Earthquakes and the Indian pipeline industry

Indranil Guha, Beau Blake Whitney, R. Flores-Berrones, A. Barsainva, G. Arya

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    Pipelinesarethe safest, most reliable, affordable, and efficient means for the transportation of water and other commercial fluids such as oil and gas. In last few decades the importance of the pipeline transportation system has increased due to its extensive use in the oil and gas industry. Pipelines pass through myriad geologic environments and some are subjected to earthquake hazards. Historically, the most catastrophic damages are the once resulting from faulting, seismic shaking, and Iiquefaction.Among others, the San Francisco (1906); Meckering, Australia (1968); Mexico City (1985); Loma Prieta, California (1989); Northridge, California (1994); Kobe, Japan (1995); Bhuj, India (2001); Denali, Alaska (2003); and Sumatra (2004) earthquakes all triggered damages to critical pipeline routes. Ruptures or severe distortions of the pipeline are often associated with Iandslides,liquefaction, loss of support,fault surface rupture, or differential motion at abrupt interfaces between rock and soil. The performance of buried and above-ground pipeline structures subjected to seismic hazards has become an important subject of study.Approximately 2,000,000 km of pipelines has been laid worldwide. In India there are already more than 23,000 km of oil and gas pipelines that have been laid through many geographical areas and geologic conditions. More pipelines are slated to be laid in the future.There are plans for cross-border pipelines from Afghanistan; the route is in areas of high seismicityJhere is also plan to construct an offshore pipeline over 1300 km of highly variable geologic conditions between the Middle East and India across the Indus River delta.The performance of buried and above-ground pipeline structures subjected to ground-surface rupture, soil liquefaction, and other seismic hazards is critical for engineers to understand in the Indian context. Seismic design and engineering of pipelines has advanced significantly in last few decades; still, little has been accomplished to address the vulnerability of buried pipelines to seismic hazards.With new and proposed cross-country pipelines in India, it is becoming more important to understand the effects of seismic hazards (such as shaking, liquefaction, fault-surface rupture) on buried pipelines.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)335-344
    JournalJournal of Pipeline Engineering
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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