Northern Offshore is installing VSAT on up to six jack-up rigs as these are brought out of warm layup for drilling projects in the Middle East
The drilling contractor has signed a long-term agreement with RigNet for various services to the jack-up fleet of rigs in the Middle East. This includes VSAT managed communications services, CrewFlix video-on-demand, CrewHotspot internet access point and enhanced cyber security services.
Northern Offshore senior vice president for project management and engineering Tony Beebe said VSAT connectivity and the crew welfare upgrade will boost the company’s profits. “We expect these solutions and technologies will allow us to optimise our operations for greater efficiency and increased financial performance,” he said.
RigNet’s VSAT delivers voice and high-speed data communications with improved data and system security. It will remotely monitor the network 24/7, detect cyber threats in real-time and provide technical support.
RigNet will also provide an advanced conditional-access system to VSAT, tailored for third-party partners on Northern Offshore rigs.
For rig crews, RigNet is providing crew information and entertainment services from its CrewConnect portfolio, which provides services for improved crew morale in remote locations.
RigNet president and chief executive Steven Pickett said this enhances operational efficiency through reduced employee turnover and increased productivity.
Northern Offshore can use VSAT and IP connectivity for remotely monitoring critical systems on its rigs and big data transfers to shore for further analysis.
It operates Northern Producer production semi-submersible rig and jack-up rigs:
These rigs operate in the Middle East with some on long-term charter and others in warm layup, waiting and ready for contracts.
In January 2020, Northern Offshore secured a two-year term contract from Qatar Petroleum for drilling operations with Energy Embracer, which has been in warm stack since its delivery from Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipyard in China in 2018. It will be reactivated and inspected before starting work in April 2020.
This is the fourth of Northern Offshore’s jack-up rigs to be placed into the Middle East market, leaving two others in warm layup.
Northern Offshore chairman and chief executive Yuanhui Sun said this contract was a “significant milestone” and boosts its backlog of work to 14 years of rig operations. “These contracts and 14 rig-year contract backlog enable the company to further expand our fleet with additional newbuild jack-up rigs,” said Dr Sun.
In September 2019, Northern Offshore secured a contract for 2017-built and stacked jack-up rig, Energy Emerger, for four years of drilling in Abu Dhabi.
Its rigs Energy Enticer and Energy Edge are also on long-term contracts for work on the North gas field offshore of Qatar.
In December 2019, RigNet introduced a bandwidth-optimised secure video streaming service, Adaptive Video Intelligence (AVI) suite. This provides streaming of remote video images and storage in a secure cloud-based facility for vessel and rig owners.
AVI Live can stream video from closed circuit TV, analogue video, IP-based signals, thermal imagery and video from drones, wearable technology, remotely operated vehicles and diver units.
RigNet said it can achieve more than 80% bandwidth savings compared to other available video compression standards, such as H.264 and MPEG-4.