Ensco Enhances Rig Fleet Communications System

Ensco International will soon begin to install a new communications system onboard all of its Gulf of Mexico jackup rigs. The Company will provide VSAT, telephone, fax, broadband internet, data and email services, all through a secure onshore hub facility.

C. Christopher Gaut, Ensco Senior Vice President, commented on the new service, "We believe this enhanced system will enable us to better meet the communication needs of our customers and other service providers on our rigs. As the requirement for telecommunications offshore rises, we feel the enhancement of our communications package will set the stage for the future services that will rely on rig communications."

Tom Chapman, Ensco's Director of Information Technology, continued, "Telecommunications on a mobile offshore structure presents some difficult challenges. Limited real estate, short well durations, and changes in infrastructure drive up costs for our customers. We intend to provide the infrastructure and leverage long-term commitments to ultimately reduce well costs for our customers and for ourselves."

Ensco has contracted with RigNet, a Houston-based company, to provide end-to-end management and security of the network. RigNet will serve as a management center and onshore landing point, linking offshore equipment to onshore networks. The network design is based on Internet Protocol (IP) standards. The underlying communications capabilities are delivered via satellite by CapRock Services Corp, and utilize a multi-megabit, asymmetric design.

The rollout of the new service begins in April with the conversion of a pilot rig that is already in operation. The rig network will be a combination of copper, fiber and Cisco wireless components. The arrangement provides complete coverage for the rig and allows quick integration for customer equipment.