Fast, reliable and more cost-effective broadband communications is now being provided between rigs and vessels and onshore facilities following a deal between two key players in the sector.
Ashtead Technology, an independent provider of subsea equipment rental, sales and services to the offshore industry secured the worldwide agreement with nCentric.
The deal sees Ashtead Technology supplying video streaming and data transmissions for large-scale, wireless dynamic mesh networks from its offices across the globe.
Tim Sheehan, commercial director at Ashtead Technology says: “Capturing data from remote locations is still a major challenge for the industry. Today, most communications from oil and gas platforms and vessels to shore depend on expensive satellite links. The nCentric technology delivers a cost effective, efficient and reliable wireless network in large, hard-to-reach geographical areas.”
The nCentric technology can be used to monitor offshore operations, increase communication and can relay high definition footage from remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) in real-time. The system can be configured remotely and can be monitored from an onshore location, reducing the number of people required offshore and limiting downtime.
The technology was a key component in the clean-up operation following the Deep Water Horizon disaster in 2010. By using nCentric’s communication node on board eight vessels, crews were able to stream more than 10 live ROV video images to the offshore command centre as well as between one another and create a reliable communication link.
Sheehan adds: “The wireless communication allows operators to track vessel movements. The system can be quickly and easily installed, unlike traditional cable networks, which can be expensive and in some cases impossible.
“Harsh offshore conditions combined with remote and isolated locations means that communication lifelines are increasingly important to manage fleet and vessel operations as well as maintain crew safety. The need to implement secure, fast and reliable communications systems to monitor activity and track production is a vital part of any offshore operation.”
Headquartered in Belgium, nCentric is a fast-growing provider of offshore network solutions to support offshore communication. Marc Vereecken at nCentric comments: “By developing our own products and solutions, we have a strong competitive advantage both in terms of technology and pricing compared to other telecommunication companies in the market.
“Most projects consist of installing and managing our communication equipment for one or more parties involved in an offshore construction project, thus enabling multiple boats or infrastructures to communicate together, exchange real time IP data and video images.
“Working in partnership with Ashtead Technology, we can specifically address the overall communication requirements of platforms, vessels and other assets operating in remote areas, providing high bandwidth and low latency communication solutions that result in more efficient and safer operations.”