The operational requirements for subsea pipeline systems have progressed towards higher design temperatures and pressures (HTHP). To address flow assurance requirements, pipe-in-pipe systems have been developed.

For pipelines laid on the seabed, or with partial embedment, the potential for lateral buckling; in response to operational loads, external forces and boundary conditions, has become a major factor in engineering design. The effective axial force is a key factor governing the global lateral buckling response that is influenced by parameters such as internal and external pressure, and operating and ambient temperature. Other design parameters that influence lateral buckling include global imperfections or out-of-straightness, pipe/soil interaction characteristics and installation conditions. Global buckling reduces the axial load capacity of the pipeline that may impair operations and exceed serviceability limit states.

Results from a numerical parameter study on lateral buckling response of a subsea pipe-in-pipe (PIP) pipeline are presented. The parameters examined include pipe embedment, pipe out-of-straightness (OOS), soil shear strength, soil peak and residual forces and displacements, variation in soil properties distributed along the pipeline route, and external pressure associated with the installation depth. The observed pipe response was a complex relationship with these parameters and kinematic boundary conditions.

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