GEOMSA’s Innovative Subsea Pipeline Design Withstands Effects of a Geological Shift in the Gulf of Mexico

Eighteen Years of Marine and Submarine Platform Design Experience

Installing new subsea pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico has its risks. The area contains active geological faults, which often test the structural integrity of an oil production pipeline system. Grupo Especializado en Obras Marinas (GEOMSA) is a major developer of pipe-soil systems in the Gulf of Mexico. With more than 18 years of experience in marine platform and submarine platform engineering projects, it designs pipeline routes and assesses the strength of subsea pipeline
systems by determining the effect that expansion, lateral wear, and geological shifts have on their life expectancy. The organization specializes in terrestrial pipe and industrial installation projects for hydrocarbon collection and processing. On this USD multi-million project, GEOMSA was contracted to design and install an 8-inch to 24-inch diameter piping system that could withstand the forces of a geological shift. The project team’s principal objective was to develop a solution
that would maintain the reliability and safety of the system. Using Bentley’s AutoPIPE software, the team evaluated how the pipeline interacted with the surrounding seabed environment and produced a safe, realistic design to reduce the risk of marine pipeline failure, which would severely impact the local environment.

Innovative Technology Mitigates Stress and Assures Pipeline Integrity

The process helped to identify structural deformities in the pipelines, ground deformities resulting from changes in the pipeline confi guration, load concentrations on the fault edges, and pipeline stresses that resulted from changes in its confi guration. The technology also determined how the seabed that supports the pipeline would react to any geological shift. The team used AutoPIPE to model the support conditions. The application also helped analyze how
those conditions interacted with the pipeline during a shift, which was based on rigidities analyzed from the mechanical properties of the seabed, the diameter of the pipe, and the unit displacement in the pipe.

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