Critical remote emergency shutdown solution for offshore platform

30 October 2012

Oil and gas company, ENI Petroleum, has been helped to comply with new federal safety regulations relating to communications with offshore oil platforms by Moore Industries-International.

The company employed the NCS NET Concentrator System from Moore Industries to establish a direct, real-time communications link between a oil platform off the coast of Louisiana and drill ships operating more than 100 km away. The communications system assures that quick action can be taken in case of an emergency and reduces the risk of expensive shutdowns.

The Devil’s Tower oil rig is operated by ENI, an Italian multinational oil and gas company and is believed to be one of the deepest production truss spars in the world, with ships performing drilling operations near subsea pipelines that transport oil and gas to and from the production platform.

New federal regulations required ENI to create a solution that would allow control room operators to communicate with the drill ships and initiate an emergency shutdown in case of a serious events such as a ‘dropped object’ impacting a submerged pipeline. The solution needed to be effective, but avoid false shutdowns. Previously the company had used short-range radio links for communication but an expansion of operations took drill ships out of the range of this type of ‘over the horizon’ communications link.

To meet its communications challenges, a system across its Ethernet network was developed using the NCS NET Concentrator System mounted on DIN rails. Using an Ethernet Interface Module in the control rooms of the oil platform and drill ships, the drill ship operator can use a push button switch to sound a klaxon horn at the oil platform control room to alert them of a potential threat. In addition, if communications are lost between the drill ship and the platform and human operators are not available to respond, a shutdown procedure is automatically triggered.

To read the white paper on the use of the NET Concentrator System by ENI at the Devil’s Tower, visit 

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