Connectivity transforms drillships of the future

Pacific Drilling
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Pacific Drilling is investing in satellite communications, video streaming and real-time data transmission technology for its fleet of deepwater drilling vessels.

The shipowner has contracted Oceaneering International to deliver five-year digital service packages for a fleet of seven drillships.

This will enable data and video to be live-streamed and provide emerging technology-drive services.

Pacific Drilling chief information officer Corey Thompson said this partnership will enable the company to invest in new IT technologies and services to “bring about the digital transformation of our assets, allowing us to engage with and service customers as never before,” he said.

“This strategic investment quadruples our bandwidth conduit, lowers latency in decision-making, and accelerates our technology road map.”

Communications for these packages will integrate ship VSAT satellite connectivity using the latest generation constellations with available and private LTE* infrastructure, delivering seamless rig-wide data connectivity.

VSAT and LTE will enable Oceaneering to provide remote piloting and automated control technology for survey and inspection underwater vehicles. These remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) will be piloted from Oceaneering’s dedicated, onshore mission support centres in Stavanger, Norway, and Houston, US. The business intends to open more ROV control centres in the future.

Oceaneering said it would guarantee service level availability for industrial and mission-critical data and will assume 100% accountability for network uptime and remote operations offshore.

“We are delighted to work with Pacific Drilling to make the rig-of-the-future a reality,” said Oceaneering director of global data solutions Kelly McDowell. “By choosing this integrated rig services package, Pacific Drilling and its customers can increase transparency as well as worker safety by leveraging our cross-functional team to maximise efficiency.”

Pacific Drilling has two drillships – Pacific Bora and Pacific Santa Ana – drilling off west Africa and four drillships in warm layup in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, plus Pacific Sharav drilling in the US Gulf. Later this year, it will deploy Pacific Khamsin from Las Palmas to start drilling in the US Gulf.

Oceaneering prepares its SAIL communications packages for Pacific Drilling's drillships

Oceaneering prepares its SAIL communications packages for Pacific Drilling's drillships