In January 2000, PETROBRAS faced a leakage of heavy heated MF380 oil from a 0.406m pipeline in the Guanabara Bay. When interacting with the soil, the thermal structural buckling of the pipeline induced the rupture of the pipeline wall causing the oil to leak. In order to overcome this undesired phenomenon, PETROBRAS studied several new pipeline alternatives. As a result of these studies, a “ZIG-ZAG” geometry pipeline named PE-3 was adopted. Given that the oil industry applications of this kind of concept have been very few and in soil conditions different from the ones in the Guanabara Bay, a very sophisticated procedure was developed including the simulation the thermal mechanical interactions between the soil and the pipeline structure. Computer modeling was carried out using the finite element method considering the soil, the pipeline non-linear material behavior and the finite displacements. In order to validate the numerical modeling, an experimental test was carried out in a reduced model with physics similar to a ZIG-ZAG geometry pipeline (PE-3). The numerical and experimental results match and have a fine conformity. After validation of the models, numerical and experimental parametric studies were completed with various angles and wavelengths of ZIG-ZAG to evaluate the conception of the PE-3 pipeline.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.