A numerical strategy is developed and used to investigate the localized lateral buckling of circular pipelines under thermal loading and friction. The constitutive relations for circular pipelines are derived for thermal stresses and finite strain based on a hyperelastic constitutive model. The prebuckling lateral expansion and localized postbuckling deformation are investigated. A critical included angle for circular profiles is studied. Beyond the critical included angle, increasing the included angle of the pipeline or changing the boundary conditions does not influence the localized buckling behavior. Parametric studies are performed and the results are validated with ansys.