The ability of oil and gas pipelines to respond safely to soil movements is an important consideration in pipeline design and route selection. There are a number of suggested methods of analysing pipeline/soil interaction in the literature most of which consider the pipeline to be connected to the soil via a series of discrete nonlinear springs. Many of these methods have generally been based on soil/structure interaction studies developed for other types of buried structures such as anchor plates and vertical piles. There are few pipeline-specific theoretical or experimental results available for comparison and validation of accepted design/analysis methods. To remediate this lack of large-scale pipeline-specific data, a full-scale pipeline/soil interaction test facility has been established in St. John’s Newfoundland. This paper presents a description of the test facility, details on experimental procedures, and comparative results from lateral and axial testing in sand and clay.

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