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HP/HT Pipelines Designed for Lateral Buckling in the South China Sea

Gas production in the South China Sea has seen an increasing trend of pipelines operating in high-pressure, high-temperature (HP/HT) conditions. This has led operators to look beyond the conventional stress-based design and move into strain-based design using the lateral-buckling-design approach. This paper presents both construction challenges and operational works post-startup, aiming to provide operators with cost-effective construction solutions and a risk-based maintenance philosophy when considering lateral-buckling design.

Introduction

Lateral-buckling design is a strain-based design that allows the pipeline to expand laterally at designated locations in a controlled manner. This allows the pipeline to relieve its thermal expansion by lateral movement rather than being axially restrained (i.e., through trenching and burial).

As with any unconventional methodology, such design has certain limit states that require careful consideration. These limit states include local buckling, low cycle fatigue, fracture, and pipeline walking. These limit states are addressed during the design phase, except for fracture, which is addressed during the construction phase. During operation, these limit states are also monitored periodically to ensure that design thresholds are not exceeded.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper IPTC 17181, “HP/HT Pipelines Designed for Lateral Buckling in the South China Sea,” by H. Brian Skeels, Kwok Lun Lee, and Anand Venkatesh, FMC Technologies, prepared for the 2013 International Petroleum Technology Conference, Beijing, 26–28 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed. Copyright 2013 International Petroleum Technology Conference. Reproduced by permission.
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HP/HT Pipelines Designed for Lateral Buckling in the South China Sea

01 August 2013

Volume: 65 | Issue: 8

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