Secure Data Coverage across 55,000 Square Miles of U.S. Oilfields
Two U.S. technology companies recently joined forces to launch a large-scale data/IoT communications network that provides secure data transmission in more than 55,000 square miles of U.S. oil and gas fields in several important shale plays.
San Diego’s On-Ramp Wireless, a provider of long-range connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT), and WellAware, a San Antonio based provider of oilfield monitoring and optimization solutions, are collaborating on the wide-area IoT communications network designed to communicate with 12 miles between access points, but the companies say the network is also capable of providing data communications on a much larger scale.
“WellAware has designed and built a network on the North Slope of Alaska that reliably covers over 3,500 square miles with only five access points. That’s about 750 square miles per access point using a single omni-directional antenna, which unheard of with existing terrestrial network technologies,” the company told Oil & Gas 360®.
WellAware’s oilfield network has been running for two years and is pre-built over several key shale plays including the Eagle Ford, Permian, Granite Wash and Bakken. The network supports over 5,000 radios per access point. The WellAware network uses On-Ramp Wireless’s (Random Phase Multiple Access) RPMA technology. The network is managed and maintained for oil and gas operators by WellAware.
The network collects and transmits data from remote well sites, making it possible to reduce the amount of time to identify an issue with a well or travel to a remote site to repair a failure.
Data security is an increasingly important concern for oil and gas operators. According to the Dell 2015 Security Annual Report, cyber attacks on SCADA systems, commonly used in oil and gas applications, jumped from 163,228 in 2013 to 675,186 in 2014.
OAG360: your press release says your network can deliver the highest data availability at the lowest cost for oil and gas operators. Could you quantify this?
“Traditional networks, depending on network coverage, can deliver between 85-95 percent data availability. WellAware RPMA is in excess of 99.9 percent availability. At the bandwidth required for effective monitoring, cellular coverage costs between $25-50 a month per radio. Satellite coverage costs in excess of $100 a month per device. At a typical field of 1,000+ wells, you can imagine that satellite or cellular quickly becomes cost-prohibitive. Operators want to reduce downtime. To prevent downtime from occurring, monitoring needs to occur in ranges anywhere between every 15 minutes down to sub-minute frequencies. Satellite monitoring can’t do this cost effectively.
“Our customers have a tremendous need to tap into the intelligence provided by the digital oilfield,” said Matt Harrison, founder and CEO, WellAware.