Pedro Hoyos Salazar
Director of Commercial, Innovation, and Marketing
View from the Top

Satellite Communications Add Real Value to Oil and Gas Operations

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 11:34

Q: Over the last year, how has GlobalSat further established itself as a potential provider in specialized connectivity solutions for the Mexican oil and gas industry?

A: We have been investigating the telecommunications needs of the oil and gas sector for the last few years. Over this time, we have spotted two main areas of interest: inland and maritime. The first is our specialty and we have over 13 years of experience in delivering high-quality telecommunications solutions to this sector. To move into the second area, we have set up a technology partnership with CommSystems, a supplier of auto-tracking antennas which are fully compatible with our technology. After filtering out a number of companies, we made an agreement with CommSystems for it to provide equipment for our services in this sector. Our partnerships with the likes of CommSystems, Gilat, and Intelsat have all been carefully selected to offer more highly reliable services to our customers at no extra cost. We combine the use of appropriate technology, such as satellites managed by the largest global operator, and the ability to optimize the amount of megabites per megahertz. Essentially, we supervise the use of both infrastructure and resources to provide the best possible combination and present greater benefits to our end users.

Q: What are the main trends in the demand for specialized and reliable voice, data, and video connectivity solutions in the Mexican oil and gas industry?

A: Today, our growth in the oil and gas sector mainly comes from the use of collaborative systems and the virtualization of applications for use in the cloud. However, the oil sector in general is moving toward receiving a more efficient and quality voice service. This is mainly focused on providing reliable communication services to maintain contact with crews on board ships, platforms, and remote areas of operation. It is important for GlobalSat to achieve these desired objectives with solutions that are as simple and easy to use as possible. In terms of reliability, the only way to ensure the stability of our links is by adhering to a mathematical formula, which takes into account the diameter of the antenna, its power, its location, the local climate, and where the Master Earth Station is for that particular VSAT. With that equation, we are able to ensure our customers receive an uptime link 99.5% of the time.

These trends represent major potential for GlobalSat. The demand for satellite communication services will be fundamental to ensure optimal and efficient operations on oil and gas sites, as long as the infrastructure and contracted services perform well out at sea. This technology is one of the main tools for the oil and gas sector, it contributes to companies’ competitiveness, and adds real value that can give one company an edge over competitors.

Q: What are the main bottlenecks in terrestrial telecommunication networks that affect upstream oil and gas activities?

A: Most services used today are terrestrial but these are largely located in densely populated areas. For the oil and gas sector, such services are constantly saturated and have highly vulnerable connectivity as well as highly difficult or impossible access. This means instability could arise in services. Compared to this, our satellite solutions ensure a fully independent, stable, and reliable connection. They are ideal for both primary connectivity and for backup solutions.

Q: Due to increased competition, the price of satellite communication devices has dropped in recent years. How has this impacted the integration of satellite technology for the oil and gas industry?

A: Lower prices have certainly led to the acquisition of satellite solutions in the oil and gas sector and beyond. However, the solutions being bought now included new technologies designed to optimize links. The services are now shared and managed in a more intelligent way by the satellite operators. Finally, the increased availability of VSAT systems has made our services more attractive.

Q: Which role can satellite communication systems play in rapid response scenarios after emergencies?

A: It has been shown that satellite communication systems are the most reliable technology to handle emergencies, contingencies, or disasters. This is due to the speed with which such systems are implemented and by the fact that it does not rely on ground infrastructure. Satellite systems can also provide emergency backup services until a contingency service with robust bandwidth can be put in place.