Recently Petrobras has been developing a production module of Roncador field through the P-52 platform in the Campos Basin, offshore Brazil. This platform is a floating production facility located in deep water and was tied back to the PRA-1 platform in shallow water by an 18-inch pipeline in order to export the oil production. This pipeline operates under high pressure and high temperature (HP/HT) conditions and was laid on the seabed. As a result of the extreme operating conditions, this pipeline is highly susceptible to lateral buckling and a buckle initiation strategy based on triggers to control the buckling behavior was designed. Thus sleepers and distributed buoyancies were designed and installed along the pipeline route. In addition to the buckles at the triggers, some additional, on-bottom, buckles were assessed in order not to compromise the design strategy. In recent geophysical data surveys carried out along the route length with the pipeline in operation, both engineered and on-bottom buckles were identified. This paper aims to present the thermo-mechanical design of the P-52 oil export pipeline, performing a comparison between some results obtained in design and observed during operation. Thus this paper intends to evaluate the pipeline as-built plus the operational pipeline configurations, and to assess the robustness of the design strategy applied regarding lateral buckling behavior.

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