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Numerical response of hydrocarbon offshore pipelines subjected to kinematic distress due to submarine landslides

Moulopoulou Dionysia-Aikaterini

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Year 2017
Type of Item Diploma Work
Bibliographic Citation Dionysia-Aikaterini Moulopoulou, "Numerical response of hydrocarbon offshore pipelines subjected to kinematic distress due to submarine landslides", Diploma Work, School of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece, 2017
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Nowadays, the exploitation of hydrocarbon reservoirs in high depths, in combination with the need of transportation of hydrocarbons in long distances, has made the design, construction and functioning of offshore pipelines very important. Given the fact that offshore pipelines are crossing extended areas, there is a strong possibility to face a variety of geohazards that cause substantial permanent ground deformations, thus, threatening the structural integrity of the pipelines.The aim of this study is to examine numerically the response of offshore hydrocarbon pipelines when they are exposed to sea-bed landslide, under various orientations along their axis. For this purpose, numerical models (utilizing an efficient finite element software) have been developed, in order to study the effect of a subsea landslide on pipelines, i.e., the resulting distress of offshore pipelines subjected to lateral ground displacements. Various parameters affecting the examined problem have been investigated, such as pipeline content (natural gas or oil), landslide conditions, geometrical characteristics of the pipeline, etc.Firstly, an extended introduction on the subject is provided, by presenting some general aspects of offshore pipelines and relevant design guidelines according to the Norwegian norm of DNV. Subsequently, some general technical features of offshore pipelines are provided and the hazard of subsea landslides is further analyzed. After a literature review on relevant studies, a validation is performed by comparing the obtained numerical results with those of a relevant analytical methodology. Having validated the developed numerical models, a wide range of critical parameters is examined and their impact on the pipeline is presented. Finally, the results of the study are summarized, in order to assess the vulnerability of offshore pipelines due to landslides and to propose potential mitigation measures as well as to propose suggestions for further studies on this important subject.

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