A torpedo base is a type of conductor casing that embeds into the seabed mainly by free fall using its own weight as driving energy. One of the advantages of this concept is to install the conductor casing before the dynamic positioned (DP) drillship arrival at the location. This reduces the time of the well drilling leading to significant cost saving. However, the need to withstand the challenging loads of the ultra-deep water scenarios pushed the typical torpedo base design to its limit and, consequently, modifications to its original geometry and more accurate design models are needed. Therefore, in this work, a new torpedo base, designed to sustain high axial loads in very soft clays, is analyzed with a three-dimensional finite element (FE) model. This model accounts for the setup-effects of the soil with the use of a previously proposed analytical approach to estimate the stress state of the soil at any time after the installation of the base. The results obtained indicate that the axial holding capacity of the base varies along time. The holding capacity increase rapidly at the beginning of the installation, but this rate reduces after the first days. Depending on soil characteristics, full axial capacity may be reached more than one year after the installation of the base. Moreover, the use of more than four fins welded to the shaft of the conductor casing modifies the shear zone along the base, but does not contribute to a significant increase in the axial holding capacity.
- Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
On the Axial Holding Capacity of Torpedo Bases in Clay
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de Sousa, JRM, Genzani, RGBC, Porto, EC, Borges, AT, Nogueira, EF, & Ellwanger, GB. "On the Axial Holding Capacity of Torpedo Bases in Clay." Proceedings of the ASME 2017 36th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering. Volume 9: Offshore Geotechnics; Torgeir Moan Honoring Symposium. Trondheim, Norway. June 25–30, 2017. V009T10A022. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/OMAE2017-62517
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