Practical aspects and the application of lateral buckling mitigation for subsea pipelines with Residual Curvature Method (RCM) are discussed in this paper. The main purpose of this paper is to promote the RCM in the Asia Pacific region as a practical and a cost-effective alternative to the existing buckle initiation methods for subsea pipelines.
The RCM is assessed and compared with two existing buckle initiation methods (i.e. sleeper and zero-bend radius) using finite element analysis. The build-up of the effective axial force is the key driving mechanism in inducing a buckle in the pipeline. The effective axial force builds up along the pipeline with buckle length and the critical buckling force for buckle mitigation methods mentioned above are presented for comparison.
Some practical aspects and design considerations of the RCM are also discussed. The local residual curvature section, which so far has been applied with reel-lay vessels can be implemented with S-lay vessels as a buckle mitigation scheme. Discussion on a proposal to consider the use of RCM with S-lay vessel is also covered. Additionally, the advantages and disadvantages of RCM are compared with respect to the technical challenges, the construction cost and time, handling operations and installation.
This paper shall provide some good exposure to practising engineers and local/international operators in the Asia Pacific region with a relatively new and efficient method for lateral buckling mitigation and has, to date, been utilized for shallow water pipelines installed by reel-lay vessels.