School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering

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Zachary Westgate

Phone: (+61 8) 6488 8160
Fax: (+61 8) 6488 1044

Start date

Jan 2008

Submission date

May 2013

Zachary Westgate

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The as-laid embedment of subsea pipelines


My research investigates the role that dynamic lay effects, or the effects of seastate and the pipe catenary, have on pipeline embedment mechanisms during offshore installations from a pipelay vessel.

The pipe-soil interaction occurring at the seabed softens and displaces the seabed soil, resulting in reduced soil bearing capacity and increased pipe embedment. The work involves back-analysis of as-laid pipeline field survey data, linked to the seastate during the installation and seabed conditions along the pipeline lay route. Physical centrifuge modelling is then carried out to validate prediction methods developed as part of the back-analyses.

Why my research is important

This study is important as pipeline embedment is a key parameter in offshore pipeline design.

The magnitude of embedment affects lateral pipe loading and resistance, axial resistance, and thermal dissipation. The relative lack of understanding of the influence of dynamic lay effects results in conservative pipeline designs.

Reducing this conservatism can allow for significant cost savings for large oil and gas field developments.


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School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering

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Last updated:
Thursday, 19 September, 2013 11:39 AM