Whether exploring in the Empty Quarter, drilling offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, or monitoring gas pipelines or oil wells in the deserts, communications is a key element to the success of oil and gas operations. Secure, efficient communications is required between remote, isolated locations and head offices to report on work status, dispatch supplies and repairs, report on-site emergencies, transfer geophysical surveys and real-time drilling data. Drilling and exploration firms have traditionally used land-based terrestrial networks that rely on radio transmissions for voice and data communications to offshore platforms and remote deep desert drilling rigs. But these systems are inefficient and have proven inflexible with today's drilling and exploration communications demands, which include high-speed data access, telephone and video conferencing. In response, numerous oil and gas exploration entities working in deep waters and remote deep deserts have all tapped into what is an ideal solution for these needs: Very Small Aperture Terminal Systems (VSAT) for broadband access services. This led to the use of Satellite Communication Systems for a wide range of applications that were difficult to achieve in the past, such as real-time applications transmission of drilling data and seismic information.
This paper provides a thorough analysis of opportunities for satellite technology solutions in support of oil and gas operations. Technologies, architecture, service, networking and application developments are discussed based upon real field experience. More specifically, the report addresses: VSAT Opportunities for the Oil and Gas Operations, Corporate Satellite Business Model Findings, Satellite Market Forecasts