Operating oil rigs is an expensive and risky business. And the offshore industry is always on the look-out for innovative solutions to reduce costs without compromising on safety. Smart communication solutions that integrate a variety of systems are an attractive option.
Operating an oil rig requires a variety of professional groups, including emergency personnel, catering staff, operating personnel, drill operators and engineers. Tasks are handled in a rolling, 12-hours shift pattern, and crews typically work for a two-week period. Because crews and equipment are primarily transported by helicopter, transport is both expensive and risky.
Communication is the control room’s ‘engine room’
The control room is the heart of oil rig operations. All coordination of the oil rig’s professional groups and communication with helicopters, support ships and personnel on land are handled from here. Typical tasks for operators in the control room include
- Coordination of tasks on board
- Communication between ships and cranes, helicopters and personnel on board
- Alarm calls with PAGA system
- Communication via telephone systems for ordinary telephony and alarm calls
Different communication systems cost time and money
Communication and coordination are often complicated by the fact that operators work with several communication platforms and different radio communication systems. Consequently, information has to be conveyed several times and through several systems. Difficult communication between different systems is particularly critical and problematic in high-risk situations.
High-risk tasks can easily arise on a platform, requiring a reliable and fast communication system that is simple and easy to operate. At best, delays or lack of information to relevant professionals will delay daily activities, but they can be fatal in emergency situations.
Coordination between the various professional groups, support ships and helicopters is a hugely demanding task for operators in the control room. The result is a genuine need for communication systems that connect the various platforms and systems so that tasks can be performed safely and effectively, ultimately minimising the risk of fatal accidents.
One effective and unique integration system
IHM’s communication solutions are ideal for the offshore industry. Our solutions are state-of-the-art and fully customised, reflecting IHM’s 25 years of industry know-how and experience with control room solutions for high-risk sectors.
IHM’s solutions integrate on-board radio communication systems enabling operators to communicate directly with all professional groups on-board as well as to helicoptors, ships and to make calls to individuals or groups of users.
The option to integrate the internal telephone system enables connection of telephone calls to radio users, and vice versa. It also allows the operator or radio users to make announcements directly over the PAGA system.
Manned control rooms on land reduce risk and save money
IHM has introduced a new and unique solution for performing tasks previously carried out by operators on the oil rig. The principle is simple: we mirror the control room on the rig with a control room on land.
The solution drastically cuts the costs and risks associated with transportation of crew.
The fact that the onshore control room can be manned with personnel and experts who do not need offshore training is an added bonus that would increase efficiency and reaction in case of crises.
IHM offers a range of offshore solutions, both large and small, and all can be scaled up or down according to your specific requirements. Offshore solutions include products such as IHM COM45MCS.