The build-up of friction on seabed pipelines is an important design consideration, affecting their stability and the resulting in-service strain and fatigue. The consolidation beneath a partially embedded pipeline has been investigated in the past and linked to the build-up of axial pipe-soil resistance. This paper extends previous work by providing solutions for consolidation around a new class of shallow penetrometer, to provide a basis to scale from site investigation results directly to the build-up of pipeline friction. Small-strain finite element analyses, using the Modified Cam Clay soil model, are presented for the novel toroid and ball penetrometers. The effects of initial penetrometer embedment, device roughness, strength gradient, and overload ratio have been explored in a comprehensive manner, and are compared with pipe results. The toroid penetrometer shows excellent agreement with an element of an infinitely long pipe, simplifying the scaling process. The ball penetrometer shows a faster consolidation response, typically by a factor of three, reflecting the more effective drainage mechanisms of a three-dimensional device compared to a plane strain device. The dissipation responses are fitted by simple equations to aid application in design.