The subject of lateral buckling design in recent years has by necessity become increasingly more involved as pipeline projects have moved into more difficult environments where there is a need for optimized economic solutions with assured through-life reliability.

The authors have had direct design responsibility and specialist involvement with a large number of projects covering a diverse range of environments, single or PIP systems, variable product characteristics and operating conditions, external applied loading type, and geographical installation limitations. These include shallow and deep water, large thin walled and small thick walled diameter pipes, flat to undulating hard to soft seabed, variable cohesive and non-cohesive surficial soil types and various other project considerations which have impacted on the chosen design solution.

The purpose of this paper will be to highlight aspects of global buckling design associated with reliable in place systems and conversely those aspects associated with integrity risks to the as-laid operational pipelines. A review of past project challenges along with a commentary as to the state of the art at the time gives an opportunity to evaluate risks and challenges being faced on current projects. Particularly, as it seeks to develop ever more cost effective designs with proven robustness but optimized safety margins for the installation and operation of HT/HP pipelines in marginal fields.

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