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Fatigue Assessment

Methodology for fatigue life assessment is discussed. Fatigue life dependants for the gas lift lines
are described. Actual parameters for the calculations are identified. Currently missing input data
and its replacement data are highlighted.

/1/ PD 5500: 2003 Specification for Unfired fusion welded pressure vessels,
Annex C Assessment of vessels subject to fatigue
/2/ EN 13445-3: 2002 Unfired pressure vessels Part 3: Design
Chapter 18 Detailed assessment of fatigue life
/3/ DNV-RP-D101: 2008 Recommended Practice Structural Analysis of Piping Systems
Chapter 3.12 Fatigue calculations; App. J Fatigue Calculation Ex.
/4/ PROMECH Extended fatigue assessment as done on Greater Ekofisk assets
/5/ A.ALMAR-NSS Fatigue Handbook Offshore Steel Structures,
Tapir, Trondheim, 1985

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Fatigue is a failure mode that will occur under severe cyclic conditions, e.g. a pipeline subjected to
waves. If a large enough number of load fluctuations are allowed then fracture will eventually
occur. The load itself may not be large enough to cause immediate failure, but it is the number of
load fluctuations that causes failure.

Fatigue failure will occur at the weakest part of a piping system were the stress level is highest.
Welds are normally weaker than smooth pipe since there will always be small imperfections or
fractures in any weld. The size of these imperfections relates to the weld quality. If the cyclic stress
range goes above the lower threshold for fatigue these small imperfections or cracks will start to
propagate/grow and may reach a critical size ending in fatigue failure.

Damage may appear for every load cycle, and the damage accumulates. When the accumulated
damage has reached a critical level (critical crack size) failure will occur.

The most important component under fluctuating stress and strain is called the stress range (or
amplitude). A stress range is the algebraic sum between a peak stress and its subsequent valley.

One method to calculate fatigue life is based on the SN Miner-Palmgren approach. Here the cyclic
stress range, S, is related to the number of cycles to failure, N. SN-curves have been made on the
basis of laboratory tests. In welded piping systems, the weld constitutes the weak link considering
fatigue strength. Fatigue design of piping is therefore based on SN data obtained from realistic
welded specimens. The SN-curve for metals has the form:

S rm N a
where Sr is the cyclic stress range, N is the number of cycles to failure, whereas m and a are

The m and a constants represent the different fatigue curves and the values depend on which weld
detail is under consideration.

For further background information please see below sections Extended fatigue assessment/4/ and
Fatigue analysis of wellhead flowlines/3/.

There are 30 gas lift lines to be installed on Valhall Flank North and South, 15 on each platform.
All gas lift lines are made of 2 seamless 6Mo pipe.

In order to estimate the fatigue life of these lines one has to address the fatigue life dependants.
The following dependents are identified based on the reference documentation listed below.

A. Fatigue Curve
B. Imposed Displacements
C. Number of Cycles
D. Piping Restraints
E. Pipe Material

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