottom tow,
where a buoyant pipeline is given some extra weight, for example, by use of chains, several
other towing methods exist, as for instance surface towing and controlled depth towing.
Surface towing should, however, be avoided due to the transfer of considerable dynamic
effects into the pipeline steel during the tow, particularly when towing in waves.



Figure 6a. Preparation for pipeline towing (SubSea 7, 2006a).



Fig 6.b. Pipeline towing (SubSea 7, 2006a).




• Traditional S - laying of pipelines, see Figure 7
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Figure 7. Pipe lay vessel. (The Lay barge LB 200, laying the 16’’ pipeline between the
Neptune and Cleeton fields, ref. British Gas).
A conventional pipe lay vessel may be considered as a floating yard, where the pipeline
sections are delivered by supply vessels in shuttle traffic between the onshore pipes handling
facility to the pipe lay vessel offshore. The individual pipeline sections, typically 12 m long,
are then welded together. The connected pipe is thereafter submerged into the water by
gliding over a stinger at the rear of the pipe lay vessel. The stinger controls the upper bend
and the sag bend near the sea bottom. In the upper part of the stinger a tensioning system
controls the tensioning of the pipeline and the sag bend radius during laying.

The pipe laying progresses while the anchors of the pipe lay vessel are moved in the pipe lay
direction and the connected mooring lines are pulled by hydraulic motors on the top of the
pipe lay vessel. The anchors are normally handled by purpose-built vessels.
Potential risks of using the conventional pipe lay vessel might be caused by:

- Anchor slippage
- Pipe configuration gets too large bending radius in either upper bend or sag bend
- Tension machine failure, which leads to an uncontrolled submergence of the pipe
- Dynamics of the pipe on the stinger due to bad weather, leading to impact damage

• J-laying of pipelines, see Figure 8



Figure 8. J-laying of pipeline.

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To avoid multiple bending of the pipe during laying, an alternative method of pipe laying can
be done by the J-lay method. This method excludes the upper bend. J-laying is typically used
for pipe installation into large water depths. It is worth mentioning that the efficiency, i.e. the
pipe lay capacity, is considerable less compared to the use of a conventional S - pipe lay
vessel.

The benefits of this method are:

- Less weather sensitivity
- Less movements
- No bending in upper part, exclusion of the upper bend


4 Pipeline on-bottom stability

4.1 Requirements

The requirements for on-bottom stability are:

• Pipeline to be stable, when laid empty

The pipeline shall not lift-up from the seafloor subsequent to laying and the pipeline shall
not move horizontally or vertically in waves and currents. A safety factor of 1.1 is
generally recommended (DNV, 2000). For a quasi-static design approach, see (DNV,
1988). These requirements are to be fulfilled for a 10-year sea state condition for the
actual period (summer-criteria or all year-criteria). This means, there is a 10 % probability
of exceedance per year for the actual period. The criteria for pipe laying during the
summer period are typically defined as the “10-year summer-storm” -criteria.

• Stability during pipeline operations

The stability during operations is to be satisfied for 100-year criteria for waves (1%
probability of excellence per year) together with 10-year criteria for currents.
Alternatively the pipelines may be designed to satisfy 100-year current criteria together
with a 10-year wave. The methodology for stability design is dependant on which design-
code is to be used. The installation depth becomes important due to the decreasing values
of the water wave particle velocities with increasing water depth. Note that the particle
velocity for waves in deep water is very small, whereas ocean currents might be
considerable.

Note that we consider the pipe to be filled with gas or oil during operations. Hence, the
additional weight of the fluid is to be added in the calculations. The additional weight acts
beneficial to the pipeline stability. Figure 9 shows the forces on pipelines placed on the
sea bottom



15


Figure 9. On-bottom pipeline, see also Figure 10.


In Figure 9:

F
V
: vertical force (lift force)
F
H
: horizontal force (drag and inertia forces)
F
f
: friction force
W: gravity force (submerged weight of the pipe)

• Horizontal pipeline stability is secured when:

( )
f H st D I
F F F F γ > = + (11)


Where:
γ
st
factor of safety, normally not taken less than 1.1
F
D
= ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ V C D
D
ρ
2
1
V (Drag term)
ρ : Water density, (sea water typically 1025 kg/m
3
)
D: outer diameter of the pipeline (including thickness of coating)
C
D
: drag coefficient
V: water particle velocity of current + wave
F
I
=
.
2
4
V C D
I
⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ρ
π
(Inertia term)
C
I
inertia coefficient

And:
( )
f V
F f W F = ⋅ − (12)

Where:
f: friction factor between the pipeline and sea bottom

Hence, insertion of equation 12 into 11 gives:

( ) ( )
V st D I
f W F F F γ ⋅ − > + (13)

Figure 10 illustrates the flow regime past a cylinder near to the sea bottom, giving rise to the
drag force
sea bottom
Current
Wave particle
motion
FV
FH
Ff
W
16

Figure 10. Flow past a cylinder near to the sea bottom.

A pipeline on the sea bottom experiences a vertical lift force and horizontal drag and inertia
forces due to the particle flow past the pipeline induced by waves and currents.

The lift forces as well as the drag forces are functions of the flow velocity past the top of the
pipeline. Hence, use of Bernoulli’s formula is relevant. As the flow past the pipeline is high, a
low pressure on top of the pipeline tends to lift the pipeline up due to locally lower pressure.
Furthermore, particle velocities induce vortexes shredded on the leeward side of the pipeline,
causing the pressure to drop behind it. The pressure drop causes drag force in the flow
direction.

In deeper waters (when the water depth/the wave length > 0.5), the effects of waves on the
water particle velocities and accelerations are small. For larger on bottom currents in deep
waters, we can consider the effects of currents alone. If the formula for the lift force is
inserted into Equation 13, then:

V V C D V V C D W f
D
st
L
⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ > |
¹
|

\
|
⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ − ⋅ ρ
γ
ρ
2 2
1
( (14)

Where:
C
L
: lift coefficient

Further manipulation gives the required pipeline weight as a function of the lift, drag and
friction force as expressed in equation 15:

V V D C C
f
W
L D
st
⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅
|
|
¹
|

\
|
⋅ + ⋅

> ρ
γ
2
1
2
(15)

• Vertical pipeline stability is secured when:


st L
W F γ > , that is:

V V C D W
L
st
⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ > ρ
γ
2


17
4.2 Example: Stability calculations

The following parameters are assumed to be valid for this example:

ρ = 1025 kg/m
3

D = 1 m
C
D
= 0.9
V = V
current
+ V
wave
= 1 m/s (a high current is assumed, while V
wave
is small in deep
waters)
f = 0.7, assume high friction.

Note that the current velocity is to be measured at the particular location of interest, whereas
the particle velocity due to waves is to be calculated.

Lift force:

V V C D F
L L
⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ = ρ
2
1
(16)

Where:
C
L
= 0.3

We need to find the required pipeline weight (submerged) in order to satisfy the stability
requirements. Insertion of the parameters into Equation (15) gives:

1 1 1025 3 . 0
2
1
9 . 0
7 . 0 2
1 . 1
⋅ ⋅ ⋅ |
¹
|

\
|
⋅ + ⋅

> W

(0.707 0,15) 1025 W > + ⋅ ~ 880 N/m

That means, for W > 880 N/m the pipeline is stable horizontally in accordance with the
assumed parameters.

Insertion of the parameters into the equation for the lift force, Equation (16) gives:

151 1 1 3 . 0 1 1025
2
1
2
1
= ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ = ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ = V V C D F
L L
ρ N/m

The requirement for vertically stability was: W > γ
st
F
L
.

And since W ≥ 880 N/m > γ
st
F
L
= 166 N/m, the pipeline is also stable vertically.


5 Free spans of pipelines

5.1 Free spans
If a pipeline is located above the sea bottom, there will be a free span.

In case of a dominating current:
18
• Horizontal force and lift force are non-negligible
• Dependent on the vortex shedding frequency (as there is no friction) the pipe will start
oscillating.
• We must avoid the Eigen-frequency of the pipe oscillation.
• The vortex shedding frequency, f
vortx
, for transverse oscillations will depend on the
velocity of the flow, V, but generally
D
V
D
SV
f
vortex
2 . 0
≈ =
Where:
S is the Strouhals number.

In line oscillations occur at less velocity than the transverse oscillations but the amplitudes are
only 10 to 20% of the transverse oscillations.

The Eigen frequency of the pipe will depend on the strength of the pipe and the boundary
conditions where the pipe rests on the seabed (the shoulders of the free span), see Figure 11.

The industry used to restrict the length of the free span to 40m in order to avoid large
vibrations, however, the standard for submarine pipelines by DNV (2000) takes into account
all latest research and longer free spans might be accepted.
Solutions to problems in case of long spans:
• Support the pipe by mechanical devices
• Vortex shedding devices to be installed
• Support the pipe by rock-dumping
• Trench the shoulders


Figure 11. Free span of a pipeline.

Note that moving sand dunes can create free spans.

In the Arctic the sea bottom is uneven due to iceberg and ice ridge scouring and the
determination of free span length is an important issue.

5.2 Close to shore
For pipelines installed in shallow waters, for example in connection with a shore approach,
the current tends to be strong and the wave particle velocities are large. Hence, the pipeline
19
will normally be trenched due to avoiding pipeline movements during operations and the
stresses are limited.

The lift force F
l
0 when the trenching depth is D/2. The trenching depth should, however,
be larger, taking sand transport into account.

Shore approaches in the Arctic are particularly difficult due to permafrost in the sea bottom.
Trenching the frozen ground may become difficult and when the pipe finally has been
trenched, the heat capacity of the pipe tends to taw the surrounding ground, whereby the sea
bed material looses its stability and might be washed out. Furthermore, the pipelines may
have to be deeply trenched due to avoiding pipeline rupture caused by scouring of icebergs or
ice ridges.


6 Pipeline attachments to a structure

Where the pipeline is attached to an offshore structure, it is important that the pipe be allowed
to expand sufficiently on the seabed when the pipeline is being heated by oil or gas. A long
pipeline when heated will expand proportionally to the thermal expansion coefficient of steel
and the expansion will be directed towards the pipeline ends, one of these being connected to
the offshore structure.

In order to accommodate the expansion, pipe bends, i.e. expansion loops, are installed close to
the structure as shown in Figure 12.



Figure 12. Pipeline loop near an offshore structure to accommodate thermal expansion in the
pipeline.

References:

API (2004): API 5L. Specification for line pipe. American Petroleum Institute, 43
rd
edition,
March 1
st
, 2004, Washington DC, 155 pages

Bai, Y. (2001): Pipelines and risers. Elsevier, 500 pages

Guo, B., Song, S., Ghalambor, A. and Chako, J. (2005): Offshore pipelines, Elsevier, 277
pages

(DNV, 2000): Submarine Pipeline System. Offshore Standard DNV-OS-F101. Det Norske
Veritas, Oslo, 163 pages

the concrete cover etc.1 Determination of the Pipe Size During field development studies the production profile has to be decided in accordance with economical and technical analysis. (2005).Corrosion protection: Layer of tar (asphalt) in combination with anodes (Zink) .The steel pipe provides strength. • • 2 .29 barrels (bbl) 1 m3 oil ≈ 800 kg (condensate) to 950 kg (oil) Some considerations which affect the design aspects of a pipeline are listed below: • • • Oils from different reservoirs have different densities and chemical properties The inner diameter of the pipeline is chosen to take the production from the field If the plateau production is very high.Offshore Pipeline Design 1 General This note gives a brief introduction to design of offshore pipelines. Production build-up 2. Simplified analytical expressions are included to give the reader a first introduction to design aspects. 2000) The major general aspects with regards to pipeline design are: Design of the size. It should be noted that the text is on an introductory level. for example DNV-OS-F101 (DNV. Design of the structural elements (the steel pipe and the buckle arrestors). . Detailed design should be done in accordance with international standards.Layer of concrete for . Note that there are three different phases in the lifetime of an oil field before it is abandoned: 1. transport and installation 2 Pipeline Design 2. Plateau production 3. For more detailed discussions see Bai (2001) and Guo et al. the corrosion protection. where: 1 barrel = 159 l 1 m3 = 6.Giving the pipe the correct submerged weight • Practical aspects regarding pipe manufacturing.Impact protection .1 shows a typical production profile for an oil field over time. Tail production Note that oil quantities often are expressed in US-units. the inner diameter of the pipeline. there is need for large amounts of process equipment and lager oil pipelines. Figure 6. through a combination of wall thickness and steel Grade (quality) . particularly including the reservoir characteristics.

P2: required (or obtained) output pressure λ : Friction coefficient L: pipe length ρ oil : Oil density (oil is regarded as an incompressible fluid) Di: V: inner diameter ( 2 ⋅ ri ) velocity of the oil flow L V2 ⋅ ⋅ ρ oil Di 2 (1) 3 . P1 − P2 = λ ⋅ Where: P1: input pressure. and the production level. It is essential to distinguish between the different products within the pipeline. whereas gas. the size of the pipeline diameter is dependant on several factors. on the other hand. A trade-off should be made between the pipeline investment costs (which imply the size of the pipeline). P2. DNV. is compressible. determined by the project. Equation 6. Typical production profile of an oil field. P1. A margin (safety factor) is to be applied to the inlet pressure for determination of pipe strength properties in accordance with the applicable code (e. a certain minimum pressure is needed to avoid the condensation of large amounts of fluids in the pipeline. 2000). by means of Bernoulli’s equation for incompressible flow of oil. which gives the income from an oil field. This is the internal pressure the pipe must be designed for. since oil can be regarded as an incompressible fluid. and output pressure.• For a rich gas pipeline. Hence. in order to give the output pressure P2.1 gives the dependence between the input pressure. oil production bbl/day Abandonment time (years) Production build-up Plateau Production Tail Production Figure 1.g. The oil from a field is either produced into a tanker or into a pipeline system for long distance transport.

As gas is compressible. the mass-flow. V = m/s m3 kg kg ⋅ m2 ⋅ m = => mass-flow 3 s m s We have a relation (Equation 1) between the input pressures. M. M = ρ oil ⋅ Where: M: mass-flow [kg/s] π ⋅ Di2 4 ⋅V (2) Dimension check of Equation (2): We have: ρ= This gives: M= kg . Offshore gas pipelines also often use high input pressures (~ 180-200 bars) to provide phase transport of gas and condensate in gas form.2 Pipeline Design Pipeline cross section Figure 2 shows the typical cross-section dimensions of a pipeline together with the main features of a pipeline. We must find a balance between these parameters and decide on the required input pressure. where the conversion between inches and centimetre is given by: 1” = 2.The mass of oil that can be transported is a product of the volume per meter pipe length and the velocity. the pipeline internal diameter. For design purposes the mass-flow will be governed by the maximal plateau production the pipeline must be able to handle. ts Di and ts are often given in inches because pipeline production equipment was originally set up to produce according to US-units. for transport of the fluid. P1. P1. as given in Equation 6. Di. 2. different equations apply for the flow in gas pipelines. with which the oil is shipped through the pipeline. this will reduce the friction and possibly the corrosion hazards Steel wall thickness. through the pipeline and the output pressure P2. Di. The characteristic dimensions of a pipeline and the associated features are: • • • • • • • • Inner diameter Di Inner radius ri Outer radius of steel pipe r0 The pipe might be coated with epoxy on the inside. D = m.2.54 cm Outer diameter of steel pipe Do = Di + 2 ⋅ ts Thickness of tar/asphalt tk ~ 1cm (tar with glass-fibre wrapping) 4 . and the inner diameter of the pipeline.

3) gives: Do2 − ( Do − 2 ⋅ t s ) 2 − ρ water ⋅ Do2 > 0 ρ steel D0 as parameter: ts We want to find a criterion in terms of 2 D02  D02 4 ⋅ D0 ⋅ t s 4 ⋅ t s2  ρ water D0 − 2 − + 2 − ⋅ 2 >0 t s2  t s t s2 t s  ρ steel t s   5 . that the pipe when empty does not float to surface [Note that the pipe is empty during laying] tconcrete Tar (asphalt) Di tsteel Figure 2 Pipeline dimensions and main features of a pipeline Weight design to avoid flotation of the pipe The dimensions of the concrete layer are governed by the minimum requirement: Wsubmerged > 0 + a safety factor. Equation (6. which means that the weight of the pipeline in a submerged state must be larger than the buoyant forces. Additional requirements to stability to avoid movements under wave and current actions are discussed later in this chapter.• tconcrete will give impact protection and required on-bottom weight as one must make sure. ρ steel    π ⋅ Do2 π ⋅ ( Do − 2 ⋅ t s ) 2  π ⋅ Do2  − ρ water ⋅ − >0  4 4  4  (3) Rearranging of Equation (6.3) expresses the condition whether a pipeline does not float and thereby get unstable.

the internal pressure is normally representing the design level for rich gas pipelines . ts Why do we need this criterion? • • • • • Pipes are laid empty for handling reasons We fill the pipe with water when we have finished the pipe laying We can not accept that the pipe floats up uncontrolled prior to water filling We perform a pressure test with a pressure higher than the operating pressure and empty the pipe. we need a concrete layer to avoid that the pipe floats up when empty.For larger water depths. OD) . then: ts => Equation to avoid flotation of empty steel pipe ρ water 2 ⋅ x − 4⋅ x + 4 ≤ 0 ρ steel By using typical values for the densities of water and steel ( ρ seawater = 1025 kg/m3 and ρ steel ≈ 7800 kg/m3) the above equation can be solved: ⇒x= If D0 ≤ 26 ts (4) D0 ≥ 26 . dry it and start production The pipe needs a certain submerged weight so it does not move horizontally or vertically under the actions of waves and currents. see Figure 3.In water depths less than 150 m. Some typical figures for offshore pipelines are as follows: • Large offshore oil and gas pipelines 30” to 42” (Outer diameter.Typical steel thicknesses are ¾” to 1” . 6 . In a pipe bundle the internal pipes and wires are protected by an outer carrier pipe.ρ − water ρ steel Let x =  Do   t  s  D   + 4⋅ 0  − 4 > 0   t    s  2 D0 . for cables or hydraulics: 4”-8” • • We can try to commingle a number of small in-field pipelines within a pipe bundle. the outer pressure is normally more important than the internal In-field pipelines typically have diameters (OD) of 12” or 20” Pipelines from sub sea templates in a field to a gathering point (manifold) are typically 12”-16” pipes (umbilical).

which must be designed to cope with the exerted stresses within the pipe wall. bending and axial stresses The pressure field of a pipeline is governed by: • • • The installation depth. Stresses in the pipe wall (steel) due to the inner pressure are: σp = i pi ⋅ Di 2 ⋅ tS (5) Stresses in the pipe wall (steel) due to the outer pressure are: σp = o po ⋅ DO 2 ⋅ tS circumferential (hoop) stresses in the pipe wall due to inner pressure circumferential (hoop) stresses in the pipe wall due to outer pressure inner pressure outer pressure wall thickness (steel thickness) inside diameter outside diameter (6) Where: σpi: σpi: pi : po : ts: Di: Do: Normally a pipeline sees its ultimate stresses during the installation phase. typically at 10 % above the design pressure These pressures are eventually transferred to the pipeline steel.Figure 3 Example of pipeline bundle (Statoil. which gives the outer hydrostatic pressure The operating pressure within the pipeline The pressure during the testing. Northern Norway) 2. where the pipeline is laid empty without a beneficial internal pressure to mitigate the stresses induced by the 7 . Snøhvit.3 Pipeline design to resist pressure.

fy = yield strength D = nominal outer diameter t2=ts-tcorr tcorr= thickness of corrosion allowance τlh = tangential shear stress. a Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) criterion shall be used in accordance with this standard. The following stress conditions shall be satisfied for the ASD check: σe ≤η ⋅ fy σl ≤η ⋅ fy Where: 2 2 σ e = σ h + σ l2 − σ hσ l + 3τ lh (7) (8) σ h = ∆p d    D − t2     2t 2  σe = the equivalent stress σl = longitudinal stress = σh/2 = hoop stress/2 η = usage factor as given by DNV (2000) for different safety classes as determined by the standard. (2005) do also discuss the design factors (p. 0. which in most cases is equal to 0 as no torsion is present (Guo et al. 70). axial stresses due to tensioning of the pipe and the stresses caused by temperature expansion effects.0 for low safety class.72 Ft f y Where Ft is a temperature de-rating factor for steel pipes. 2000.outer pressure. fy. the axial stresses in the pipeline due to laying and the bending stresses during the laying operations. 2005) ∆pd = design differential overpressure Guo et al. (DNV. η = 1. In addition to requirements for the longitudinal stresses and the combined stress.9 for normal safety class and 0. however. An Allowable Stress Design (ASD) check for the pipeline may be used as a preliminary simplified criterion of the local buckling check for internal overpressure. The resistance capacity of a pipeline is depending on the steel grade. of the pipe. page 132). bending stresses.8 for high safety class (see Table 1).. 8 . A characteristic measure to describe the resistance capacity of a pipe is given by defining the yield strength. the hoop stress is limited in accordance with ASME codes as follows: σ h < 0. During operations the pipe will see radial stresses from outer pressure and inner pressure. In the final design stage.

and the buckle will propagate if the pressure is higher than buckle initiation pressure. significant environmental pollution or very high economic or political consequences. the pipeline must be strengthened in order to avoid a propagating buckle. This is the usual classification during operation in location class 2. the pipe may not be able to withstand the pressure. For temporary conditions where failure implies risk of human injury. for instance. by additional strengthening of individual pipeline sections. as an ovalized pipe looses much load capacity. significant environmental pollution or very high economic or political consequences. the pipeline must maintain its cylindrical form. the pipe will be ovalized locally. 9 . i.Safety class Low Normal High Table 1 Classification of safety classes according to DNV (2000). Due to the requirement of resisting the pressure regime. If. When the pipe has a local buckle. near to a platform in accordance with a risk analysis or to a distance of minimum 500m from the platform. The transition between linear and plastic behaviour is normally defined as the yield stress. This is the usual classification for operation outside the platform area. if such a dented pipe gets to a certain water depth (with the associated outer pressure) it will collapse. The behaviour of the deformation during increasing stress is characterized by a linear and a plastic region. The pipe will be (damaged) buckled until the external pressure has reached the propagating pressure level given by: p propagation ≈ p initiation 2 (Buckling propagates as a domino effect) (9) The potential risk of a pipeline failure due to buckling cannot be accepted. Furthermore. This is the usual classification for the installation phase.4 Stress-Strain relationship for pipelines A typical stress-strain relationship for pipelines is shown in Figure 4. 2. Definition Where failure implies low risk of human injury and minor environmental and economic consequences. This is called the imitation pressure for a pipe buckle. Hence. the risks of loosing the whole pipe or long sections are counterbalanced. a local dent has been induced during pipe laying. Alternative measures for strengthening the pipeline are used: • • • Use thicker pipes for each 12th pipe (nth pipe) => In-welded buckle arrestor Use thicker steel or higher steel grades for all pipes Use a sleeve pipe for each 12th pipe (nth pipe) => Sleeve buckle arrestor A flattening of the pipe will be stopped by sleeve buckle arrestors. whereby stopping of the total collapse mode (U-shaped buckle) requires an in-welded buckle arrestors. For operating conditions where failure implies high risk of human injury.e. Hence.

03 0.18-0. which might deviate from the input data The inherit value of checking dimensions of a formula and the results of a calculation by self-check and independent checks 10 . The stress-strain curve will generally follow the experimentally found formula.005 0. mm. inches) Units of the results from a computer program.459 ⋅ 103 ⋅ 9. whereupon it breaks is found at 0.20 Figure 4 Stress strain relationship for pipelines The parameters σ0 and k are experimentally determined.19 0.4 When performing reliable calculations one must be aware of: • • • • Transformation factors from one unit to another Units the computer program uses.20 The quality of steel pipe will normally be determined from formulas given in American Petroleum Institute (API) Specification (API. Pipeline steel of type X60 means that the yield strength is 60 ksi (60 ksi = 60 kilopounds/in2).18 0. 3 σ  ε = 1 +  ⋅  E   7 σ0     Stress (N/mm2 ) σ k     (Ramberg – Osgood Formula) (10) X 65 X 60 X 52 500 400 300 Yield API 200 Yield DIN 100 Strain 0. The ultimate strain the pipe can handle. for instance (m. 2004). lbs/in2 (pounds per square inch).895 = 414 ( N / mm 2 ) 2 25. The transformation from US-units to SI-units is presented in the following example: Example: 60 ksi = 60 ⋅ 0.For pipelines some plastic behaviour is usually allowed. or US-units.81 = 60 ⋅ 6. We define σY as the stresses that will give us 0.5 % strain (0. Stresses are either referred to in SI-units.002 0. see Equation 10.005).01 0.02 0. N/m2.

ref. laying the 10’’ pipeline. Rd.b 11 . the maximum pipe size diameter is limited to 8”-12” (OD) due to satisfying that the bending radius on the reel does not exceed the critical bending radius of the pipeline. leading to structural failure.138 for normal safety class and 1.5 Limit state design format In the limit state format (DNV.0 for the FLS categories γSC is the safety class resistance factor set equal to 1. Figure 5. see Figure 5 Pipe laying by the reel method involves bending of the pipeline far into the plastic region.3 Installation of pipelines In the following some methods of installation of pipelines are given: • The Reel Method.1 for definition of safety classes) fk is the characteristic material strength 6. the design resistance. • Towing. see Figures 6a. Hence.046 for low safety class. 1. The Reel method of pipe laying (MSV Norlift.15 for the SLS.Quality in calculations is obtained through: • • • Self checking Supervisor check/Colleague to check Independent check with independent software 2. can normally be expressed in the following format: Rd = Rk ( f k ) γ SCs γ m Where: Rk is the characteristic value of the resistance γm is the material resistance factor (equal to 1. between the Neptune and Mercury fields. British Gas).308 for high safety class (see Table 6. 2000). ULS and ASL limit state categories and equal to 1.

where a buoyant pipeline is given some extra weight. 2006a). for example. several other towing methods exist. however. Pipeline towing (SubSea 7. i. as for instance surface towing and controlled depth towing. by use of chains.b. particularly when towing in waves. 2006a). Each section is then connected to each other by offshore welding. Fig 6. Surface towing should. be avoided due to the transfer of considerable dynamic effects into the pipeline steel during the tow.e. Preparation for pipeline towing (SubSea 7.The pipeline is prefabricated. at an onshore yard into sections of typically 4-5 km and then towed out to the installation site offshore by use of tugs.laying of pipelines. Beside the close bottom tow. see Figure 7 12 . welded together. Figure 6a. • Traditional S .

13 . Pipe lay vessel. which leads to an uncontrolled submergence of the pipe . The individual pipeline sections. The stinger controls the upper bend and the sag bend near the sea bottom. see Figure 8 Figure 8. ref.Figure 7. The connected pipe is thereafter submerged into the water by gliding over a stinger at the rear of the pipe lay vessel. In the upper part of the stinger a tensioning system controls the tensioning of the pipeline and the sag bend radius during laying. where the pipeline sections are delivered by supply vessels in shuttle traffic between the onshore pipes handling facility to the pipe lay vessel offshore. laying the 16’’ pipeline between the Neptune and Cleeton fields. The pipe laying progresses while the anchors of the pipe lay vessel are moved in the pipe lay direction and the connected mooring lines are pulled by hydraulic motors on the top of the pipe lay vessel. (The Lay barge LB 200. British Gas). Potential risks of using the conventional pipe lay vessel might be caused by: .Anchor slippage .Pipe configuration gets too large bending radius in either upper bend or sag bend . J-laying of pipeline. typically 12 m long. are then welded together.Dynamics of the pipe on the stinger due to bad weather. The anchors are normally handled by purpose-built vessels.Tension machine failure. A conventional pipe lay vessel may be considered as a floating yard. leading to impact damage • J-laying of pipelines.

1 is generally recommended (DNV. the additional weight of the fluid is to be added in the calculations.To avoid multiple bending of the pipe during laying. Alternatively the pipelines may be designed to satisfy 100-year current criteria together with a 10-year wave. The benefits of this method are: .No bending in upper part. Note that we consider the pipe to be filled with gas or oil during operations. i. is considerable less compared to the use of a conventional S . Note that the particle velocity for waves in deep water is very small.Less movements . Figure 9 shows the forces on pipelines placed on the sea bottom 14 . A safety factor of 1. see (DNV. exclusion of the upper bend 4 Pipeline on-bottom stability 4. These requirements are to be fulfilled for a 10-year sea state condition for the actual period (summer-criteria or all year-criteria). • Stability during pipeline operations The stability during operations is to be satisfied for 100-year criteria for waves (1% probability of excellence per year) together with 10-year criteria for currents. whereas ocean currents might be considerable. 1988). The installation depth becomes important due to the decreasing values of the water wave particle velocities with increasing water depth. This method excludes the upper bend.e. The criteria for pipe laying during the summer period are typically defined as the “10-year summer-storm” -criteria. This means.Less weather sensitivity .1 Requirements The requirements for on-bottom stability are: • Pipeline to be stable. 2000). there is a 10 % probability of exceedance per year for the actual period.pipe lay vessel. an alternative method of pipe laying can be done by the J-lay method. It is worth mentioning that the efficiency. when laid empty The pipeline shall not lift-up from the seafloor subsequent to laying and the pipeline shall not move horizontally or vertically in waves and currents. J-laying is typically used for pipe installation into large water depths. Hence. The additional weight acts beneficial to the pipeline stability. the pipe lay capacity. The methodology for stability design is dependant on which designcode is to be used. For a quasi-static design approach.

Current Wave particle motion FV FH Ff sea bottom W Figure 9. insertion of equation 12 into 11 gives: f ⋅ (W − FV ) > γ st ( FD + FI ) (13) Figure 10 illustrates the flow regime past a cylinder near to the sea bottom. see also Figure 10. On-bottom pipeline. normally not taken less than 1. And: F f = f ⋅ (W − FV ) (12) Where: f: friction factor between the pipeline and sea bottom Hence.1 1 = ⋅ ρ ⋅ D ⋅ CD ⋅ V ⋅ V (Drag term) 2 Water density. giving rise to the drag force 15 . In Figure 9: FV: FH: Ff : W: • vertical force (lift force) horizontal force (drag and inertia forces) friction force gravity force (submerged weight of the pipe) Horizontal pipeline stability is secured when: F f > FH = γ st ( FD + FI ) (11) Where: γst FD ρ: D: CD: V: FI CI factor of safety. (sea water typically 1025 kg/m3) outer diameter of the pipeline (including thickness of coating) drag coefficient water particle velocity of current + wave 4 inertia coefficient = π ⋅ ρ ⋅ D 2 ⋅ C I ⋅ V (Inertia term) .

then: 1  γ f ⋅ (W −  ⋅ ρ ⋅ D ⋅ C L ⋅ V ⋅ V  > st ⋅ ρ ⋅ D ⋅ C D ⋅ V ⋅ V 2  2 Where: CL: (14) lift coefficient Further manipulation gives the required pipeline weight as a function of the lift. Hence. For larger on bottom currents in deep waters. The lift forces as well as the drag forces are functions of the flow velocity past the top of the pipeline.5). The pressure drop causes drag force in the flow direction. use of Bernoulli’s formula is relevant. A pipeline on the sea bottom experiences a vertical lift force and horizontal drag and inertia forces due to the particle flow past the pipeline induced by waves and currents.Figure 10. Flow past a cylinder near to the sea bottom. As the flow past the pipeline is high. we can consider the effects of currents alone. Furthermore. drag and friction force as expressed in equation 15:  γ  1 W >  st ⋅ C D + ⋅ C L  ⋅ ρ ⋅ D ⋅ V ⋅ V  2⋅ f  2   • Vertical pipeline stability is secured when: W > γ st FL . causing the pressure to drop behind it. In deeper waters (when the water depth/the wave length > 0. If the formula for the lift force is inserted into Equation 13. a low pressure on top of the pipeline tends to lift the pipeline up due to locally lower pressure. particle velocities induce vortexes shredded on the leeward side of the pipeline. the effects of waves on the water particle velocities and accelerations are small. that is: W > (15) γ st 2 ⋅ ρ ⋅ D ⋅ CL ⋅ V ⋅V 16 .

15) ⋅ 1025 ~ 880 N/m That means.9 V = Vcurrent + Vwave = 1 m/s (a high current is assumed.1  W > ⋅ 0.7  W > (0.9 + ⋅ 0.3 ⋅ 1 ⋅ 1 = 151 N/m 2 2 The requirement for vertically stability was: W > γst FL. In case of a dominating current: 17 . 5 Free spans of pipelines 5. there will be a free span.3 We need to find the required pipeline weight (submerged) in order to satisfy the stability requirements. assume high friction.3  ⋅ 1025 ⋅ 1 ⋅ 1 2  2 ⋅ 0 . And since W ≥ 880 N/m > γst FL = 166 N/m.7.2 Example: Stability calculations The following parameters are assumed to be valid for this example: ρ = 1025 kg/m3 D=1m CD = 0.707 + 0. the pipeline is also stable vertically. for W > 880 N/m the pipeline is stable horizontally in accordance with the assumed parameters. Lift force: FL = 1 ⋅ ρ ⋅ D ⋅ CL ⋅ V ⋅ V 2 (16) Where: CL = 0. Equation (16) gives: FL = 1 1 ⋅ ρ ⋅ D ⋅ C L ⋅ V ⋅ V = ⋅ 1025 ⋅ 1 ⋅ 0. while Vwave is small in deep waters) f = 0.1 Free spans If a pipeline is located above the sea bottom. Insertion of the parameters into Equation (15) gives: 1  1 . Note that the current velocity is to be measured at the particular location of interest.4. Insertion of the parameters into the equation for the lift force. whereas the particle velocity due to waves is to be calculated.

Hence. Solutions to problems in case of long spans: • Support the pipe by mechanical devices • Vortex shedding devices to be installed • Support the pipe by rock-dumping • Trench the shoulders Figure 11. 5. for transverse oscillations will depend on the SV 0. for example in connection with a shore approach.2V velocity of the flow. We must avoid the Eigen-frequency of the pipe oscillation. The Eigen frequency of the pipe will depend on the strength of the pipe and the boundary conditions where the pipe rests on the seabed (the shoulders of the free span). but generally f vortex = ≈ D D S is the Strouhals number. Free span of a pipeline. fvortx. The vortex shedding frequency. the standard for submarine pipelines by DNV (2000) takes into account all latest research and longer free spans might be accepted. V. however. The industry used to restrict the length of the free span to 40m in order to avoid large vibrations. In the Arctic the sea bottom is uneven due to iceberg and ice ridge scouring and the determination of free span length is an important issue. see Figure 11. Where: In line oscillations occur at less velocity than the transverse oscillations but the amplitudes are only 10 to 20% of the transverse oscillations.2 Close to shore For pipelines installed in shallow waters. Note that moving sand dunes can create free spans. the current tends to be strong and the wave particle velocities are large.• • • • Horizontal force and lift force are non-negligible Dependent on the vortex shedding frequency (as there is no friction) the pipe will start oscillating. the pipeline 18 .

A long pipeline when heated will expand proportionally to the thermal expansion coefficient of steel and the expansion will be directed towards the pipeline ends. S. A. Det Norske Veritas. be larger. pipe bends. 43rd edition. whereby the sea bed material looses its stability and might be washed out. 6 Pipeline attachments to a structure Where the pipeline is attached to an offshore structure. Furthermore. American Petroleum Institute. 155 pages Bai. J. In order to accommodate the expansion.. 2000): Submarine Pipeline System. one of these being connected to the offshore structure. the heat capacity of the pipe tends to taw the surrounding ground. The lift force Fl 0 when the trenching depth is D/2. 500 pages Guo. 163 pages 19 . The trenching depth should. March 1st. are installed close to the structure as shown in Figure 12. Ghalambor. Y. (2005): Offshore pipelines. Shore approaches in the Arctic are particularly difficult due to permafrost in the sea bottom. i. Figure 12.will normally be trenched due to avoiding pipeline movements during operations and the stresses are limited. expansion loops. Elsevier. Offshore Standard DNV-OS-F101. taking sand transport into account. 2004. Washington DC. Trenching the frozen ground may become difficult and when the pipe finally has been trenched. Elsevier. 277 pages (DNV.. Song. B. References: API (2004): API 5L. (2001): Pipelines and risers.e. Oslo. Pipeline loop near an offshore structure to accommodate thermal expansion in the pipeline. and Chako. however. it is important that the pipe be allowed to expand sufficiently on the seabed when the pipeline is being heated by oil or gas. Specification for line pipe. the pipelines may have to be deeply trenched due to avoiding pipeline rupture caused by scouring of icebergs or ice ridges.