The offshore engineering discipline involves structural and energy (oil, gas and renewables) industries. Projects are based in the ocean environment and typically involve the construction of floating structures (drilling ships and oil/gas production units), bottom-founded platforms (off-shore wind turbines), underwater structures (infrastructure for oil/gas production).
An offshore oil rig in operation. Source: www.theatlantic.com
Offshore construction involves the building and assembly of off-shore equipment and structures usually takes place on-shore, often as separate modules. These can then be transported and assembled using cranes and specialist vessels which accommodate workers. Off-shore geotechnical engineering is concerned with foundation design, construction, maintenance and decommissioning of man-made structures at sea. The solidity of the seabed must be analysed as it must be able to withstand the weight of these structure and the loads applied onto them.
An offshore wind farm in service following design, construction and commissioning. Source: www.carbonbrief.org
Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, oil has been drilled around the world leading to a gradual depletion of hydrocarbon reserves. Today oil fields are forming far from land and in deeper water leading to an adaptation in offshore site projects. Typical developments extend several square kilometers and comprising of fixed structures and pipelines to export the oil recovered. Today the focus is more on renewable energy solutions including off-shore wind turbines. These can harvest more energy due to the higher wind speeds off shore compared to on land.
Off-shore project management roles will involve leading teams, being responsible for budgeting and ensuring projects are run in accordance with health, safety and environmental policy.
Skills and Expertise
Structural engineering knowledge
Knowledge of fundamental engineering principles
Word processing, spreadsheets and presentations (E.g. MS Word, MS Excel, MS Powerpoint; Google Docs, Sheets and Slides)
Project Management Software (E.g. Microsoft Project)
Oil field services
Off-shore construction technician
Research and Development Engineer
Off-shore rig maintenance engineer
UK: Offshore Engineering Society (OES), Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM)
USA: Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)