Deep sea pipelines to green gas production

Oct 10, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- University of Queensland researchers are working to tap into a wealth of natural gas resources located in distant, deep-ocean fields off the coast of Western Australia.

Civil engineers Dr Faris Albermani and Dr Tom Baldock are working as part of the CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship's Subsea Pipeline Collaboration Cluster to safely and economically design and operate subsea pipelines in Australia's deepwater frontiers.

Stretching hundreds of kilometres long and positioned in waters of almost a kilometre deep, the ultra-long pipelines will carry oil and gas from the remote reserves directly to the shore.

Dr Albermani said the subsea pipelines would enable us to tap into previously unattainable natural gas resources situated off Australia's continental shelf.

“Australia has recently expanded its area of offshore exploration and geologists believe there are lots of gas and oil resources in deep-sea fields to sustain the country for a long time.

“The new pipelines will transport oil and gas directly from subsea wells to the shore without the need for production platforms.”

The major challenge of their work is designing stable pipelines which will withstand decades of strong currents, a shifting seabed and steep seabed slopes.

Dr Albermani's research will be vital in ensuring the structural reliability of the pipeline in the deep-water environment.

“A rupture in the pipeline could cost millions of dollars and potentially leak gas and oil into the environment,” Dr Albermani said.

“Our research will investigate the effects of buckling on these ultra-long pipes and ways in which we can stop it from spreading through and damaging the pipeline.”

The researchers will also be looking at the safe routing of the pipeline as it travels up from very deep water through submarine canyons and soft soil and onto the continental shelf.

“We already know that this technology works, now we have to adapt it to make it suitable for these unpredictable deepwater conditions,” Dr Baldock said.

“We need to know what protection the pipes require from hazards such as tsunamis which may trigger submarine landslides and seabed erosion.”

UQ is one of six universities taking part in the Subsea Pipeline Collaboration Cluster through CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans Flagship. The group is led by The University of Western Australia and also involves Monash University, The University of Sydney, Curtin University of Technology and Flinders University.

Source: University of Queensland

Explore further: Fully automated: Thousands of blood samples every hour

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fun cryptography app pleases students and teachers

2 hours ago

Up on Google Play this week is Cryptoy...something that you might want to check out if you or someone you know wishes entry into the world of cryptography via an educational and fun app. You learn more about ciphers and keys; you ...

Recommended for you

First drone in Nevada test program crashes in demo

6 hours ago

A drone testing program in Nevada is off to a bumpy start after the first unmanned aircraft authorized to fly without Federal Aviation Administration supervision crashed during a ceremony in Boulder City.

Fully automated: Thousands of blood samples every hour

14 hours ago

Siemens is supplying automation technology for the longest and one of the most cutting-edge sample processing lines in any clinical laboratory. The line, or automation track, 200 meters long, in Marlborough, ...

Explainer: What is 4-D printing?

14 hours ago

Additive manufacturing – or 3D printing – is 30 years old this year. Today, it's found not just in industry but in households, as the price of 3D printers has fallen below US$1,000. Knowing you can p ...

First series production vehicle with software control

15 hours ago

Siemens has unveiled the first electric series production vehicle with the central electronics and software architecture RACE. This technology, developed in the research project of the same name, replaces ...

Amputee puts limb system through its paces

17 hours ago

"Amputee Makes History with APL's Modular Prosthetic Limb" is the headline from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, where a team working on prosthetics observed a milestone when a double amputee showed ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

matelot
1 / 5 (1) Oct 11, 2008

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.