Offshore Technology Research Center


OTRC Project Summary

Project Title:

Pipe Piles in Sand: An Improvement for the API RP2A

Prinicipal Investigators:

Jean-Louis Briaud


National Science Foundation, American Petroleum Institute, and Fugro McClelland

Completion Date:

June, 1992

Final Report ID#

A31(Click to view final report abstract)

The American Petroleum Institute (API) published its first set of recommended practice for planning, designing, and constructing fixed offshore platforms in 1969.  Over the years it gained worldwide popularity and usefulness in the geotechnical community.  However, along with the success it also drew criticisms, which led to its improvements over the years (Briaud and Audibert, 1990).

Since its inception the API RP 2A has been regularly reviewed and revised at least once in every five years.  The present work on reviewing the section on pile capacity in cohesionless soils of the recommended practice was initiated in June, 1990. This review was undertaken as a two-year research project with the following objectives:  to collect the various criticisms about the current recommended procedure expressed by the practicing engineers around the world; to update the existing data base; to study the criticisms in light of the updated base and explain them, if any; and to suggest appropriate improvements to the current recommended practice.

This project includes an archive of the updated data base and the results of the analysis of the data base.  The data base was updated from its previous state through and extensive literature search.  All of the appropriate load tests that could be founding various international journals until the present time, have been included in the updated data base.  A few proprietary load tests were also identified but, unfortunately, could not be included in the data base due to their unavailability in the public domain. The load tests of the previous data base and the new inclusions are described.  This includes, the origin, quality, and the characteristics of the data.  The findings of the analysis are presented.  The relevant information about the sites and the detailed calculations of the analysis are also included.

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