Offshore production fields require long submarine pipelines for transporting production fluids that are inherently multiphase. This condition and hydraulic sizing of pipelines lead often to the development of slug flow patterns in which condensate slugs traveling in the pipeline, act as moving gravity loads for the piping structure, therefore producing a dynamic response especially important for the free spans. Recently some authors have shown that this phenomenon may produce a cyclic damage that could reduce in a significant way the fatigue life of the pipelines, thus constituting a governing mechanism in their design. On the other hand, pipe-soil interaction has also been identified as an important factor in pipeline design and fatigue life; in particular it is important for determination of the static equilibrium configurations and the vibration response of free spanning pipelines. In this work a previously presented numerical model which combines fluid equations for predicting slug characteristics and a structural finite element model for the pipelines transporting slugs, is improved by introducing non linear characteristics of seabed supports. Different seabed supports (linear, perfectly plastic, and non linear with tension cut-off) and different properties of soil-pipe interaction (stiffness, damping and length of soil-pipe interaction) are considered, and their effects on vibration response and fatigue life are compared. Results show that soil pipe interaction is an important parameter in vibration response and fatigue life for pipeline spans subjected to slug flow.

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