Brown, Laura Ann (2003-12). Assessment of seismic risk for subsea production systems in the Gulf of Mexico. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon


  • The number of subsea production systems placed in deepwater locations in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) has increased significantly in the last ten to fifteen years. Currently, API-RP2A (2000 a,b) designates the GOM as a low seismic zone, and thus does not require seismic effects to be considered during the design process. However, there have been a number of seismic events with Richter magnitudes between 3.0 and 4.9 that have occurred in this region. As a result, questions have been raised regarding the seismic performance of deepwater subsea systems. This thesis presents an analytical parametric study where a prototype subsea structure was selected based on a survey of subsea systems. The baseline analytical model consisted of a single casing embedded in soft clay soils, which supported a lumped mass at a cantilevered height above the soil. A number of the model characteristics were varied in the parametric study to simulate the structural response of a range of subsea structures. This thesis discusses the impact of API-RP2A Zone 1 and 2 design seismic demands for the performance of subsea structures. The results from the subsequent analyses show that the stresses and deflections produced by the Zone 1 and 2 peak ground accelerations fall within the allowable limits.

publication date

  • December 2003