Oil field owners and operators face two primary issues in exploration and production (E&P); production levels and operating plant integrity. In particular operators of legacy assets do not have real time visibility to sense the current levels of production and respond with actions to reduce lost production or intervene before there is a lost of plant / well integrity. The deployment of these sense and respond capabilities have been limited by the remoteness of these assets and the economics of "First Mile" connectivity.
Recent advances in wireless technologies have now resolved this limitation, and operators are looking to extend the corporate connectivity experience into the first mile, creating sophisticated sense and respond capabilities that increase asset productivity while reducing costs and improving communication and worker collaboration. This paper will briefly review current state of wireless in the oil and gas industry and discuss the future applications enabled by first mile wireless. These include:
Automated sensor networks for monitoring production control systems: Monitor temperature, pressure, flow, vibration and emissions which have potential environmental impact.
Instant mobile communications for extreme & remote locations: Deliver true office communications experience to anywhere in the world, enabling exploration or other nomadic operations to connect and collaborate with global peers.
Converged Health, Safety, and Environmental communications: enabling all responders to communicate across disparate radio networks, and phone systems in a unified conversation to accelerate and improve incident response.
Asset and personnel tracking systems: leveraging presence / location aware services to transform the health and safety and performance of field / plant operations.
Integrated physical security systems: provide increased camera coverage and authorized access to any camera stream from anywhere or any application, thus changing to a proactive intervention security strategy from a reactive phorensic strategy.
Real-time video collaboration to the field: taking field and collaboration beyond voice and data, enabling workers in who are disparate from the problem share the experience and impart more accurate knowledge to resolve problems.
Real-time vehicle fleet access, onshore and off-shore: connect with mobile vehicles and staff using the best possible network backbone, including satellite, 3G, GPRS, or WiFi enabling anytime, anywhere access to staff and systems on vehicles or vessels supporting field operations