Sub-sea oil and gas pipelines are often fabricated and laid from a vessel known as a lay barge. In order to minimise the bending stresses that occur during installation, the barge would apply a forward load to the pipeline, usually by the use of forward anchors. The welded sections of pipe are then fed aft through tensioners and over a curved structure called a ‘stinger’.
Best Solution developed a simple tool for use with finite element software to find the optimum forward load for a given pipe geometry and sea bed depth. The forward load which minimised pipeline stress, and consequent peak stress and its location could be found efficiently.