Page 44

FEATURE

DIGITALIZATION IN THE OFFSHORE INDUSTRY The use of passive cables enables flexible, dynamic and long-life subsea optical fibre networks. Why is that so?

BY STEINAR BJØRNSTAD

D

igitalization is gaining importance and featuring higher up on the priority list for the offshore energy industries, Oil & Gas and Windfarms now growing rapidly. Collectively driven by a need for greater efficiency and faster decision-making, remote control of manned oil-platforms from onshore is already a reality.

REAL-TIME DECISION-MAKING

The Ivar Aasen platforms in the North Sea already have their production and equipment monitored from Trondheim by owners Aker BP who announced earlier this year that they had become the first company on the Norwegian Continental Shelf to operate a staffed platform from an onshore control room. In addition to monitoring facilities, production, equipment, and following up everything that takes place on the field, the control room plays an important role in activating work permits and for the arrival of vessels and helicopters within the 500-meter zone. Also, because digitalization reduces the need for transport of workers, it contributes to reducing the CO2 footprint of the oil and gas industry. In the company statements relating to this innovate step Aker BP announced that “considerable potential for increased revenues because the subsurface experts are closer to the control room, which can give better mutual understanding and common goals”. This article explores how this aim can be realized over existing infrastructure using optical networks based on passive fibre optic subsea cables combined with advanced optical network elements located on offshore installations.

44

SUBMARINE TELECOMS MAGAZINE

THE DIGITAL OIL WORKER

While Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and devices are already established onshore and in other industries, it is still in the nascent phase offshore. However, more and more devices for offshore communication, monitoring and control purposes are now available and widely used in all areas of these businesses from Human Capital Management where the digital oil-worker is equipped with devices like cameras, sensors woven into clothing and communication equipment to Advanced Analytics for greater production efficiencies. In parallel with this, stable wireless communication plays a key role in the delivery of this strategy. In addition to their existing fibre infrastructure Tampnet started building offshore mobile LTE networks approximately eight years ago and is now covering large parts of The North Sea and Gulf of Mexico and allowing vessels in these regions benefit from marine coverage at high capacities through the mobile network. The LTE coverage includes both outside areas and large part of indoor areas on structures, enabling digital workers seamless communications while at work and allowing for an improved living experience during personal time with previously unimaginable access to the same online media taken for granted on dry land.

LOW-LATENCY BACKHAUL NETWORK – THE KEY ENABLER FOR FUTURE SERVICES

For realizing a highly available mobile network, a high capacity backhaul network with redundancy is key. Tamp-

Profile for Submarine Telelecoms Forum

SubTel Forum Magazine #108 - Offshore Energy  

Featured Articles: -5 Questions with Henrik Larsson Lyon -Perspectives of an Oil & Gas Submarine Cable System Owner by Greg Otto -Submarine...

SubTel Forum Magazine #108 - Offshore Energy  

Featured Articles: -5 Questions with Henrik Larsson Lyon -Perspectives of an Oil & Gas Submarine Cable System Owner by Greg Otto -Submarine...