Broadband Offshore Communication

Enabler of value creation for offshore oil and gas production

Alcatel ship near platform
Initiation of Offshore Broadband Communication

When we started selling Offshore Enhanced Communication the typical reply was: “We already have a phone line to the shore. We don’t need this fancy stuff”. That the satellite communication capacity was limited to say in the range 256 KBit/s to 1 MBit/s, without back-up communication, was not an issue then.
Eventually it was understood that by tying in broadband communication certain advantages could be gained at a reasonable cost. Initially 30 – 100 MBit/s capacity was considered more than sufficient. It was only when the asset operators realized the full potential with regards to enhanced operating philosophy by using broadband communication, that more capacity was needed. Typically, this capacity need was for a permanent STM1 (151 MBit/s) for IOR (Integrated Operations Remotely) with temporary upgrading to 2 STM1 units for special operations such as direct links for LoFS (Life of Field Seismic) operations during surveys.
In other words, offshore communication is the enabler for IO (Integrated Operations), and a practical and helpful add-on for LoFS. OBC (Offshore Broadband Communication) empower excellence in Safety, Control and Commercial performance, oil & gas fields increasingly require connection to fixed fiber optical infrastructures.
The continuously growing access to new technologies that allow oil and gas companies to refine their operations’ performance, reduce cost and enhance safety induces an increasing need of broadband capacity in general; the absolute requirement for many IOR tasks is for intrinsically safe and reliable communication.
We have been involved in offshore infrastructure developments since 1998 when we project managed the NorSeaCom installation connecting Norway and the UK via five oil & gas platforms, the initial segments of Tampnet (from Draupner to and including a number of platforms on Haltenbanken), as well as planning of the Ula to Peterhead in Scotland. In addition to that, Facilium has performed planning of the South North Sea basin communication plan on its own initiative. The purpose of this was to provide a solution for reduction of operating criteria.
Facilium has also managed radio link installations.
OONE AS is a Facilium subsidiary, that has been created through a joint venture with Axiom in April 2014. Axiom is a French consulting company with offices in Paris specialized in submarine optical networks. Axiom was established in 1999 and focuses on technical experts activities and has managed projects covering a total of 250.000 kilometers of ocean cables between countries and continents. In combining both companies skills, OONE has the full qualification to assist its Clients with any type of Offshore Communication solution.

Offshore Broadband Solutions

There are several means of communication, which OONE has extensive experience with:
1. Offshore Fiber Optical Networks rings. The system availability of the installed Offshore Optical cables solutions that have been managed by OONE is better than 99.9% .The typical lifespan of a Fiber Optical network is in the order of 25 years. The offshore optical networks usually managed by OONE include both a dry plant (Terminal equipment on platforms) and wet plant with subsea optical cables, cable joints, repeaters, equalizers and branching units. Additionally OONE has extensive experience with “meet-me” points and subsea connectors required to support any development or expansion of the network. Within its role of consulting expert, OONE monitors also all phases of the project implemented by the system supplier, this includes design engineering, planning, manufacturing, dry installation and marine operations.

2. Satellite communication is used largely between platforms and fixed installations on shore. While Satellite communication is generally safe, it is not possible to rely on this kind of communication in severe environmental conditions or atmospheric disturbances. Still the regularity is usually in excess of 98% in areas where a number of satellites are present or pass through. Satellite communication is also used for certain types of IOR. Typical Satellite bandwidths that are used range from 256 KBit/s to several thousand KBit/s.

3. Radio Communication Links are often used between mother platform and ‘satellite’ platforms, and between a main platform and platforms on adjacent fields. While Radio Links usually have a high regularity, it is not possible to rely on this kind of communication in severe environmental conditions or when experiencing atmospheric disturbances. Still the regularity is usually in the high 90 percent quartile. Satellite communication is also used for certain types of IO. Typical Satellite bandwidths that are used range from 256 KBit/s to several thousand KBit/s.

 

Communications reference projects

OONE experience 02

Go to What is Broadband Offshore Communication
Go to When Offshore Fiber Optical Networks make sense
Go to Offshore Cable Infrastructure