Modern oil exploration is increasingly a network-intensive enterprise. MedcoEnergi, a leading oil and gas drilling and exploration group is the parent company of Medco LLC, which operates oil drilling rigs in the Karim Small Fields area in the Sultanate of Oman. Medco wished to establish a reliable and robust wireless network capable of seamlessly connecting the rigs to the main camp office for the transmission of sensitive drilling data, Internet, email and providing for future voice and video. Increasing the challenge, the rigs move around an area of 250 square miles (650 square kilometers) typically every 15-20 days.
Hussam Technology Company LLC (HTC) based in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, was chosen by Medco to evaluate, design, and provide a turnkey solution. HTC selected MeshDynamics' MD4000 Third Generation Structured Mesh™ wireless solution for providing the wireless network infrastructure and designed a complete solution including solar power systems and towers.
High performance links over long hops
The resulting successful Medco deployment is a unique wireless network connecting the various oil drilling rigs to the main camp office. The mesh network consists of wireless hops every seven to nine kilometers consisting of both point-to-point links and point-to-multipoint links. The MeshDynamics network cost-effectively delivers the real-time critical data that Medco requires to ensure operational efficiency. MeshDynamics MD4000 nodes operate in a wide variety of frequency ranges, but the 5.8GHz band was chosen for this installation as higher transmit power was permitted in that spectrum by the local Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.
The MeshDynamics patented and patent-pending technology links the drilling rigs with bandwidths of 36Mbps to 54Mbps. This enables seamless email and Internet connections and the exchange of drilling information between the rigs, the local office, and corporate headquarters, even over long distances and changing network topologies. MeshDynamics' QoS and network tuning features support a wide variety of applications while insuring that the most critical data always receives the highest priority.
Crucial communications in harsh environment
The MeshDynamics equipment must operate in a very demanding weather and physical environment, yet be easily transportable and quick to set-up. The MD4000 wireless mesh family supports up to four radios in a rugged weatherproof enclosure about the size of a hardbound novel, ideal for Medco's demanding application. Solar power systems were installed at a number of locations to power the mesh nodes.
Reliable, instant connectivity is vital to oil and gas producers. Disruptions or delays in critical communications can prove extremely costly and can result in risks to workers, equipment and operations. The MeshDynamics network cost-effectively delivers high performance voice, video and data services under changing and sometimes hostile conditions.
MeshDynamics outdoor wireless enterprise networks in natural resource applications
MeshDynamics wireless mesh technology is being deployed in a variety of exploration and extraction environments. "Our business continues to grow with natural resources enterprises", noted Francis daCosta, CTO of MeshDynamics. "Our customers now include seismic exploration, coal mining, hardrock mining, and petroleum exploration firms worldwide. These markets are growing rapidly with these industries' increased focus on worker safety and efficiency."
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