Stability of offshore structures in shallow water depth

  • F. Van den Abeele
  • J. Vande Voorde


The worldwide demand for energy, and in particular fossil fuels, keeps pushing the boundaries of offshoreengineering. Oil and gas majors are conducting their exploration and production activities in remotelocations and water depths exceeding 3000 meters. Such challenging conditions call for enhancedengineering techniques to cope with the risks of collapse, fatigue and pressure containment.On the other hand, offshore structures in shallow water depth (up to 100 meter) require a different anddedicated approach. Such structures are less prone to unstable collapse, but are often subjected to higherflow velocities, induced by both tides and waves. In this paper, numerical tools and utilities to study thestability of offshore structures in shallow water depth are reviewed, and three case studies are provided.First, the Coupled Eulerian Lagrangian (CEL) approach is demonstrated to combine the effects of fluid flowon the structural response of offshore structures. This approach is used to predict fluid flow aroundsubmersible platforms and jack-up rigs.Then, a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis is performed to calculate the turbulent Von Karmanstreet in the wake of subsea structures. At higher Reynolds numbers, this turbulent flow can give rise tovortex shedding and hence cyclic loading. Fluid structure interaction is applied to investigate the dynamicsof submarine risers, and evaluate the susceptibility of vortex induced vibrations.As a third case study, a hydrodynamic analysis is conducted to assess the combined effects of steadycurrent and oscillatory wave-induced flow on submerged structures. At the end of this paper, such ananalysis is performed to calculate drag, lift and inertia forces on partially buried subsea pipelines.

How to Cite:

Van den Abeele, F. & Vande Voorde, J., (2011) “Stability of offshore structures in shallow water depth”, International Journal of Sustainable Construction and Design 2(2), 320-333. doi:

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Published on
05 Nov 2011
Peer Reviewed