Marine Scientist Exposes Petroleum Engineering Students to Metocean Engineering
A Chartered Marine Scientist, Dr. Emmanuel Osalusi, has charged students of Petroleum Engineering at Covenant University to be mindful of what they do, because their profession as Petroleum Engineers is very sensitive.
Dr. Osalusi, who is a Senior Metocean Engineer with Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO), Nigeria, gave the charge on Thursday, February 15, 2018, at the Town and Gown seminar of the Department of Petroleum Engineering, where he delivered a lecture on the topic, ‘Directional Metocean Criteria for Mooring and Structural Design of Floating Offshore structures’.
Stating that the term Metocean was derived from the words Meteorological and Oceanographic, the Guest Speaker defined it as a discipline covering meteorology and physical oceanography and is concerned with quantifying the impact and effect of weather and sea conditions on a wide range of activities in the onshore and offshore oil and gas.
“Under Meteorology, we have winds, air temperature, air pressure, humidity, precipitation, superstructure icing, cloud cover/height, visibility, and daylight hours, while under Oceanography, we have waves, current, sea temperature, salinity, tide and water level, storm surge, sea ice, sea spray icing, icebergs, sediment transport,” he said.
Explaining the need for metocean engineering, Dr. Osalusi said that the structural failure of the Sea Gem rig in December 1965, with the loss of thirteen lives, was a wake-up call for an improved understanding of the Southern North Sea environment. He stressed that as the fledgling North Sea offshore industry moved into deeper and more exposed waters of the Northern North Sea, demand for marine meteorological and oceanographic information grew, leading to the emergence of engineering meteorology and oceanography as an important offshore industry discipline.
He pointed out that the roles of Metocean in the offshore industry, include the provision of optimal/suitable and innovative metocean solutions and guidance for offshore/onshore projects. These are extreme design criteria for ultimate strength; fatigue criteria; operational criteria for construction/tow/installation; meteorological and oceanographic instrumentation and measurement systems; weather and ocean modeling and forecasting; renewable ocean/wind energy among others.
According to Dr. Osalusi, who is a member of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology, United Kingdom, cross-discipline awareness, early interaction, and appropriate time and budget for deliverables are notable challenges in metocean engineering. However, a closer working interaction between metocean engineers and metocean users add more value, he added.
Also, the guest speaker, while speaking on Directional Metocean Extremes and Failure Modes, said that there are two types of turbulence in metocean engineering, which are Oceanic turbulence and Atmospheric turbulence. He further stated that the North Sea had witnessed multiple mooring line failures incidences between 1981 and 2011 and had cost an estimated US$1.8billion to reinstate. “It’s important, therefore, to ensure that design methodology assumptions are correct, reflecting worse-case scenarios,” he warned.
Dr. Osalusi revealed that he was in Covenant University to share knowledge with the students and see how the University and SNEPCO can collaborate. He said it was discovered that universities do a lot of research but don’t really know how things work offshore.
Prior to the lecture, the Head, Department of Petroleum Engineering, Professor David Orodu, appreciated the guest speaker for coming to Covenant University to share his wealth of experience with the students. He urged the students to pay attention and ensure that they make the most of the lessons learned from the lecture.
Also at the Town and Gown seminar were faculty and staff of the Petroleum Engineering Department.