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November, 2014
This work examines analyses of generic forces responsible for failure in pipelines installed
by horizontal directional drilling method and thereby determining limiting load and stress
criteria in order to prevent collapse, buckling or shear during installation and operation.
Design equations from relevant design codes and procedures were solved and integrated to
create a common platform for analyzing installation loads, collapse and buckling forces in
HDD pipelines. A comprehensive user friendly analysis tool which allows for multiple
design settings, including buoyancy control has been developed in MS Excel® platform. A
typical 610 mm x 24.59 mm x 1 km HDD pipeline installation was simulated and analyzed
using the design tool. The results were analyzed and compared with that of existing
commercial tools for HDD design. Since the results meet all specified design criteria,
within the stated assumptions, it was found safe to proceed with the installation of the
typical 610 mm OD pipeline with a pulling load of 1000 kN, using a 100 ton HDD rig
without risk of failure. Finally, the work has now provided a tool for quick estimation of
limiting load and stress criteria for deep buried pipeline installations in order to prevent
failure during installation and operation of such pipelines.


1.1. Background to the Study

Pipelines are major means of transportation of oil and gas, hence are considered as part of
national critical infrastructure (Iyiola, 2009). However in Nigeria, oil and gas pipelines are
regularly vandalized or tapped by thieves to siphon the transported products. This has huge
economic and environmental implications for both the pipeline operator and the
government, such as economic losses, environmental pollution, reputational damage,
increasing repair and maintenance costs for operating companies, petroleum accounting
challenges and other issues (Yakubu, 2012). Consequently, due to the many risks
associated with onshore pipeline operation in Nigeria, deep burial option for pipeline
installation is currently under consideration by various operating companies (Iruansi,
2014). Horizontal Directional drilling (HDD) technology has found application in several
river crossing projects around the world. In Nigeria this technology is currently deployed
by some pipeline installation companies to install long distance onshore pipelines at depths
above 20m. This depth guarantees the safety of the pipeline from vandals and also impacts
the environment minimally. However, the design and operation of such pipelines pose
several other challenges including installation loads and maintenance constraints, which
have provoked research and development in order to find solutions.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Buckling and outright collapse due to external overburden is a contemporary problem in
pipelines buried at depths in excess of 10 m. This challenge has justified the need to review
existing design and installation practices of deep buried pipelines with a view to developing
a template for the design of deep buried pipelines against collapse at depths ≥ 10 m.
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of the study is to investigate the generic forces induced on deep buried pipelines
during the installation and operation and thereby determine limiting load and stress criteria
in order to prevent collapse, buckling or shear during installation and operation of such
The specific research objectives are:
To determine all design criteria and solve equations relevant buckling and collapse failure
of deep buried pipelines under excessive installation loads associated with HDD
To determine allowable loads for deep buried pipelines associated with HDD installation.
To simulate a typical 610 mm x 24.59 mm x 1 km HDD pipeline with induced installation
and operational stresses using an MS-Excel® HDD Design Template.
To make recommendations to improve design and installation practices for deep buried
1.4 Significance of the Study

The correct solution of the problem presented in section 1.2 will lead to:
1. The establishment of all design criteria and solution of equations that reliably predict
collapse failure in pipelines buried at ≥ 10 m depths.
2. Development of template for design against collapse in pipelines buried at ≥ 10 m
1.5 Scope of the Study
The scope of study covers:
 High pressure liquid transportation pipelines buried at depths ≥ 10 m for crude oil
only. The applicable materials are those permissible in ASME 31.4 code section
434.13.5 (ASME B31.4, 2012)
 Only loads induced on the pipelines by virtue of deep burial and installation method.
1.6 Limitations of the Study
The limitations of this study are as follows:
 The study is limited to deep buried pipelines installed by horizontal directional drilling
method, and excludes pipelines installed by other methods.
 Pipelines designated as High Pressure, High Temperature pipelines are excluded.
 The study excludes maintenance and corrosion problems in deep buried pipelines.
The study excludes multiple lines and High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Pipe installations

3.1 Research Design

The methods adopted for data collection in this research include those obtained from a
recently completed deep buried pipeline project, while the secondary data were obtained
from theoretical analysis. The process has been divided into Input, Processing and Output
sections, involving seven different steps as now discussed.

3.1.1 Input Data

This primarily involves pipeline and soil data which include but not limited to pipeline
size, wall thickness, operating pressure, operating temperature, material grade, thermal
coefficient, installation temperature, design factor, specified minimum yield strength of
material, modulus of elasticity of material, Poisson ratio, temperature de-rating factor and
depth of burial. Others include soil and drilling mud properties such as soil friction factor,
soil friction angle, soil density, fluid drag coefficient and mud density. The input data are
important in determining the loading and stress conditions and hence, the viability of the

3.1.2 Processing

Input data processed to determine the generic forces and stresses during installation and
operation, using well established mathematical and semi-empirical models from
PRCI(1995),ASCE(2005), and API 1111 (2011). The PRCI Drill-Path Analysis Method
was used to compute pulling loads during installation.
Other parameters necessary for load and stress processing include pipe cross-sectional area,
steel cross-sectional area; weight of pipe, displaced and submerged mud weight, earth
pressure, arching factor and design pressure.
3.1.3 Output Data

Output data include pulling loads at different (straight and curved) sections of the pipeline,
stresses (tensile, bending and hoop) as primary output. Allowable loads and stresses were
estimated from the primary output based on established stress criteria to determine
feasibility of installation as provided by project specification (input data).

3.2 Sources of Data

3.2.1 Primary Data

Primary data for a 610mm (24-inch) x 24.59mm x1km pipeline were obtained from an
HDD Construction company in Nigeria. The primary data comprised pipeline design data,
soil conditions and depth of burial.

3.2.2 Secondary Data

Secondary design data including evaluation constants, material and soil properties,
mathematical and semi-empirical models were obtained from Manuals and Design
Standards such as ASCE (2005), ASME B31.8 (2012) and PRCI (1995).

3.3 Method of Data Analysis

The PRCI (Drill-path Analysis) Method, ASCE Method and API 1111 (2011) were used
for data analysis in this work. Manual computation was performed on a typical 610mm
(24-inch) x 24.59mm x 1km pipeline based on design equations as provided by the these
methods and other standard reference materials cited in sections 3.2.2. The analysis was
performed without the use of water for buoyancy control. However, the HDD design
template using MS Excel® developed under this study allowed for the analysis of multiple
design and installation scenarios, including buoyancy control.

3.3.1 Simulation of the Case Study

In order to analytically evaluate the performance of the design template, the case of a
typical 610mm (24-inch) x 24.59mm x 20 km pipeline to be installed to transport crude oil
from Field A to Terminal B was investigated. The pipeline has a river crossing of about 1
km and the depth of burial beneath the river bed is 20m. Specified entry and exit angles are
10° and 10° respectively. Radius of curvature for the curved surface during installation is
1200D (m). The soil is the typical alluvial soil composition prevalent in the Niger-Delta
region and specified as < 30% gravel by weight. Drilling mud for the installation is a
bentonite - based drilling mud (Hydraul-EZ®) with the ability to stabilize bore, return
cuttings and reduce friction between the wall of the bore and pipe. The specification of the
materials and mud properties of the pipeline are as presented in Table 3.1.

The objective was to estimate the pulling force required to carry out the installation and
thereby determine the appropriate rig, the suitability of pipe size and material grade, and
the general feasibility of the installation.

Table 3.1: Pipeline Design Data

Parameter Value
Diameter, D 610mm (24 inch)
Wall Thickness, t 24.5872 mm
Material Grade, S API 5L X52 SMYS (359MPa)
Design Factor (Location Class 1 Div.2) 0.72
Steel Density, ρs 7850 Kg/m3
Installation Temperature, T1 30⁰C
Operating Temperature ,T2 70⁰C

Weld Joint Factor 1 (Seamless Pipe)

Temperature Derating Factor 1 (Operating Temp.< 121⁰C)
Modulus of Elasticity, E 207 GPa
Thermal Coefficients, α 0.0000117/mm/°K
Poisson Ratio, ν 0.3 (Steel)
Soil and Mud properties
Soil Density, ρs 1800 kg/m3
Soil Friction angle, 𝜑 30°
Soil Friction Factor, υs 0.3
Water Density, ρw 1000 kg/m3
Mud Density, ρm 1480 kg/m3
Mud Drag Coefficient, νmud 0 .3



4.1 Presentation of Data

For the problem specified in section 3.3.1, load and stress calculations was performed on
the 610mm x 24.75mm x 1km pipeline. In addition, given their contributions to the
integrity of the installation, the following analyses were performed on the pipeline: Depth
vs. External Pressure Analysis, Tensile Stress vs. Combined Installation Stress Analysis,
Material grade vs. Combined Installation Stress Analysis, Wall Thickness vs. Tensile Stress
Analysis vs. Combined Installation Stress analysis, Entry Angle vs. Tensile Stress vs.
Combined Installation Stress Analysis. An MS-Excel® Design Template created under the
study facilitates the simulation of multiple design and analysis with varying parameters.
The results are presented.

4.1.1 Stress Calculations

From the preceding discussions, the various stresses associated with the installation of a
typical 610mm x 24.59mm x 1km pipeline, given the installation and operating conditions,
are presented in Tables 4.1 to 4.6

Table 4.1: Tensile Stress Calculations

Parameter Value
Tensile Stress,  t T
 21.0733 MPa

Allowable  t  0.9S 323.1000 MPa

Status (  t  0.9S ) OK

Table 4.2: Bending Stress Calculations

Parameter Value
Aspect Ratio D/t 24.7934
1500000 28.8082
Bending Stress σb 86.25 MPa
1500000 269.25 MPa
Allowable σB ( since D/t< )
Status ( b   B ) OK

Table 4.3: Buckling and External Hoop Stress Calculations

Parameter Value

Earth Pressure P e   s H

Collapse Pressure Pc 
Py Pe
Py  Pe
2 2 20.7852 MPa

Buckling Strain  b  t 
  0.0202
 2D 

Ovality δ (Based on 1% Dia. variation) Dmax  Dmin

Dmax  Dmin

Collapse Reduction Factor g(δ) 0.9095

Bending Strain ε  
( Po  Pi )
 g ( ) 0.0174
b f o Pc

Buckling(Combined bending and Ext Pressure f1ε1) 0.0030

Buckling Status   f1 1 OK
External Hoop Stress  h  ( Po  D) /( 2  t ) 4.4620 MPa

Elastic Hoop Buck Stress  he  0.88E (t / D)

296.3338 MPa

Allowable σh,  he 1.5 198.5437 MPa

Status (  h   he ) OK
1 .5

Table 4.4: Combined Stress Calculations

Parameter Value
Unity Check 1( Tension and Bending)
t b 0.3856
 1
0.9S B
Status OK
Unity Check 2
A  ( t   b  0.5 h )1.25/ S 0.3731

B  1.5 h /  hc 0.0018
ν 0.3
Unity Check 2 : Tension, Bending , Hoop A2 + B2 +
2ν|A|B ≤ 1

Status OK

Table 4.5: Operating Stress Calculations

Parameter Value
Internal/Operating Pressure P 50bar (5.0000 MPa)

Internal Hoop Stress  hi  ( Pi  D) /( 2  t ) 61.9835 MPa

Bending Stress  b  ( E  D) /( 2  R) 86.2500 MPa

Thermal Stress σe = Eα(T2 − T1) -96.8760 MPa

Table 4.6: Combined Operating Stress Calculations

Parameter Value
Total Circumferential Stress  c   h   hi 8.0999 MPa

Longitudinal Stress  l   e   b  (   c ) -8.0999 MPa

Allowable longitudinal Stress (0.90S ) 323.1000MPa

Status ( l  0.90S ) OK

Maximum Shear Stress  v  ( c   l ) / 2 88.7280 MPa

Allowable Shear stress ( 0.45S ) 161.5500 MPa

Status (  v  0.45S ) OK
Since the results meet all design criteria specified in the various calculation sections, it is
concluded, on the basis of the stated assumptions that it is safe to proceed with the
installation without risk of failure. For a pulling load of about 1000kN, a rig of about 100
ton is adequate for the installation. The Pulling load obtained is compared to results
calculated using Pipeline Tool Box 2012® and appended in Appendix G.
4.1.2 Analysis Depth vs. External Pressure Analysis
The trend curve showing the variation of Depth of Burial of Pipeline, H (m) and the
External Pressure, Po (MPa) is presented in Figure 4.1
It can be seen from the results that the depth of burial has minimum impact on the
installation as the external pressure has not exceeded the collapse pressure (20.7852 Mpa)
for the pipe material. Tensile Stress vs. Combined Installation Stress Factor
Tensile Stress contributes most significantly to the combined installation stress. This is
because design and installation variables in section 3.3.1 shows that the bending stress,
whose value depends on the radius of curvature and entry angle for the installation is
constant. The relationship between the tensile Stress and the Combination Stress Factor
(Unity Check) is presented in Figure 4.2. Only the wall thickness was varied while other
design parameters remained constant.
This results shows that there is a direct relation between Tensile Stress and Combined
Installation Stress. A higher Tensile Stress will result in higher CISF and may exceed
acceptable limit.
External Pressure vs. Depth

70, 1.2599
External Pressure (MPa)

65, 1.1699
1.10 60, 1.0799
55, 0.9899
0.90 50, 0.8999
45, 0.8099
0.70 40, 0.7199
35, 0.6299
30, 0.5399
25, 0.4499
20, 0.3599
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
Depth (m)

Fig. 4.1: Depth of Burial, H (m) vs. External Pressure, Po (MPa)

Tensile Stress Vs Combined Installation Stress


Tensile Stress MPa





0.2648 0.2326 0.1893 0.1396 0.1217 0.1184 0.1243 0.1267 0.1288
Combined Installation Stress Factor (CISF)

Fig. 4.2: Tensile Stress vs. Combined Installation Stress (Unity Check) Factor Analysis Material grade vs. Combined Installation Stress Factor Analysis
Figure 3.3 shows the Material grade (strength) relationship and CISF, using a constant
diameter 610 mm (24”) and wall thickness 24.59 mm with other installation conditions
remaining constant.
The result shows that for the given diameter and wall thickness, the material grade should
not be less than API 5L-X42. Wall thickness vs. Tensile Stress vs. CISF

For the given material grade API 5L-X52, a variation of the Pipe Schedule (wall thickness)
was carried out to investigate the appropriate material match for the installation. The result
is presented in Figure 4.4.

From Fig. 4.4 it is observed that for the selected material grade (API 5L-X52), a wall
thickness lower than 24”-Sch. 60 will fail during installation. A safe optimum design can
however be obtained if a higher material grade would be used for smaller wall thicknesses.
This is considered in section 4.2.

Combined Installation Stress Factor (CISF) vs. Material Grade









API 5L-A25

API 5L-X42

API 5L-X46

API 5L-X52

API 5L-X56

API 5L-X60

API 5L-X65

Material Grade
Fig. 4.3: Combined Installation Stress Factor Analysis vs. Material grade

Wall Thickness vs. Tensile Strength vs. CISF

70 0.3


Tensile Stress MPa




0 0
24"- 24"- 24"- 24"-
24"- 24"- 24"- 24"- 24"-
Sch:10 Sch:12 Sch:14 Sch:16
Sch:XS Sch:30 Sch:40 Sch:60 Sch:80
0 0 0 0

Tensile Stress 61.1088 51.9795 38.5779 21.0733 14.027 12.6255 15.1442 16.1189 16.972
CISF 0.2648 0.2326 0.1893 0.1396 0.1217 0.1184 0.1243 0.1267 0.1288

Fig. 4.4: Wall thickness vs. tensile Stress vs. CISF Entry Angle vs. Tensile Stress and CISF

The relationship between HDD Entry angle, the Tensile Stress and CISF is presented in
Figure 4.5. It was observed that for pipe diameter of size 20”-24”, the installation entry
angle should not be greater than 14°. Higher diameter pipes should not exceed 12° (ASCE,
Within the acceptable range of entry angles for a given diameter, entry angle significance
on tensile stress is minimal. However, an attempt to exceed the specified entry angle shows
a log normal relationship with tensile Stress, which is beyond the scope of this analysis.
Entry Angle vs. Tensile Stress And CISF
21.4 0.1404

Tensile Stress MPa


20.6 0.1394


Entry Angle Tensile Stress

19.8 0.1384
8° 9° 10° 11° 12° 13° 14°
Entry Angle

Fig. 4.5: Entry Angle vs. tensile Stress vs. CISF

4.2 Discussion of Findings

The primary objective of pipeline design is to optimize the relationship between pipe
diameter, pipe material, pipe wall thickness, appurtenances, economics, constructability
and operability of the pipeline (Akhigbemidu, 2014).
From the various analyses, the mark off points (Pass or Fail) for key design parameters
used in simulating the Case Study were found. Table 4.7 shows the Optimized Design.
This optimization is based on project specification (case study) in section 3.3.1 and
simulated with the Design Template created with Microsoft Excel®.
It was found that while API 5L-X52 was specified as the material grade for the installation,
analysis shows that API 5L-X42 would sufficiently meet design and operating conditions
as given in section 3.3.1. However, if environmental changes and higher operating
parameters is a possibility for the pipeline in the future, API 5L-X52 is recommended.

5.1 Conclusions
From the results and analyses in Chapter Four, the following conclusions are drawn:
The generic forces present in the installation and operation of deep buried pipelines
installed by HDD have been determined.
The equations which reliably describe the installation and operational stresses induced on
a pipeline installed by HDD have been solved analytically.
Buckling and collapse forces have been simulated and analyzed thereby establishing the
acceptable load and stress limits for deep buried pipelines installed by HDD.
The tensile stress generated as a result of the pulling load is the most significant
contributing variable to the Combined Installation Stress Factor.
A user friendly Design Template for Collapse, Buckling and Installation Forces Analysis
has been developed in MS Excel® computing platform.
5.2 Recommendations
1. The installation angle (entry and exit) for pipe diameter greater than 500mm should
be limited to less than 12°.
2. In order to reduce the bending stress associated with the curved sections, the radius
of curvature for the installation should not be less than 1200 times the Nominal
Diameter of the pipe.

5.3 Contribution to Knowledge

This study has contributed to knowledge:
 By identifying gaps in existing codes and standards for the design and analysis of
deep buried pipelines installed by HDD.
 In the development of a comprehensive analysis tool with MS Excel®, by integrating
various design recommendations from relevant design codes and procedures, in
order to analyze installation loads, collapse forces and buckling pressure for
pipelines installed by HDD.

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