Long subsea pipelines are generally used to connect an offshore petroleum production facility and a petroleum terminal at the coast, to export produced oil or gas. In the pipeline way though the sea bottom, free pipeline spans happen due to the uneven and irregularities of ocean ground. In this portion of the pipeline length, the sea current can cause forces in the pipe, as the drag and vortex-induced vibration forces, respectively. These forces can have great influence in the structural stress and fatigue damage. Therefore, they must be carefully analyzed and considered in the pipeline design. The present work aims to introduce a numerical simulation procedure based on a semi-empirical VIV model to predict dynamic response of a pipeline with free span. Computations were carried out in time domain using finite element method. Beam elements considering large displacements and rotation were used to represent the pipe behavior. The VIV forces are calculated based on hydrodynamic coefficients, like added mass, lift and drag coefficients. In order to verify the accuracy of the VIV estimation procedure, comparisons with experimental results are presented.

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