Western Australia Chapter

The challenges of offshore shallow foundation design

Dr Nina Levy

The infrastructure associated with offshore oil and gas fields includes subsea structures located on the seabed along the pipeline routes. These structures are included to support the pipeline at key locations or controlling the pipeline deformation. Typically, these subsea structures are supported by shallow skirted foundations.

The design of offshore shallow foundations addresses a number of design criteria that are generally not applicable for onshore structures. For example, the requirement to prefabricate and transport the foundations to the site, often already attached to the main structure. Another key aspect of offshore foundation design is the need to include skirts to achieve a foundation embedment and the challenges associated with defining the optimal number of skirts to achieve the required vertical and horizontal foundation capacity while having confidence that the skirts can be installed to the required depth.

This presentation will discuss the design considerations typically relevant to offshore subsea structure foundations. Examples will be used to highlight some key design criteria and how these are satisfied in design.

Speaker Biography

Dr Nina Levy has over 10 years combined industry and research experience in the field of geotechnical engineering. Nina graduated with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and a Bachelor of Science (Applied Mathematics) from the University of Western Australia (UWA).

Nina has worked in engineering consulting in Australia and the United Kingdom. Her experience has included geotechnical site investigation and engineering design for offshore, marine and port developments, plant and mine facilities, pipelines and mixed use developments.

In 2007, she completed her PhD thesis at the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems at UWA, on the topic of pile foundations subject to multi-directional loading. Nina is currently employed as a Principal Geotechnical Engineer at Advanced Geomechanics. In this role, Nina has been involved in the design of shallow foundations for subsea support structures for a number of developments on the North West Shelf of Australia.

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