The SUMED pipeline is a major oil transport pipeline in the Middle East. It provides an important route for transporting oil from the Arabian Gulf region to Europe and North America. The pipeline was subjected to major damage in the 1990s, which required the replacement of several kilometers at its peak point. Fluid hammer simulations using the method of characteristics show that this damage was due to consecutive shutdown/startup events. Such events led to multiple formation and collapse of vapor cavities at the peak point. Low cycle fatigue analysis confirm the finite lifetime of the pipeline due to the high differential stress resulting from the cavity collapse. Moreover, a safe valve closure operational scheme is computed using fluid hammer analysis that would prevent further formation of cavities and hence ensure safe pipeline operation in the future.

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