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Part II

Pipeline Design

Chapter 14 Seismic Design

14.1 Introduction
Oil and gas pipeline routes often pass through large geographical areas, from the supply point
to the end-user, crossing seismic-active areas. Earthquake damage to oil and gas pipelines can
cause significant financial loss, including secondary losses resulting in service interruption,
fires, explosions, and environmental contamination. Examples of such catastrophes include
the 1964 Alaska Earthquake; the San Fernando Earthquake of 1971; the Guatemala
Earthquake in 1976; the 1987 Ecuador Earthquake; the Kobe Earthquake in 1995 and the 2003
Algeria Earthquake. A general conclusion drawn from a review of many earthquake events
shows that, for buried steel pipelines, the direct effect of seismic ground wave on the integrity
of long and straight pipelines is generally not significant. Where there is permanent ground
deformation due to soil failure, there may be a severe influence upon pipeline integrity. For
unburied pipelines, both seismic ground wave and permanent ground deformation can cause
severe damage to pipelines, depending on the pipeline geometry and connected structures.

Damage to pipeline systems during an earthquake, whether onshore or offshore, can arise from
the traveling ground waves and permanent ground deformation due to soil failures. The
primary soil failures are:
• Faulting;
• Landslides;
• Liquefaction;
• Differential Settlement;
• Ground-cracks.

Seismic ground waves produce strains in buried pipelines. However, because there are little
or no inertia effects from dynamic excitation, the strains tend to be small and often are well
within the yield rupture threshold of the pipeline material. The direct effect of seismic waves
is, therefore, generally not expected to cause rupture or buckling failure to buried pipelines.
Nonetheless, seismic waves can cause damage to unburied pipeline systems, especially in the
interfacing area, such as in the pipeline transition section from buried-to-unburied and the
pipeline tie-in spool to the subsequent structure. In general, the seismic analyses of the
permanent ground deformation for buried pipes and unburied pipes, and seismic ground waves
for unburied pipes are required for designing pipeline systems.
220 Part II Pipeline Design

Offshore pipelines are normally buried for stability and mechanical protection; otherwise they
are laid on the seabed. This Chapter will:
• Address available seismic design codes and standards for offshore pipelines;
• Discuss a general design and analysis methodology for fault crossing and seismic
ground wave;
• Present design and analysis examples using a static model for buried pipe, subjected to
permanent ground deformations due to the foundation failure and a time history
dynamic model for unburied pipelines subjected to seismic ground waves.

14.2 Pipeline Seismic Design Guidelines

The American Society of Civil Engineers, ASCE (1984) collected some published
systematical papers in seismic analysis and design as a standard, giving seismic design
guidelines for oil and gas pipeline systems. These guidelines provide valuable information on
seismic design considerations for pipelines, primarily onshore-buried pipelines, and also
force-deformation curves of the pipe-soil interactions for pipelines buried in both clay and
sand. ASCE (2001, 2002) has also developed seismic design guidelines for onshore piping
systems and buried pipes, but not for petroleum pipelines and offshore pipelines. The
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) states that the limit of calculated stresses
due to occasional loads, such as wind or earthquake, shall not exceed 80% of SMYS of the
pipe, but this specification does not provide guidance for the design method. Det Norske
Veritas (DNV) in the code of "Submarine Pipeline Systems" classifies the earthquake load
into accidental or an environmental load depending on the probability of earthquake
occurrence. It also does not provide an earthquake design method for offshore pipelines.

The current Design Code and Guidelines for pipeline systems basically specifies the loads for
analysis and the acceptable stress/strain levels for the system design. For buried pipelines, the
parameters of interest are the displacement, stress and strain under the imposed permanent
ground deformation due to foundation failure. Although the mechanism of the seismic
foundation failure varies for different types, a pipeline response model can be generated with
only minor modifications. For the unburied pipeline, earthquake design motions are typically
presented in the form of a seismic time history ground motion or a design response spectrum,
which is based upon the estimated ground waves and characteristics of the ground structure.

14.2.1 Seismic Design Methodology

Several seismic analysis approaches for pipeline design were developed to predict the pipeline
behavior in response to differential ground movements. Two main structural response models
are considered:

1. Static Model for Buried Pipelines, subjected to fault crossing due to soil failure.
2. Dynamic Analysis Model for Unburied Pipelines, subjected to ground wave load.
Chapter 14 Seismic Design 221 Static Analysis of Fault Crossing

Fault crossing is one of the major hazards to offshore pipelines, whether buried or unburied.
Numerous investigations have been carried out for fault crossing with different soil
movements. The ability of a pipeline to deform in the plastic range under tension helps
prevent rupture at fault crossings. If compression of the pipeline in a fault crossing is
unavoidable, the compressive strain should be limited to within the local buckling criteria.

The amount and type of ground surface displacement is the main factor for designing pipelines
to resist permanent ground deformation at fault crossings. Bonilla (1982) summarized a simple
equation relating the maximum displacement at ground surface to the earthquake surface-wave
magnitude as:
log Z =-6.35+ 0.93M, .^^ j .

where, L is the maximum surface displacement in meters and M^ is the earthquake surface-
wave magnitude. The earthquake magnitude is one of the design criteriae based on the
historical seismicity and geological data. Displacement data from the fault of similar
earthquakes might be used in selecting a value for designing pipelines because of a big
deviation in earthquake surface displacement data, which the equation is based on.

Two typical analytical methods under certain assumptions were suggested for the fault
crossing analysis, Newmark-Hall (1975) and Kennedy et al (1977). Kennedy and others
extended the ideas of Newmark and Hall and incorporated some improvements in the method
for evaluation of the maximum axial strain. They considered the effects of lateral interaction
in their analyses. The influence of large axial strains on the pipe's bending stifftiess is also
considered. O'Rourke and Liu (1999) reported that the Kennedy model for strike slip faulting,
which results in axial tension, provides the best match to ABAQUS finite element results,
based on an independent comparison of the available analytical approaches. The ASCE
Guidelines give a detailed description of both the Newmark-Hall and Kennedy schemes. It
must be emphasized that both schemes are only valid for pipe under tension, since this
condition may not be guaranteed under other various combined modes of fault movement.

Due to the largely non-linear nature of the problem, a finite element analysis (FEA) is the
most general tool for pipeline fault crossing design. Non-linear finite element modeling allows
accurate determination of pipeline stress/strain at various locations along the pipeline route
with a wide range of parameters. The pipe-soil interaction can be modeled as discrete springs
in three dimensions. The pipeline is represented as a sequence of finite straight beam elements
supported on the bottom by the bearing springs. The imposed fault movement is then input
into the FE model as a static displacement boundary condition. The analysis is performed to
determine the equilibrium nodal position of the pipe, bending moment, axial force, strains and
stresses. The next section explains a detailed example of finite element analysis for the fault
crossing using ABAQUS software.
222 Part II Pipeline Design Ground Wave Analysis

Both permanent ground deformation and seismic ground wave can cause severe damages to
unburied pipelines and connected equipments. There are three basic methods available for
analyzing the responses of a structure subjected to seismic ground wave,

1. Static Analysis;
2. Response Spectra Analysis;
3. Time History Analysis.

In general, a static analysis is sufficient for the long-term response of a structure to applied
loads. However, if the duration of the applied load is short, such as in the case of an
earthquake event, a time history dynamic analysis is required.

Static Analysis
The pipeline is divided into individual spans or into a series of segments. Static seismic loads
are considered to be in direct proportion to the weight of pipe segments. The peak acceleration
from the response spectrum is applied as a lateral force distributed along the pipe and bending
stresses and support reactions are calculated. The seismic static coefficients are usually
obtained from the seismic "zone", which is corresponding to a level of seismic acceleration.
Many design software programs can perform static analysis, but these methods are primarily
used in building seismic design.

Response Spectra Analysis

In response spectra analysis, the ground motion vs. frequency method is used. The maximum
acceleration for a given frequency and damping is determined based on seismic maps and soil
characteristics. The higher the damping, the lower its acceleration will be. The responses of
displacements (translations and rotations), loads (forces and moments) and stresses at each
point for each natural frequency of the system and for each direction are obtained after
analysis. The calculated loads, displacements and stresses of the piping system are typically
calculated by taking the square root sum of squares of the response in each of the three
directions. The response spectra method is approximate, but is often a useful, inexpensive
method for preliminary design studies.

Time History Analysis

This analysis method involves the actual solution of the dynamic equation of motion
throughout the duration of the applied load and subsequent system vibration, providing a true
simulation of the system response at all times. In time history analysis, the seismic time
history ground motions (displacement, velocity or acceleration as a ftmction of time) of
seismic ground waves in three directions are applied to a finite element model of a system to
obtain time history excitations of the system, including stresses, strains and reaction forces.
Time history analysis is a more accurate, more computationally intensive method than
response spectrum analysis, and is best suited to the transient loadings where the profile is
Chapter 14 Seismic Design 223

An example of time history analysis with a finite element model for the ground wave
movement with ABAQUS software is detailed in the next section. ABAQUS is the selected
program to develop finite element models of ground soil, pipelines and subsea manifold
connection because of its capability to accurately simulate solid objects, pipes, elbows,
material and geometric non-linearities, and interactions between soil and pipelines. ABAQUS
also provides analytical models to describe the pipe-soil interaction. These models describe
the elastic and perfectly plastic behavior by defining the force exerted on the pipeline and its
displacement. These definitions are suitable for use with sands and clays and can be found in
detail in the ASCE guidelines for the Seismic Design of Oil and Gas Pipeline Systems.

14.2.2 Seismic Level of Design

Two design levels are normally adopted for the design criteria:
1. Contingency design earthquake (CDE), and
2. Probable design earthquake (PDE).

The CDE represents a higher-level earthquake, established on the basis of a geo-seismic

evaluation with a typical return period of 200 to 1000 years for pipelines. The intensity of
CDE is taken as the design limits, exceeding causes of pipe failure, or at least sufficient
damage to cause an interruption of service. On the other hand, the PDE is a lower level
earthquake, which assumes only minor damages to the pipeline system without interrupting
the service. These events are likely to occur during the life of the pipeline and are therefore
incorporated as part of the design environmental load. PDE is usually taken to have a return
period of 50 to 100 years.

14.2.3 Analysis Examples

To explore the seismic responses of offshore pipeline systems, two study examples are
presented here:

• Static response of a 42-inch buried pipeline to permanent ground deformations where

the pipeline is fully buried under the natural seabed.
Dynamic response of a 42-inch unburied pipeline system to seismic waves where the
pipeline is laid on the seabed and connected to a subsea manifold. Buried Pipeline Responses for a Fault Crossing

A buried steel pipeline with a 42-inch diameter and a 0.875-inch wall thickness, material of
API 5L Grade-X65, contains oil at a specific gravity of 0.8. The pipeline is backfilled with a
3-foot sand depth median, with a density of 120 pounds per cubic foot and a friction angle of
224 Part II Pipeline Design











Figure 14.1 Buried pipeline under a fault crossing.

Figure 14.1 shows a sketch of a buried pipeline under a fault crossing due to an earthquake.
The fault length in the plan direction is set as 1.2 m, in the vertical direction, with set as 1.0
m. A static analysis of buried pipeline was analyzed by using ABAQUS, the Finite Element
software. Here, the unanchored length varies depending on the pipeline size and axial pipe-soil
interaction force (friction force). The 1000 m long pipeline, with both ends fixed, is modeled
by using pipe elements in the example.

Non-linear pipeline-soil interactions in axial, lateral, and vertical directions are modeled with
pipe-soil interaction elements and soil characteristics inft-Xt,fp-yp and fq-Zq force-deformation
curves. Based on the formulas suggested in the ASCE guidelines, the maximum axial
interaction force per unit length at the pipe-soil interface (ft is 36.6 kN/m, and corresponding
maximum deformation, Xt) is 0.004 m. The maximum lateral interaction force per unit length
(fp is 175.4 kN/m, and corresponding maximum deformation, yp) is 0.08 m. The maximum
upward interaction force per unit length fq is 38.0 kN/m and corresponding maximum
deformation zq is 0.044 m. The maximum downward interaction force per unit length fq is
1450 kN/m and corresponding maximum deformation Zq is 0.13 m.

Figure 14.2 shows the displacements of the pipeline in y and z directions under the fault
crossing. The corresponding stress distribution at the bottom wall along the pipeline is shown
in Figure 14.3. The maximum stress exceeds 80% of SMYS of the pipe, which is within
ASME criteria. Therefore, the designed buried pipeline is not suitable for the seismic level
which can cause inputted fault distances.
Chapter 14 Seismic Design 225


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Figure 14.2 Deformations of pipeline in y and z directions.



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= 2.0E+08 \
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Figure 14.3 Stress distributions at the bottom wall along the pipeline.
Sensitivity calculations of different buried depths of the pipeline also show that the maximum
stress and strain of the pipeline are proportional to the buried depth, when other parameters are
the same. To decrease the damage of the pipeline, in the possible area of the seismic fault
cross, the pipeline should not be buried. Responses of Unburied Pipelines for a Ground Wave

A seismic dynamic analysis was performed, using ABAQUS, for an offshore pipeline system.
This analysis consisted of two 42" OD x 0.875" WT (API X65 pipelines) and a 300 metric ton
subsea manifold, as shown in Figure 14.5. The pipelines contained oil at a specific gravity of
0.8 with an internal pressure of 600 psi. A settlement of 0.1 m for the subsea manifold due to
sand liquefaction in the earthquake, is considered.
226 Part II Pipeline Design

Figure 14.5 Offshore pipeline system, with a subsea manifold.

0 2 4 6 8 10 0 2 4 6 8 10 2 4 6 8 10
Time (s) Time (s) Time (s)

(a) E-W acceleration (b) N-S acceleration (c) Vertical acceleration

Figure 14.6 Seismic ground motions: E-W, N-S and vertical accelerations.

A 10-second seismic event was used in the dynamic analysis. Figure 14.6 shows the
acceleration time history in the E-W, N-S and Vertical directions. The maximum accelerations
are 0.34g, 0.26g and 0.25g for E-W, N-S and vertical directions, respectively.

In the ABAQUS model, the subsea manifold was modeled as a solid box. The straight and
curved pipeline sections were modeled as 3D beam elements and elbow elements,
respectively. The seabed was modeled as a rigid surface with frictions in both longitudinal and
lateral directions. The pipeline-soil interaction was modeled by a linear contact pressure
relationship. The accelerations in three directions were applied to the seabed. As shown in
Figure 14.7, the maximum Von Mises stress of 191.9 MPa (27.8 ksi) occurs at the spools.
Figure 14.8 shows the time history of the maximum Von Mises stress in the pipelines.
Chapter 14 Seismic Design 227

S, Hises
naltiple sec^cn points
(Ave. C r i t . : 1S%)
+1. 916©+08
+ 1 . 7S6e+08
+ 1 . S96e+08
+9. S79e+07
+7. 983e+07
+4. 791e+07
•i-1. 599a-i-07

SeisBjic J>YD£m±Q A n a l y s i s " •^"•~^..

ODB: s e i s l _ 2 1 . o d b JffiAQUS/Standard 6 . 4 - 3 Sun J u l 25 1 4 : 1 5 : 0 9 C e n t r a l D a y l l ^ ^ ^ J i i t t e 2004

S t e p : St:ep-3^ STEP 3 : EAP.THQUJKE

Increment. 6 6 7 : S t e p Time = 3.265
Primary Var: S , H i s e s
Deformed Var: U D e f o r m a t i o n S c a l e Fact:or: -fLOOOe+OO

Figure 14.7 Maximum Von Mises stress in the pipelines and tie-in spools.

The maximum Von Mises stresses in tlie time history always occurs in the spool areas. The
difference of natural frequencies and weights for the subsea manifold and pipelines causes the
response difference between subsea manifold and pipelines. Therefore, the maximum stress
occurs in the spool areas.

2.0 4.0 6.0 8i) 10.0 12.0

Figure 14.8 Time history of maximum Von Mises stress.

228 Part II Pipeline Design

14.3 Conclusions
This seismic design and analysis methodology as presented here was developed for offshore
pipeline design. It has been successfully applied in seismic analyses of buried pipelines under
fault crossing and unburied pipelines with a subsea manifold by using a static analysis and a
dynamic time history analysis. The sensitivity analysis results show that the buried depth of
buried pipeline and the soil stiffness in the pipeline-soil interaction are the primary factors
affecting pipeline stress in an earthquake. As discussed, the seismic analysis within this
technical note is intended for assistance in developing seismic analysis and design guidelines
for offshore pipelines.

14.4 References
1. Bai, Q., Zeng, W., and Tao, L. (2004), "Seismic Analysis of Offshore Pipeline Systems",
Offshore, Vol. 64, No. 10, 2004, pp.100-104.
2. ASCE, (1984), "Guidelines for the Seismic Design of Oil and Gas Pipeline Systems".
3. ASCE, (2001), "Guideline for the Design of Buried Steel Pipe".
4. ASCE, (2002), "Seismic Design and Retrofit of Piping Systems".
5. ASME B31.4, (1998), "Pipeline Transportation System for Liquid Hydrocarbons and
6. Bai, Y., (2003), "Marine Structural Design", Elsevier.
7. Bonilla, M. G., (1982), "Evaluation of Potential Surface Faulting and other Tectonic
Deformation", Open File Report 82-732, U.S. Geological Survey.
8. DNV-OS-FIOIDNV, (2000), "Submarine Pipeline Systems", Det Norske Veritas.
9. Kennedy, R. P., Chow, A. W., and Williamson, R. A., (1977), "Fault Movement Effects on
Buried Oil Pipeline", Journal of the Transportation Engineering Division, ASCE, Vo. 103,
No. TE5, pp. 617-633.
lO.Newmark, N. M. and Hall, W. J., (1975), "Pipeline Design to Resist Large Fault
Displacements", Proc. US National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Ann Arbor,
11. O'Rourke, M. J. and Liu, X., (1999), "Response of Buried Pipelines Subject to Earthquake
Effects", Monograph No.3, Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering