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DROPS — Dynamic Response of Offshore Pipelines on the Seabed

Subsea pipelines are designed to transport high temperature and often hot toxic hydrocarbons, while interacting with the seafloor and environmental actions. Precise and reliable modelling of this interaction is of key importance in order to obtain a robust yet cost effective design.

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The overall objective of the DROPS Joint Industry Project is thus to improve how we predict and implement pipe-soil interaction and pipe-external wave and current actions in design. This shall be performed by establishing an improved set of numerical models through research and shall involve:

  • Hydrodynamic load models taking due account of recent developments in the field, including waves, current and local seabed topography, also applicable in shallow water
  • A new generation of numerical models for pipe-soil interaction

Better prediction of pipe-soil interaction is important for obtaining better confidence in how the pipeline interacts with the seabed during operation and installation. A more reliable hydrodynamic model is especially advantageous for shallow water and opens up for less conservative designs whilst still conforming with the defined limit states.

The developed models will be implemented and made available to the industry through the tailor-made pipeline analysis software SIMLA. This will provide a full featured engineering tool for assessment of the on-bottom stability considering 3D seabed topography with improved pipe-soil interaction model and optimized hydrodynamic load prediction method for pipelines, umbilicals and cables.

Key Factors

Project duration

2017 - 2023