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OCEL – Offshore & Coastal Engineering Ltd

OCEL is an engineering consultancy with specialist skills in coastal and offshore engineering. OCEL is an acronym for Offshore & Coastal Engineering Limited, a title which reflects the company’s specialist expertise and experience. OCEL was incorporated as OCEL Consultants Ltd in 1992 following the death of Bob Morris the principal of OCEL’s predecessor practice R W Morris and Associates Limited. The company name was simplified to Offshore and Coastal Engineering Limited, as was originally intended, in 2017. The Senior engineers of OCEL all previously worked for the OCEL predecessor firms R W Morris and Associates and Morris and Wilson before that, and continue to focus in the areas of coastal, marine and civil construction engineering. OCEL both by itself and through the predecessor practices has an unmatched track record in marine work covering ocean outfalls, wharf design, submarine pipelines, coastal engineering and oil and gas in New Zealand. The company has also successfully carried out design, analysis, and the development of installation procedures for marine and offshore projects in Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Argentina and the North Sea for clients including Stolt Offshore and PT Komaritim.

OCEL is unusual among engineering consultancies to the extent that it has a strong practical
component reflecting the fact that a significant proportion of its work is carried out for contractors, national and international. All the engineers have commercial diver qualifications and experience, in one case up to saturation level. Two of the engineers hold current construction diver qualification. The firm can and does run its own diving inspection and subsea soil investigation work. This practical hands on approach is reflected in the practicality of the designs produced – know how, combined with know how to implement.

As specialists in the marine field OCEL have worked on all aspects of outfall engineering and are well used to working under the provisions of various international environmental and health and safety standards. The company also has a history of innovation. In 1996 OCEL in joint venture with NZ Diving and Salvage Limited carried out the subsea investigation work for the proposed new coal export jetty at Ngakawau on the West Coast of New Zealand using a diver operated drilling rig designed by OCEL. The work was tendered on the basis of either a jack up barge or a drill ship to support the drilling operation. The OCEL approach which made the drilling operation largely independent of rough sea conditions saw the job completed for less than the mobilisation cost of a jack up barge. The drilling rig design has evolved during subsequent deployments for geotechnical investigation work prior to jack up drill rigs drilling exploratory wells offshore Taranaki. Ocel has also undertaken the detailed design of a prototype wave power device and organised its initial deployment.

OCEL is independent of any other organisation. There is a total staff of seven focused on specialist marine and construction work. The Company’s head office is in Christchurch, with one of the senior engineers based in New Plymouth to provide engineering support to Shell Todd Oil Services offshore Maui and Pohokura developments.

While the firm may appear small relative to the size of some of its competitors for this type of work
OCEL is focused on marine work and does not offer services over the full spectrum of engineering
services as the larger firms do. The number of engineers with significant experience in marine work in the firm is hence equal to or greater than that in other less focused firms. All four senior OCEL professional engineers have outfall design and construction experience.