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What is Metocean

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For those not familiar with the term Metocean it is a contraction of meteorology, (study of the weather), and oceanography, (study of the sea). It is both an activity and a discipline concerned with quantifying the impact and effect of the weather and sea on people, activities and infra-structure* relating primarily to the offshore renewables and oil and gas industries.

(* It should be noted that for the purposes of this website ‘infra-structure’ is a generic term referring to any man-made object installed and operating offshore, for example wind turbines, fixed platforms, rigs, floating installations, subsea installations, etc).

Although the term Metocean may appear wide-ranging it is important to note that it is specifically concerned only with the physical attributes of the atmosphere and the sea, (as opposed to the biological and chemical attributes). The major physical attributes include the following parameters:

  • Wind speed and direction

  • Wave height, period and direction

  • Current speed and direction

  • Water level variations
Off shore wind farm illustrating consulatncy serves offered by OceanExpert Ltd

There are also a wide range of other parameters including air and sea temperature, snow and ice and visibility. Quantifying the impact of these physical attributes can be facilitated by following a standard Metocean process or procedure which comprises 3 key phases:

Key Metocean Activities

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Acquiring Data

•   That is already available       

   Through measurement by Metocean sensors deployed offshore

   By developing numerical models to simulate past conditions

Providing Real-Time Display and Transmission of Measured Data

Managing the Provision of Weather Forecast Services

Performing Quality Control Checks on the Data, Archiving it into a Database and Ensuring its Long Term Management and Availability

Carrying Out Studies and Statistical Analyses of the Archived Data to:

•  Operational statistics focusing on typical conditions      

  Design criteria focusing on extreme 50 or 100yr conditions

Providing briefing notes and expert advice

How OceanExpert Ltd Can Help You

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With there being a wide range of Metocean activities and sources of potential expertise it is important to ensure that an organisation or company that requires Metocean services makes the right decisions.

Close up of wind turbine blades. illustrating consulatancy services offered by OceanExpert Ltd

There are many important things to consider with respect to Metocean, for example in terms of data it is important to ensure that any data collection programme is properly planned and organised, and of sufficient duration to ensure that any analysis of the data can produce meaningful statistics. For example 1 year of data is insufficient to derive meaningful design and operational statistics due to inter-annual variability, i.e. the climate varies from one year to the next.

In terms of statistics themselves whether they are extreme 50 or 100yr conditions or operational weather downtime it is important to ensure that the analysis and interpretation of the data is carried out appropriately. In this respect it should be appreciated that there can be significant variation in extreme values depending on the data used, extrapolation methods and the contractor carrying out the work.

Ian Leggett’s considerable knowledge and expertise, and wealth of experience in all matters Metocean acting as an independent consultant, safeguards the clients interests and in particular ensures the reliability and accuracy of design criteria and operational statistics.

The Range of Services Provided by OceanExpert Ltd Includes:

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Metocean Consultancy

Metocean Awareness Training Course

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OceanExpert Ltd provides bespoke training courses to raise awareness and understanding of Metocean activities and requirements. These are tailored to a particular company’s needs and can be given either face to face or remotely.

An example of typical course content is provided below:

General Info

•    Session 1 – Broadly an introduction to Metocean.  

•    Session 2 – Focussing on analyses and statistical products.

•    A number of short exercises/tests throughout sessions (individual & group).

Overview Session 1 – An Introduction to Metocean

•    What is Metocean and why do we need it?

•    Metocean activities and inputs for the OR and O&G offshore ‘lifecycle’

•    Metocean expertise and standards.

•    Explanation of Hs, Hmax, Extreme Water Levels etc…

•    Measured data – sensors, history, benefits.

•    Hindcast data – models, benefits.

•    Measured data v model data – differences, implications for analyses/statistics.

Overview Session 2 – Analyses & Statistical Products

•    Extreme value analysis (EVA), ISO-compliance, extreme values v design criteria.

•    Wave parameters, current & wind profiles, extreme water levels, joint criteria.

•    Report presentations.

Wrap-up – summary of learning / challenges / feedback / future.