This paper addresses the phenomenon of pipeline walking, which can cause
cumulative axial displacement of a whole pipeline, leading to potential
failures at tie-ins or risers. This phenomenon can massively complicate the
design of deepwater flowlines and has significantly affected field layouts on a
number of recent projects.
The Safebuck joint-industry project (JIP) has developed new analytical
equations from first principles that predict the rate of walking. These
equations have been successfully validated against finite element (FE) models
and bring welcome simplicity to conceptual design assessments.
The Safebuck JIP was undertaken with the intent of developing a guideline
for the design of high-temperature pipelines prone to lateral buckling. Part of
the JIP included an investigation into the little-understood pipeline-walking
phenomenon, which has occurred in several pipelines and had led to at least one
The aim of this task within the JIP was to define the key factors that
influence pipeline walking and provide guidance for assessing the severity of
the walking problem.
This paper summarizes the work done on pipeline walking and presents simple
analytic expressions that can be used to assess pipeline walking at a
conceptual design stage.
© 2008. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- Original manuscript received:
6 February 2006
- Meeting paper published:
1 May 2006
- Revised manuscript received:
14 March 2008
- Manuscript approved:
14 March 2008
- Version of record:
15 September 2008