It is hard to imagine an industry more challenging and demanding than oil and gas production. The supply chains are beyond complex, operating costs are high – and on top of that companies are forced to operate in remote and possibly hostile environments. The offshore drilling rigs and facilities are often located far away from the coast where natural oil and gas lies in rock formations deep beneath the seabed. Ensuring reliable communication between onshore and offshore locations is one of the biggest challenges that the natural gas platforms face.
The client is an Egyptian natural gas production company with over 10 years of experience in the industry. Their onshore site is located on the north of Sinai coast – 52 kilometers away from the offshore platform in the Mediterranean Sea. Having a stable connection with the offshore site is essential in order to communicate the data of the gas well, to access and control the DCS and to ensure day-to-day calls between the staff on- and offshore.
The company was using a satellite communication system (VSAT) in order to ensure communication between on- and offshore sites. The existing VSAT communications network was ineffective with frequent downtime, huge delay time and insufficient bandwidth to carry the traffic. Besides that satellite communication system also meant higher costs therefore the company was looking for a different solution. The microwave link conditions were very challenging due to link distances and presence of water in the link path. Water surface could often be a strong source of reflection which could introduce a multipath interference at the receiver leading to inconsistent performance.
To overcome the distance the ODU with antenna on the onshore site was deployed at 135m.
The offshore link was installed at 25m height.
ATSI installed the project using SAF Tehnika’s hardware. In order to provide the best link performance, 1+1 space diversity (SD) setup was used and a separate ODU with antenna was deployed for each site. This meant that the receiver could then pick out the better of the two received signals at two antennas, significantly reducing link multipath interference problems as well as avoiding links with weak RF receiving signals. Since long distance links are significantly more cost-efficient, SAF links were installed at 135 meter height on the onshore tower and at 25 meter height on the offshore tower – therefore overcoming the distance issues. System capacity was more than sufficient for the requirements of the customer. With a system reliability of 99.999%, the customer would only experience downtime of 5 minutes or less per annum.
"Satisfying the needs of our customers with the highest quality is the main concern of ATSI. This particular case was a very challenging and critical one, but by adapting and overcoming different environmental barriers such as water, distance and sun reflection from the surface of the sea we reached our goals – thanks to SAF technology."
– Moatassem Hassan, Director of Enterprise Network Solutions at ATSI
PhoeniX split mount 1+ 1 SD (Space Diversity) configuration was used with two IDUs per end for full redundancy.
ATSI (Advanced Technology Solutions International) was established in 2003 in Egypt to serve the high demand for communication & IT system solutions for Middle East and African market region. ATSI focuses on offering both wired and wireless turnkey differentiated broadband network solutions to its clients – from system design, system integration, equipment supply and installation to support and maintenance. With the vision of becoming the leading IT & Telecom company in Egypt, customer satisfaction is the main goal of the highly talented and motivated employees of ATSI.
SAF Tehnika is one of the most specialized microwave data transmission technology manufactures in Europe with the long-term competence in development and production of microwave radios.