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Vertical Penetration of Offshore Pipelines: A Comparative Study Between Finite Element and Finite Volume Methods

[+] Author Affiliations
Sujan Dutta, Bipul Hawlader

Memorial University, St. John’s, NL, Canada

Ryan Phillips

C-CORE, St. John’s, NL, Canada

Paper No. OMAE2015-42076, pp. V001T10A010; 8 pages
  • ASME 2015 34th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 1: Offshore Technology; Offshore Geotechnics
  • St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, May 31–June 5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5647-5
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Deepwater surface laid pipelines generally penetrate a fraction of their diameter into the seabed. The near surface penetration behaviour of steel catenary risers (SCRs) is equally important in offshore oil and gas developments. Theoretical, physical and numerical investigations have been performed to understand pipeline–soil interaction during vertical penetration. The large deformation finite element (LDFE) modeling is a recent and advanced tool among different numerical modeling techniques. The authors of this study simulated the penetration of pipeline using Abaqus CEL Finite Element (FE) software [1]. They also developed a numerical modeling technique based on finite volume approach using ANSYS CFX [2] and showed some of its advantages. However, in that study an ideal soil (i.e. no softening or strain rate effects on undrained shear strength) was used. Strain rate and softening have significant effects on penetration behaviour and therefore in this study a numerical technique has been developed to incorporate these effects in ANSYS CFX. Comparison of the results shows that ANSYS CFX can also model the penetration behaviour. Moreover, ANSYS CFX has some advantages including low computational time, modeling of suction and pipeline–soil–water interaction. A parametric study is also presented to provide more insights into the pipeline–soil–water interaction.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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