American Society of Civil Engineers

Behavior of Driven Piles in the Arabian Gulf—Consequences of Imperfections and Lessons Learned

by Waddah Akili, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, (Professor of Civil Engineering, (Retired), Principal, Geotechnical Engineering, 3222 Evergreen Rd. Ames, Iowa. E-mail:
Section: Foundations and Ground Improvement, pp. 253-262, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Geo-Frontiers 2011: Advances in Geotechnical Engineering
Abstract: The demand for off-shore pile installation in the Arabian Gulf has, over the last two decades, experienced unprecedented boom, triggered by the construction of platforms, to help facilitate the production and transport of oil and gas. Available borehole data show that ground conditions for pile installation in the offshore is highly variable, resulting in misassessment of insitu conditions, leading to large discrepancies between ultimate pile capacities, based on design, and actual capacities after installation. This paper uses pile installation records derived from platforms in the offshore of Qatar, the Gulf Region. More specifically, the paper evaluates "as-installed" ultimate capacities and safety factors, recommends remedial installation procedures, and proposes a means for determining pile acceptability for piles meeting refusal short of design penetration. The paper offers relevant recommendations to guide the design and installation of offshore structures; enabling the region’s geotechnical community to solve their current pile installation problems and gain a margin of confidence regarding the ultimate capacity of installed piles.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Driven piles
Middle East
Offshore platforms