Submarine pipelines, as arteries for offshore oil and gas transportation, play a particularly important role in the exploitation of offshore oil and gas resources. Since the world’s first submarine pipelines were laid in the Gulf of Mexico, numerous failures have been caused by pipeline free-spanning. This paper provides a review of the causes and treatment measures for the free span of submarine pipeline. Various factors cause the free span of submarine pipelines, including wave flow scouring, fluctuations in seabed topography, residual stress or thermal stress of pipelines, and human activities. The scour of the wave current is the main factor affecting free span; the research on sediment starting and equilibrium depth during scour is reviewed in-depth. For the span treatment of submarine pipelines, the main measures available at present include the re-digging trench burying, structural support, covering bionic water plants, and choke plate self-burying. For each, the principle, advantages, disadvantages, and research are discussed. This review provides a convenient resource for understanding the causes of submarine free-spanning pipelines and choosing suitable treatment measures.
Document type: Article
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