Case Study of Offshore Pile System Failure in Hurricane Ike

The objective of this paper is to document and study the failure of a driven, steel pipe pile foundation system supporting an offshore platform. The three-pile system failed in overturning because of a pull-out failure of the most critically loaded pile in a hurricane 5 years after installation. The calculated tensile capacity of this pile using the American Petroleum Institute (API) design method is close to the estimated load at failure. This case history is significant because it represents the failure of a large-diameter pile in service when loaded by a storm. Also, this case history generally affirms the current design methods and contradicts a widely held perception that offshore pile designs are significantly conservative. This case history highlights the opportunities to improve design practice by explicitly accounting for pile flexibility when dealing with strain-softening soils and by considering the capacity of the foundation system as well as the capacity of individual piles in design.


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  • Accession Number: 01494066
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Sep 17 2013 4:33PM