Jim Oswell has worked on pipeline projects in western and northern Canada, and internationally for over 30 years. Many of these projects involved site investigations and route reconnaissance, extensive data and numerical analyses, and evaluation and development of engineering study reports.
Dr. Oswell has extensive experience in providing geotechnical input to soil-pipeline interaction analyses, and geological hazard assessments for pipelines. He is an expert in geotechnical aspects of pipelines in permafrost terrain and provided specialist permafrost engineering for pipeline projects across northern Canada, Alaska, and northern Russia. His senior consulting expertise include the following major pipeline projects: Mackenzie Gas Project (Canada), Norman Wells oil pipeline (Canada), Alaska North Slope Project (United States), Denali Pipeline Project (United States, Canada), Alaska Gas Project (United States, Canada), Alaska LNG Project (United States), Baydaratskaya Bay Gas Pipeline Crossing (Russia) and the ExxonNeftigaz Sakhalin to DeKastri oil pipeline (Russia) He was involved in assessing the geotechnical performance of the Norman Wells pipeline for nearly 20 years.
Dr. Oswell has conducted studies or acted as a senior reviewer for pipeline projects with significant engineering and technical challenges such as frost heave and thaw settlement, geohazard management including landslides, liquefaction, as well as soil-pipe interaction, strain-based design issues for pipeline design in permafrost terrain, and geological hazard (risk) assessment. He has conducted geo-forensic investigations for pipeline issues in Canada, Colombia, Ecuador and Malaysia. He has appeared as an expert witness at public hearings, regulatory inquires and in court.
Dr. Oswell has authored or co-authored over 40 conference or peer-reviewed journal papers. In 2016 he published a textbook entitled “Soil mechanics for pipeline stress analysis” that provides key information to mechanical and pipeline engineers dealing with geotechnical data. The book was translated to Chinese and published in China in 2020. The second edition of the textbook was released in October 2021, being approximately double the size of the first volume. He also contributed two chapters to the second edition of Pipeline Geo-Environmental Design and Geohazard Management published by ASME in 2019.
Jim also teaches a short course on the same subject as the textbook and has presented this workshop to audiences in Calgary, Edmonton, Houston, Innsbruck, Seoul, Beijing, Lima, Tokyo, Buenos Aires and Kuala Lumpur.