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Offshore Support Journal

Offshore Support Journal

Tampnet to provide comms services to entire Dutch continental shelf

Tue 14 Nov 2017 by David Foxwell

Tampnet to provide comms services to entire Dutch continental shelf
Tampnet will tie the existing telecom network into its subsea fibre-based infrastructure in the North Sea

Tampnet has been awarded a long-term contract to operate the shared telecommunications infrastructure for offshore oil and gas companies operating on the Dutch continental shelf. 

The scope of the contract is to operate, upgrade, develop and maintain the telecoms infrastructure. The contract is awarded for six years, followed by options of four years each. 

Tampnet will tie the existing telecoms network into its subsea fibre-based infrastructure in the North Sea, adding flexibility and redundancy to Telecoms Offshore User Group Holland (TOUGH) members.

The LTE ‘cloud’ in the Dutch sector will merge into the overall North Sea coverage, and provide a seamless and standardised offshore LTE service between Norway, the Netherlands and the UK.

The shared offshore telecommunications infrastructure is crucial to the TOUGH members operations for both operations and safety. The existing infrastructure covers 110 offshore sites, physically implemented over a network that includes offshore microwave links, fibre optic cables, switching and routing equipment, transmission equipment and various onshore communications links.

The network is used to provide voice, data, process control and other critical communication services between the offshore installations and onshore locations.

Tampnet will upgrade and improve the existing network to include 4G LTE. The network will also be built to support narrowband internet of things (NB-IoT) technology to support the industrial digitalisation efforts to work more smartly, more efficiently and safely. 

“4G LTE is the key to digitalisation onshore and on an offshore platform, rig or vessel,” said Tampnet. “Expanding the LTE coverage into the Dutch sector will further enable the North Sea offshore industry to rely on standardised 4G LTE services and hence be in a better position to develop the advantages of digitalisation.”

TOUGH is a group of nine operators of offshore oil and gas assets on the Dutch continental shelf that use a joint offshore telecommunication and data network covering approximately 110 offshore sites. It includes TAQA Energy; Centrica Production Nederland; Engie E&P Nederland; Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij; Dana Petroleum Netherlands; Total E&P Nederland; Petrogas E&P Netherlands; Wintershall Noordzee; and Oranje-Nassau Energie.