Shell Enhances Communications for its UK Platforms

Shell Expro has linked to the Statoil-owned TampNett network in order to enhance communications for its platforms on the UK continental shelf.

Scheduled to run for eight years, this agreement strengthens TampNett's position as the largest network company in the North Sea.

Work on installing the required equipment is already under way, and the hook-up will become operational in July.

The Shell deal represents the first time an operator on the UKCS has taken advantage of Norway's infrastructure for offshore communication.

"The deal is important for us because it lays the basis for continued development," says TampNett president Stanley Wirak. "We see an opportunity for further extensions in the area."

His company currently covers 18 platforms with a fiber-optic cable system running from the Kollsnes gas processing plant near Bergen to Troll A, Oseberg and the Tampen Area of the North Sea.

The agreement with Shell Expro will add nine platforms in the Brent area, which can thereby replace existing low-capacity satellite connections.

Efforts are under way to tie more Norwegian and UK platforms into TampNett, which is wholly-owned by Statoil, and to expand the network southwards from Oseberg towards the Sleipner area.

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