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Early-screening Hazard Map for Jack-up Rigs in the Gulf of Suez

Published: Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics: Integrated Geotechnologies – Present and Future: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference, 12-14 September 2012, London, UK, Society for Underwater Technology, London

12 Sep 2012
Lietaert, B., Van der Wal, T., Kortekaas, S., Ngan-Tillard, D.J.M. and Van Paassen, L.A.

Many incidents with jack-up rigs are caused by punch-through of one or more of the legs from an upper zone of stronger soil into a lower zone of weaker soil. The resulting leg plunge may trigger platform tilt, causing possible risk of life, environmental damage and damage to rig. This paper presents a hazard map for the Gulf of Suez (GoS) that allows for early screening of sites with punch-through risks and for appropriate design of site investigation strategy. The hazard zoning relies on numerous data sources, notably regional geological and geomorphological, as well as geotechnical, information from 368 borehole locations. The hazard zoning considers punch-through conditions for conventional sand over clay profiles and for soil profiles with different degrees of pre-consolidation or the presence of cemented layers. Remarkably, hazard zoning was found to be largely independent of the precise geometry and loading conditions of common jack-up rigs used in the GoS. The highest probability for punch-through conditions is in deeper water environments (>50m water depth) and in areas where large wadis bring abundant sediment into the GoS.


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