Developing Innovative Deep Water Pipeline Construction Techniques with Physical Models

[+] Author and Article Information
R. J. Brown

 RJ Brown Deep Water, Houston, TX 77079

Andrew Palmer

Department of Civil Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117576

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 129(1), 56-60 (Dec 02, 2004) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2426982 History: Received March 22, 2004; Revised December 02, 2004

On the large scale of deep-water construction, marine pipelines are extremely flexible. Construction procedures can exploit that flexibility to connect pipelines and risers to floaters, manifolds, wellheads, buoys, and platforms. The paper describes a three-dimensional physical model technique. It helps the engineer to think imaginatively and rapidly to explore different options, with the objective of minimizing construction risk and creating procedures that can be accomplished by the equipment available. The relevant governing equations are derived, and from them come the conditions required for the model to obey the correct mechanical similarity conditions. The model is exact, and can be used to derive forces and stresses; it is much more than just a picture. The paper describes a series of applications to two- and three-dimensional pipeline construction problems, most recently an application to the current Thunder Horse project.

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Submerged suspended pipeline (a) pipe element, (b) forces on element, and (c) forces on water occupying same volume as pipe element

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Figure 2

Drake F-76 bundle installation

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Figure 3

Lateral deflection model: Deflection 20m full-scale

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Figure 4

Lateral deflection model: Deflection 48m full-scale

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Figure 5

Truss Spar, original I-tube pull-in procedure

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Figure 6

General view of Thunder House riser and mooring system

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Figure 7

Flowline and riser installation

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Figure 8

Close-up of PDQ semi-submersible and lay vessel Balder



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