Ashtead Technology in the UK is to provide broadband communications between rigs and vessels and onshore facilities following a worldwide agreement with a specialist provider of remote communications technology. The provider of subsea equipment rental, sales and services has secured a worldwide agreement with Belgium and US-based nCentric. The deal will see Ashtead Technology supply seamless video streaming and data transmissions for large-scale, wireless ‘dynamic mesh’ networks.
Tim Sheehan, commercial director at Ashtead Technology said: “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 technology can be used to monitor offshore operations, increase communication and can relay high definition footage from remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) in realtime. It can be configured remotely and monitored from an onshore location, reducing the number of people required offshore and limiting downtime.
nCentric’s technology was a key component in the clean-up operation following the Deep Water Horizon disaster in 2010. By using nCentric’s communication node onboard 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.
Mr Sheehan added: “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 systems 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.”