THREE joint industry projects (JIPs) to be launched by DNV GL will help industry address the new challenges brought about through the offshore pipeline industry.

The first JIP will make pipeline free span intervention less costly, the second will result in faster and more consistent pipeline repair and the last will optimise the design of pipeline components faster, DNV GL said in an announcement.

Company project manager Olav Fyrileiv will coordinate the free spans JIP, developing a method to improve free span assessments, reducing costs through a reduced need for intervention.

Free spans, gaps between the seabed and pipeline, can lead to vibrations which may cause damage, he said.

“Lack of knowledge about the extent of vibrations in small gaps that typically occur on sandy seabeds means the industry is conservative and is potentially over-dimensioning designs and conducting unnecessary interventions,” Mr Fyrileiv said.

The project comprises computational fluid dynamic analysis combined with a significant test program and the outcome will be an extension of DNV GL’s Recommended Practice for Free Spanning Pipelines.

DNV GL has already partnered with Dutch pipeline operator BBL Company V.O.F. and is now inviting other pipeline operators to also join the project.

DNV GL project manager Dag Øyvind Askheim said the Pipeline Repair JIP would see the company invite major players to collaborate in reviewing recent developments in pipeline repair and maintenance.

“We plan to develop formalised criteria and procedures in an updated version of DNV GL’s Recommended Practice on Pipeline Subsea Repair,” he said.

“The aim is to reduce the time and cost spent on the design and execution of pipeline repairs.”

The third JIP concerns the design of pipeline components – addressing a gap in internationally recognised standards and recommended practices on how to consider pipeline components within a pipeline system.

The JIP aims to develop an approach, based on industry experience and best practice, to pipeline component design that is compatible with a modern pipeline limit state design codes.

“The aim is to help prevent project delays, increased costs and, in some cases, compromised safety, which can happen when the interpretation of codes is stretched. We are inviting major players working with pipeline systems and components,” says DNV GL project manager Jonathan Wiggen said.