In the digital oilfield, a high-speed wide-area communications network is critical for increasing productivity, and improving efficiency and safety across the entire upstream operation, from exploratory drilling to sustained production.

The positive impacts of using powerful networks and network-based technology in the oilfield are easily measured, quantitatively in terms of increased production and improved efficiency, and qualitatively in terms of improved worker safety and well-being.

Smart drilling at the rig increases productivity 
Real-time and seismic drilling or “smart drilling” involves creating 3-D seismic maps that indicate where to drill. Automation optimizes drill speed and steering. Knowing where to drill saves the time and money associated with false starts, and optimized drill speed and steering minimizes problems that can result in expensive stoppages. With smart drilling, a lot of data must flow between sensors at the drill site and the drilling expertise center in near real-time, 24 hours per day. This means that the network transporting the data must be a high-capacity, low-latency and always-on network – attributes that a Redline wireless network delivers. It must also be able to move as the drills move, with continuous operation across multiple locations. Redline’s wireless network is portable, and and fully automated, requiring no technical expertise to establish connectivity in new locations.

Drill site networks increase worker efficiency
Networks at drill sites allow teams to collaborate and problem solve regardless of their locations. The benefits are almost endless: the delivery of drill data to remote experts in real time for instant collaborative decisions; universal access to business systems and documents for a distributed collaborative work environment that results in faster response, quicker decisions and more efficient operations; the potential for network-enabled field workers to take pictures or videos of a situation, and deliver them to remotely located experts for real-time virtual collaboration and problem-solving. To realize these benefits across wide areas while keeping costs down, a single wireless network must be able to support many types of data at the same time, from corporate voice, data and video communications, to machine-based video cameras, mobile apps, sensor data and more. A single Redline network is a flexible multi-purpose network that comes with capacity to spare for future growth. A single easily expandable network minimizes the costs associated with multiple specialized networks for different applications.

Advanced process control and automation enhances oil well production
Remote monitoring and control of well sites provides ongoing production status updates to remote personnel and to systems, offering visibility and allowing operators to “see” the status of the entire system. They can identify in real time when a problem is developing and take corrective actions -- sometimes automatically -- before an issue impacts production. Beyond monitoring to control optimizes the production rate by tuning various parameters remotely, increasing production levels without incurring additional costs. If it is necessary to dispatch personnel, this visibility ensures the situation is well understood and that the right person with the right skills, tools and parts is dispatched. The benefits of process control and automation, that is minimized downtime and drive time and improved operation effectiveness, require increasing amounts of data to be sent to and from the field. Redline’s powerful wireless can securely and reliably deliver the required data levels and still have room for more.

Communication networks increase worker safety and lower costs
With a ubiquitous network in place, all field personnel can access the information and people they require to be productive, thus eliminating non-productive travel time. Less windshield time also translates directly into improved worker safety. Ubiquitous access to real-time information, experts and education through videos, procedures, tips, best practices instructions and even telemedicine from personal devices anywhere can minimize or prevent accidents that result in lost time, potential liability and impact on safety record. Lastly, and also important, is that workers can stay connected with friends and family while at remote work sites, increasing job satisfaction and reducing costly employee turnover. Redline’s powerful wireless networks couple the widest geographic coverage with flexibility, thus accommodating the greatest range of networked applications.

The Bottom Line
The obvious financial and safety benefits from using oilfield networks effectively suggest that investment in these technologies will only increase as operators focus on increasing productivity and worker safety. The amount of voice, data and video generated in the oilfield is growing exponentially. There is no indication that the amount of data produced will decrease and, in fact, more and more applications to improve operations become apparent as networks are deployed. All of this drives the requirement not only for networks in the oilfield, but also for extremely fast, powerful, reliable and more widespread networks. 

Redline makes these bottom-line benefits possible by providing the digital oilfield with a wide-area multi-purpose wireless network infrastructure that is powerful and flexible enough to power today’s end-to-end digital oilfield, supported by a team of HSE-certified experts experienced in oil and gas operations. Find out more about Redline’s solutions at www.rdlcom.com.