Lateral buckling has become a challenge to deep water and high pressure/high temperature (HP/HT) flowlines. In areas that support major commercial fishing industries (e.g. the North Sea in Norway and Atlantic Margin in UK), there is high possibility of interaction between flowlines and fishing trawl gears. This interaction can expose the flowlines to substantial loads and induce lateral buckling.

This paper presents global response of subsea pipeline as a result of trawl gear pull-over loads. The external interference from trawl gear pull-over loads can create substantial imperfection or out-of-straightness on the pipeline and may also generate global lateral buckling. The pull-over loads can also induce excessive bending moments and strains in the buckle region.

To be able to understand the global response of the pipeline under pull-over loading conditions, a Finite Element (FE) analysis is carried out based on DNV OS F101 [1], DNV RP F110 [2] and DNV RP F111 [3] using general FE analysis software ANSYS v13. Non-linear transient analysis is used to incorporate the non-linear effects, such as the pipeline material nonlinearity, and the response of a structure under the action of pull-over time-dependent loads [8].

The FE analysis covers two periods of duration, i.e. during pull-over duration and post pull-over duration. The analysis during pull-over duration deals with the pipeline global response as a result of trawl gear pull-over loads. The pipeline is subjected to substantial horizontal and vertical pull-over forces from the trawl gear. For post pull-over duration, the FE analysis was carried out for an additional five seconds. In this period, the pull-over loads are no longer applied. However, the pipeline may expand further due to temperature and pressure loads on pipeline.

The FE analysis result shows that the pull-over loads induce out-of-straightness on the pipeline and may cause lateral buckling. The pipeline deforms laterally at the pull-over location. The DNV displacement condition code check is used to check the integrity of the pipeline. The pipeline may in the risk under the trawl gears pull-over loads.

This paper also shows the development of lateral buckling on the pipeline under different magnitudes of trawl gear pullover loads and lateral soil frictions. Further work should also take into account different dimension of pipeline, as the variation of operating temperature and pressure and variation of lateral and axial soil friction combinations to obtain better conclusions.

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