The NCS NET Concentrator System from Moore Industries was used by a major oil and gas company to establish a direct, real-time communications link between its oil platform off the coast of Louisiana and drill ships operating more than 100km away.
Moore Industries-International’s solution helped ENI Petroleum comply with new federal safety regulations relating to communications with offshore oil platforms. The communications system ensures that quick action can be taken in case of an emergency and reduces the risk of expensive shutdowns.
Rising more than one mile above the seabed in the Mississippi Canyon region of the Gulf of Mexico, the Devil’s Tower oil rig is operated by ENI, an Italian multinational oil and gas company. The Devil’s Tower platform is one of the deepest production truss spars in the world, with ships performing drilling operations near subsea pipelines that transport oil and gas to and from the production platform.
New federal regulations forced ENI to create a solution that would allow control room operators to communicate with the drill ships and initiate an emergency shutdown in case of a serious event such as a ‘dropped object’ impacting a submerged pipeline. The solution needed to be effective but avoid false shutdowns that could cost up to $100,000 in lost production.
The short-range radio links used previously for communication were no longer effective as an expansion of operations took drill ships out of the range of this link. ENI therefore, developed a system across its Ethernet network using the NCS NET Concentrator System mounted on DIN rails.
Using an Ethernet interface module in the control rooms of the oil platform and drill ships, the drill ship operator can use a push button switch to sound a klaxon horn at the oil platform control room to alert them of a potential threat. In addition, if communication is lost between the drill ship and the platform, and human operators are not available to respond, a shutdown procedure is automatically triggered.
According to Moore Industries Senior Field Application Engineer Jim McConahay, P.E, ENI needed a reliable, low-cost communications platform to meet new federal requirements and extend the range so that their drill ships could operate safely. The NCS NET Concentrator System has proven to be a flexible and dependable solution that allows ENI to maintain contact with drill ships and take quick action in the event of any problem.
The NCS NET Concentrator System is available in Australia from Moore Industries-Pacific