Pipeline and Storage

Seismic Response of Pipeline and Gas Storage Surface Infrastructure

Task Description – This research program focused on the seismic response of pipeline and gas storage surface infrastructure. This surface infrastructure includes river crossings, service risers and gas meter units connected to consumers buildings as well as various facilities, such as storage field facilities, metering and pressure regulating stations, and compressor stations. Surface infrastructure generally contains similar components and subsystems such as tanks, pressure vessels, a network of steel pipelines on supports, tees, elbows, and bolted flange joints. However, the configuration and geometry will vary depending on the type of surface infrastructure, rendering their analysis different from that undertaken to evaluate the performance of underground infrastructure.

To address the known and unknown seismic vulnerabilities of industrial systems, with the goal of improving their overall seismic performance, researchers have conducted both laboratory testing and numerical modelling. The laboratory testing included shake table experiments on subsystems and pseudo-static tests on components, including pipe elbows and other connections. Then, for each of these tests a complementary numerical analysis was developed using refined finite element analysis software. While these efforts provide invaluable insight to understand the seismic behavior of the surface natural gas infrastructure in California, there are limitations. This study also aims to address these limitations through their modelling and suggested further study.

Overall, this research program:

  • Assessed available data for seismic performance of both gas storage facility subsystems and the individual components

  • Planned representative shake table tests to capture seismic vulnerabilities of subsystems

  • Performed shake table testing

  • Planned component tests

  • Performed component tests

  • Developed numerical models to validate all laboratory testing

Lead Investigators: David McCallen (University of Nevada, Reno, UNR), Tara Hutchinson (University of California, San Diego)

Team Members: Elide Pantoli (University of California, San Diego), Sherif Elfass (University of Nevada, Reno), UNR Laboratory Technicians