Numerical Simulation of Crude Oil Leakage from Damaged Submarine-Buried Pipeline

Document Type : Regular Article


1 Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Storage and Transportation Technology, Changzhou University, Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, 213100, China

2 School of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, Changzhou University, Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, 213100, China



Oil spill accidents in damaged submarine-buried pipelines cause tremendous economic losses and serious environmental pollution. The accurate prediction of oil spills from subsea pipelines is important for emergency response. In this study, the volume-of-fluid model, realizable k–ε turbulence model, and porous-medium model were employed to describe the process of an oil spill from a submarine pipeline to the sea surface. The effects of seawater density, seawater velocity, and pipeline buried depth on the transverse diffusion distance of crude oil and the time at which crude oil reaches the sea surface were obtained through numerical calculations. The calculation results show that, with a decrease in seawater density and an increase in seawater velocity and pipeline depth, the diffusion rate of crude oil decreases significantly, the maximum transverse diffusion distance increases and crude oil takes a long time to reach the sea surface. In particular, compared with a sea density of 1045 kg/m3, the transverse distance of a sea density of 1025 kg/m3 is increased by 0.091 m. When the seawater velocity is greater than 1.5 m/s, the diffusion of crude oil in seawater is significantly affected, the seawater velocity increases to 0.35 m/s, and the transverse diffusion distance of oil to the sea surface increases to 12.693 m. When the buried depth of the pipeline reaches 0.7 and 1.3 m compared to 0.1 m, the diffusion widths of crude oil in sea mud rise by 20% and 32.5%, respectively. The time required for crude oil to reach the sea surface and the transverse diffusion distance of crude oil migrating to the sea surface were analyzed using multiple regression, and the fitting formulas were obtained. The results provide theoretical support for accurately predicting the leakage range of submarine-buried pipelines and provide valuable guidance for submarine-buried pipeline leakage accident treatment schemes.


Main Subjects

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