[Truncated abstract] The Arabian Gulf oil and gas production reserves have made it one of the world's strategic producers since early 1960s, with many of the existing platforms stretched beyond their original design life. Advances in drilling technology and reservoir assessments have extended the requirement for the service life of those existing platforms even further. Extension of the life span of an existing platform requires satisfactory reassessment of its various structural components, including piled foundations. The American Petroleum Institute Recommended Practice 2A (API RP2A) is commonly used in the Arabian Gulf for reassessment of existing platforms. The API guidelines have been developed for conditions in the Gulf of Mexico, the waters off Alaska and the Pacific and Atlantic seaboards of the USA. However, the Arabian Gulf conditions are fundamentally different to those encountered in US waters. Hence, there is a need to develop guidelines for reassessment of existing offshore structures to account for the specific conditions of the Arabian Gulf. This thesis performs statistical analyses on databases collected during this research from existing platforms to calibrate relevant load and resistance factors for the required guidelines. The developed guidelines are based on established approaches used in developing international codes and standards such as API RP2A-LRFD. The outcome of this research revolves around the following three main issues: 1. Calibration of resistance factors for axial capacity of piles driven in the carbonate soils API RP2A (1993, 2000) does not quantify limiting soil parameters for piles driven in carbonate soils and provides a single factor to predict the capacity of piled foundations. This research identifies a set of limiting engineering parameters and calibrates corresponding capacity reduction factors to predict axial capacity of driven piles in the carbonate soils of the Arabian Gulf. ... This contrasts with Section 'R' of API RP2A (1993, 2000), which focuses on extreme environmental conditions when performing reassessment. The probabilities of failure considered in this research do not include errors and omissions (controlled by quality assurance procedures) or material deterioration (controlled by choice of materials, detailing, protective devices, and inspection and repair procedures) or reliability-based maintenance. Addressing operating overload conditions requires attending to two issues, namely the capacity of piles driven in carbonate soils and OALL, which have been addressed in this research. The operational overload situation is likely to occur during shutdown condition or during drilling or work over activities where significant OALL are usually applied to platform decks. Such operational overload can be managed by placing signs at various open areas on the platform nominating the maximum load limits (kPa), introducing procedures that ensure that maximum load limits are not exceeded during operation and management of human behavior by reinforcing the importance of following the procedures. The outcomes of this research are expected to have a profound influence on reassessment of existing platforms in the Arabian Gulf.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2008|