October 4, 2013

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Sancio Reports on Test Program Simulating Submerged Ice-Induced Seabed Displacement for Oil and Gas Pipelines

Rodolfo Sancio, Ph.D., P.E., based in Geosyntec's Houston, Texas, office, was the lead author of "Large Scale Indenter Test Program to Measure Sub Gouge Displacements" at the 21st International Conference on Port and Ocean Engineering under Arctic Conditions held in Montreal in July. Ice gouging of the seabed presents a serious hazard to offshore pipelines in environments where there are icebergs or where the sea freezes each winter. The test program described in the paper was unique in that it provided the first large-scale field simulation of the effects of submerged ice-induced seabed displacements on buried pipelines. Considering the environmental sensitivity of these seabed environments, the commercial impact of pipeline safety, and the impacts of climate change on ice movements, his analyses of geotechnical engineering considerations in pipeline design have become an essential part of the development process for offshore oil and gas pipelines in cold environments.