This paper addresses the phenomenon of pipeline walking, which can cause cumulative axial displacement of a whole pipeline, leading to potential failures at tie-ins or risers. This phenomenon can massively complicate the design of deepwater flowlines and has significantly affected field layouts on a number of recent projects.
The Safebuck joint-industry project (JIP) has developed new analytical equations from first principles that predict the rate of walking. These equations have been successfully validated against finite element (FE) models and bring welcome simplicity to conceptual design assessments.
The Safebuck JIP was undertaken with the intent of developing a guideline for the design of high-temperature pipelines prone to lateral buckling. Part of the JIP included an investigation into the little-understood pipeline-walking phenomenon, which has occurred in several pipelines and had led to at least one failure.
The aim of this task within the JIP was to define the key factors that influence pipeline walking and provide guidance for assessing the severity of the walking problem.
This paper summarizes the work done on pipeline walking and presents simple analytic expressions that can be used to assess pipeline walking at a conceptual design stage.
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