This paper presents the reliability formulation and analyses for studying and quantifying probabilistically the impact of the main parameters involved in the upheaval buckling of offshore buried pipes due to high pressure high temperature conditions (HPHT) on the reliability of the pipeline. Pipelines are considered installed in a clayey trench and naturally covered. The limit state function is established in terms of the vertical pipe-soil capacity and vertical loading. A lower-bound capacity of the pipe-clayey soil system is included in the reliability analysis in order to represent more realistic conditions with regards to the uncertainty in the capacity. The lower-bound capacity is the smallest possible physical limit of the pipe-soil capacity. Reliability assessments using the main parameters that control the vertical buckling in terms of loading and capacity were performed. Consequently, the variations of the reliability index (β) with the vertical imperfection (δ) and the ratio of the cover height (depth of pipe embedment) to the pipe diameter (H/D) were quantified. The reliability index was evaluated by means of Monte Carlo simulations. The inclusion of the lower-bound capacity by means of a left-censored lognormal distribution was found to increase in some cases the values of β.

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