STRAIN - guideline for strain-based design

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Asle Venås Asle Venås
Senior Principal Pipeline Specialist

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Strain-based design has been utilized in the pipeline industry for many years to enable challenging projects and obtain cost-effective solutions. 

The methods used in the industry vary from project to project and from company to company, leading to an uncertain safety level.

Due to this, many projects go for more traditional designs with unnecessarily high costs.


  • Review existing practice
  • Propose firm load effect and capacity characterization
  • Provide design criteria with optimized safety margins


This new design approach will create a firm basis for cost savings that can be applied to many design scenarios, e.g.:

  • Installation
  • Seabed intervention
  • HPHT


The potential savings due to the application of strain-based design will vary a lot from project to project. However, it can typically allow operation in rougher weather, preventing costly standby and avoiding burial or rock dumping to prevent lateral buckling. The typical cost savings can be in the order of:  

  • Waiting on weather: e.g.: USD 500,000/day
  • Seabed intervention work involving trenching/rock dumping: USD 500,000/km