PetroCom to Provide Satellite Tracking Services in the Gulf of Mexico

PetroCom LLC announced an agreement with U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Vessel Traffic Service Houston/Galveston to provide the complete communications infrastructure for a new ship monitoring system in the Gulf of Mexico. The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is currently used in other U.S. ports; this system will be the first to collect information on all ocean-going ships passing within 150 miles of the U.S. coast in the Gulf. The Coast Guard is the military, maritime service of the Department of Homeland Security.

"As we continue to expand our nation's maritime domain awareness well beyond the shoreline, reliable monitoring systems are a necessity", said Cmdr. Tom Marian, commanding officer Coast Guard VTS Houston. "The expertise and strong performance record of PetroCom has been instrumental in leveraging existing AIS technology to the benefit of our nation's security in the maritime arena."

Ships traveling in U.S. waters are now required to be equipped with an information-transmitting beacon. Data is collected by USCG-owned receivers, collocated on PetroCom's cell sites on offshore platforms, and relayed via PetroCom's C-band satellite network to a central location. The information is then sent via fiber optic routes to Coast Guard monitoring locations in Houston and New Orleans. Additionally, PetroCom is responsible for personnel training and the testing, installation, communication relay service and maintenance of the government equipment.

Ken Wright, President and COO for PetroCom, says, "We have designed and delivered a highly reliable system which meets the unique requirements of the Coast Guard, covering more than 30,000 square miles. Addressing the Coast Guard's communications requirements with PetroCom's expertise in maritime telecommunications is an ideal partnership that supports an important national security initiative."