A new era for offshore communications

pexels zukiman mohamad 87236The offshore sector has long been dependent on robust communications, and the COVID-19 crisis is now catalysing interest in new, remote ways of working

Maintaining reliable communications with rigs and platforms offshore is critical for all operators. Not just for direct contact between workers engaged in decision making, but in the processing and flow of vast amounts of data generated by smart wireless devices and facilities all along the energy chain, from the wellhead through the pipeline and on to processing sites.

At each and every stage, technology is collecting and monitoring data to ensure the right decisions are made; this information can be the difference between a profitable field and a loss-making one. With exploration and production extending into locations that are even more remote, further offshore, into ever deeper waters, the need for robust communications becomes even more vital.

“This means that implementing industrial wireless technology is a must for businesses that need real-time information to reduce their non-productive time when facing extreme environments,” technology giant Siemens noted in a white paper.

Sometimes that means factoring in all the nuances of the oil and gas industry into the equation, such as the need for highly sensitive – and expensive – explosion-proof devices. Siemens’ own industrial communications portfolio for the industry consists of the SCALANCE and RUGGEDCOM product lines. These are built for reliable, high-performance communication infrastructures designed to provide oil and gas clients with a comprehensive range of network products from a single source. Fully integrated networks can be quickly and seamlessly deployed whatever the location.

While oil and gas investment has been scaled back in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the fundamentals behind the communications segment remain strong. Indeed, some of the trends arising out of the pandemic will accelerate the global 5G network rollout, boosting overall infrastructure and capacity.

Remote technologies and working from home have likewise been proven during the COVID-19 outbreak, which will drive the trend toward more sophisticated communications. The big oil services giants, Schlumberger and Halliburton, both noted in their Q1 earnings calls this year that the current downturn could accelerate the adoption of such technologies.

Read more in our latest issue of Oil Review Middle East!

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W: www.alaincharles.com

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