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Comparative Review of the Established UHB Assessment Methods for Offshore Pipelines

[+] Author Affiliations
Sajith Kumar, Daniel Smith, Hooman Jafari

Subsea 7, Westhill, UK

Paper No. OMAE2015-41900, pp. V05AT04A020; 12 pages
  • ASME 2015 34th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 5A: Pipeline and Riser Technology
  • St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, May 31–June 5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5651-2
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Out of straightness upheaval buckling (OOS UHB) assessment considers the pipeline design and operational parameters, post-lay survey data and the properties of back-fill and rock in order to determine load and resistance factors that are applied. The factors allow for the natural variation of all parameters and are ultimately used to determine the download requirements along the route of a pipeline that is susceptible to UHB. Two methods are most commonly used in OOS UHB assessments.

The structural reliability analysis (SRA) method is the most established and explicitly considers the variation of parameters in a Monte-Carlo simulation, enabling load and resistance factors to be calculated with a defined reliability level. A more recently developed methodology is documented in DNV-RP-F110 and provides a unified approach to the calculation of safety factors. The approach was calibrated using structural reliability based methods, undertaken with target reliability levels that are compliant with DNV-OS-F101.

This paper presents a review of two key components of OOS UHB assessments. These components are the accuracy of post-lay survey data and the load resistance factor calculation method. These components are reviewed in the context of SRA and DNV-RP-F110 based assessments for a range of pipeline sizes, and ranges of soil and operational parameters. This enables characterisation of the differences between the two methodologies for ranges of design parameters that represent the majority of in-field flowlines that are installed in the United kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS). SRA and DNV-RP-F110 derived load and resistance factors are compared and the effect of survey data smoothing upon rock-dump requirements is also discussed.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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