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Case Study Oil & Gas

Preventing pipeline intrusions using existing infrastructure

Our Case Studies

Preventing Pipeline Intrusion

Empowering one of India’s largest Oil & Gas providers to ensure maximum safety by leveraging existing infrastructure to monitor and prevent third-party intrusions, along a 73 km pipeline.

Overview

As one of India's largest Oil & Gas providers, this company bears a massive responsibility when it comes to ensuring the transportation of pipeline contents safely and efficiently. However, the topography posed a major challenge.

We partnered with Fotech Solutions to deploy 'HELIOS' - a highly advanced intrusion detection system. By means of Distributed Acoustic Sensing, it was possible to monitor and protect the entire length of the pipeline from a single location.

The Task

In this age of 24×7 monitoring and surveillance, securing every inch of a hazardous cross-country pipeline infrastructure manually is not an economical solution. One of our foremost customers realized this and sought the technological intervention needed to meet safety and security objectives.

The project objective involved the installation of an optical fibre-based Pipeline Intrusion Detection System for monitoring any kind of third-party intrusions along the 73 km stretch of pipeline. The system also required setting up an early-warning system that could equip the customer with the ability to immediately respond to potential intrusions, thus preventing pipeline damages.

Integration of Sensors and Control Systems with existing SCADA and CCTV systems for effective and real-time monitoring was an integral part of the project. We also had to build a basic signature library for typical intrusion activities and allow for the addition of new third-party activities as well.

The Challenge

The critical importance pipelines hold for Oil and Gas companies as well as the need to secure them from damage cannot be underscored. There exists a major threat of pilferage, which not only causes substantial financial losses to pipeline operators, but also poses a huge risk to life, property, and the environment.

Conventional security solutions like CCTV, IR, or ultrasound sensors are not feasible for monitoring pipelines that span hundreds of kilometres in length.

We faced a multitude of challenging situations, right from tracing the actual position of the pipeline along the entire route; passing through widely varying terrain of farms, villages, towns, industrial areas and uninhabited areas.

Implementation of Distributed Acoustic Sensing technology for Pipeline Intrusion Detection, which is a new vertical for pipeline safety and security in Indian conditions, was a challenging feat.

The exact type of intrusion (for example manual digging, mechanical excavation, etc.) had to be identified. This task becomes even more exhaustive when there are multiple simultaneous intrusions. This is further complicated by the presence of background environmental noise that would overwhelm the location capabilities of regular sensors. Thus, we needed to employ special sensors that utilized advanced optoacoustic engineering expertise.

Furthermore, the intrusion detection system had to be seamlessly integrated with the existing command and control system and security set-up. Alarms were to be transmitted through a variety of means to multiple responders, in order to ensure rapid action in case of a real threat. It was also necessary to prevent false alarms triggered by benign activities occurring further away, like irrigation and construction.

The Solution

Delivering a full range of end-to-end PIDS solutions using existing OFC required thorough analysis and testing, with a detailed execution roadmap through one of the most demanding sites.

A distinctive feature of the solution is that the PIDS instrument is located in the control room and requires no installation or power in the field; besides the existing OFC. Hence, just by harnessing certain unique properties of the telecom optical fibre cable running along the pipeline, the distributed sensing system was able to detect, accurately locate and even identify any intrusion attempt along the entire monitored length in real-time.

In pursuit of locating the exact positioning of the OFC, the entire route was divided into various zones for identification and singularity with a minimum width of 0.6 meters. By carefully calibrating the system at multiple sites under varying operating conditions, a new acoustic stream was generated which could distinguish pipeline vibration during high flow rates from actual third-party interferences.

The system architecture consisted of a PIDS server with RAID 5 configuration and 1 Helios controller for the pipeline at a central station. The controller being a two-channel system, enabled pipeline monitoring in both directions of the central station. The controller was connected to the server via an Ethernet link, with two client workstations at opposite ends, enabling sequential monitoring of two sections of the pipeline. The connectivity between the clients and server was established through an Ethernet link extended over the existing pipeline’s telecommunication system.

The system worked on the principle of Distributed Acoustic Sensing, wherein acoustic signals generated by intrusion activities are picked up by the optical probe pulses sent down the OFC. It consists of an interrogator that sends optical pulses from a highly coherent laser and detects back-scattered light.

Each type of intrusion has a distinct “acoustic signature” by which it can be uniquely identified. Using specialized algorithms involving powerful computational techniques, the raw signals are processed to zero-in and precisely identify the type of activity.

Upon detection of an intrusion event, the system generated an alarm in real-time, which indicated the type of intrusion and displayed the exact location of the event with precise GPS coordinates on a map.

A further layer of algorithms was implemented to determine alarm severity so that persistent, threatening events were categorized as critical alarms. These alarms can be viewed on a Graphical User Interface. Finally, alerts are then sent to security personnel over SMS or e-mail so that a rapid response can be initiated.

The Highlights

  • Successful implementation of a new vertical in pipeline intrusion detection system using existing fibre optic cable
  • The pipeline intrusion detection system serves as an Advance Warning System
  • HELIOS security system installed at one end of the pipeline protects 40 to 80 km of sensor cable length by leveraging existing OFC
  • Uniformly distributed fibre optic sensor detects activities before the pipeline is harmed
  • No electronics or power needed in the field hence is intrinsically safe and unobtrusive
  • Simultaneous intrusion detection of multiple events like walking, digging, vehicle movements, etc.
  • Reliable and accurate location (within 10 meters) of the intrusion also identifying the type of event
  • Integration of Intrusion Detection System with existing SCADA and CCTV systems
  • Provisions for alarm forwarding on mobile through SMS and e-mails in real-time

The Benefits

We are ever dedicated to serving our customers with unmatched advanced engineering solutions, often revisiting and reinventing its offerings. We pushed the boundaries of ‘customer first’ by executing the entire project with minimal external guidance when implementing DAS-based intrusion detection technology for the first time.

Understanding the complex system dynamics through prior research and testing and integrating with the existing communication systems saved considerable time and effort.

The Helios software which was completely web-based allowed for remote monitoring on any computer/portable device with a web browser. In addition to real-time visual monitoring, predefined event disturbances automatically sent out notifications so that no important event disturbances go undetected, ultimately securing areas that were previously not under supervision.

The notification consisted of a Google maps display of the pipeline pinpointing the location of the event disturbance, the time, magnitude, and type, negating the importance of physical presence in the event of an intrusion. The entire system was integrated in such a manner that the flow of alarms from PIDS to the CCTV surveillance system greatly enhanced safety and security, reducing dependability on human accuracy and significantly reducing the investment.

Added functionalities included pig-tracking and leak detection. One of the striking features of this detection mode was its ease of use with the provision of adding new signatures to the library for future detection in case of new events/intrusion types.

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Case Study Oil & Gas

Monitoring one of India’s largest Crude Oil processing terminals

Our Case Studies

Monitoring one of India's largest Crude Oil processing terminals

Networking 64 CCTVs and 16 monitoring stations along the western shore of India so as to engineer a green signal in a high-risk ‘Red Zone’

Overview

Along the shores of the western coast of India, lies one of the nation's largest Crude Oil processing plants; a hazardous environment with a variety of physical challenges to overcome.

We successfully installed an integrated CCTV network so as to monitor operations in and around the plant, thereby allowing our customer to successfully run operations and prepare for critical emergencies.

The Task

We had been entrusted to set up an integrated Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) network at one of our customer’s most sensitive installations in western India. This particular site is also one of India’s largest Crude Oil processing terminals covering the entire scope of processing on the western shore.

The Challenge

The topography of the site was unmatched and unprecedented. There was the sea on one side and densely forested hills on the other, leaving the site vulnerable to nature’s fury. There was also a potential risk of terrorist threats as well, owing to the geopolitical tensions with neighbouring countries.

Furthermore, conventional equipment or methods could not be used as the environment was hazardous. Thus, effectively covering the expanse of 15 sq km of the terminal area became a formidable task for our design engineers.

The Solution

The plan envisaged the setting up of CCTV’s at 64 locations and 16 monitoring stations. One of the major tasks that we accomplished was powering all the switches, servers, and remote cameras through a central UPS, which included massive cable sizing calculations.

We installed different types of CCTV cameras at critical locations, an endeavour that required meticulous planning and foresight. Among the different types of cameras, the Explosion-proof cameras were the ones that needed special care as they were heavy (35 kg each) and needed to be installed several meters above the ground, in high-risk zones called ‘red zones’.

Red zones are extremely hazardous zones where the use of any kind of welding or cutting tool was a big risk. Our engineers figured that the best way to erect pillars and mount cameras on top of them, using special fixtures.

The Highlights

  • We installed and commissioned a Dedicated Gigabit Ethernet optical fiber-based telecommunication system along with CCTV cameras.
  • For centralised monitoring of CCTV cameras, Video Management System (Directory) and Network Video Recording System (Archiver) was provided. This enabled remote monitoring, control, and recording of CCTV camera equipment.
  • The unique network topology consisted of five remote locations and one main central station, connected together in a point-to-multipoint configuration.
  • The surveillance system based on Gigabit Ethernet Optical Switches acted as a transport backbone.
  • CCTV cameras were connected to the switches via fibre optic cable or copper cable, depending upon the distance between the camera and switch location.
  • A hybrid CCTV system was provided as a facility for monitoring of designated areas of all the remote locations using Explosion Proof PTZ cameras, Weatherproof PTZ cameras, and Dome type PTZ cameras. Encoders and Network Video Management System (NVMS) were used as well.

The Benefits

The entire CCTV network is managed by the use of a Network Video Management System, providing configuration management, performance management, advanced analytics, and security management functions.

A centralised UPS system provides 30 minutes of backup time to all remote elements like switches, servers, Industrial grade power
supplies, and different types of cameras. Usage of Pelco Weatherproof and Explosion-proof PTZ cameras provided durability and safety in all weather conditions, whereas the NVMS of DVTEL Inc. ensured real-time surveillance monitoring of the plant.

In the entire run of the project and at all points of time, we ensured that proper Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) measures were strictly enforced. There was a competent authority deputed to monitor each and every process continuously, leading up to the final completion of the project.

This one-of-its-kind CCTV implementation project showcases a well-planned undertaking by us, which reaffirms our ability to render competent communications solutions in any situation.

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Case Study Oil & Gas

Integrating mission-critical applications in subzero temperatures

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Integrating mission-critical applications in subzero temperatures

Equipping a global EPC’s massive oil field and gas processing plant with a state-of-the-art digital communication highway, spanning 4000 sq. km.

Overview

Operating in extreme weather conditions brings with it a unique set of requirements that need to be addressed accordingly.

Owing to the bitter freezing temperatures that this EPC's processing plant operated in, we provided reliable infrastructure to ensure the successful integration and continuation of mission-critical applications.

The Task

Our global project implementation capabilities were further strengthened upon securing this international assignment, in the Central Asia region, from a global EPC.

The task at hand was to equip a section of 4,000 sq. km gas field, its gas processing facility, infrastructure, and pipelines with a state-of-the-art, converged digital telecommunication highway. It had to be built on a fibre-based backbone that enabled provisioning of CCTV surveillance systems, LAN and state of the art digital EPABX system to provide voice, video and data services.

The eventual scope of this project was to provide a seamless, Optical Ethernet-based digital communication highway over the entire field area for the customer.

The Challenge

Accomplishing a project for a customer who holds the world’s second-largest natural gas reserves comes with its own set of extremities and perplexing situations.

To start with, this fast-tracked project had extremely stringent timelines to meet. Rigorous design specifications that maintained international standards, abbreviations, and translation of the same in the local language saw a considerable investment of time and effort.

Our engineers had to meet deadlines and provide deliverables, even while the design was constantly evolving. Goalposts kept changing due to dynamic requirements both at the EPC and end-user levels. Identifying and finalizing equipment and systems that worked in subzero temperatures was a first for us at Commtel. 

The Solution

The gas development project in consideration managed 10 billion cubic meters per annum (bcma) including upstream works, flow lines, trunk lines, Gas Turbine Units, Central Gas Processing Facility, and a 56” gas export pipeline.

Interconnecting such a vast collection of highly volatile and critical functions needed a solution that was absolute and infallible. It was crucial to develop an overarching execution plan to ensure consistency of approach and effective utilization of resources.

Our engineering team was hand-in-glove with the customer’s team; this ensured timely generation and approval of entire design documents, paving way for successful execution.

The telecom package comprised of a vast array of systems, comprising of LAN/WAN System from CISCO having 76 RITTAL cabinets, PELCO based surveillance system along with passive copper and fibre cabling infrastructure from 3M. We also partnered with ISKRATEL, for the first time, for the EPABX system.

We provided detailed design engineering, procured the entire fleet of systems, integrated them at our Sharjah facility, and shipped it to the site in just under 7 months from the date of award, meeting all the project deadlines.

The Highlights

  • Deterministic traffic engineering to sustain critical applications over Optical Ethernet backbone.
  • Synergistic client-vendor approach to meet the 7-month delivery timeline while fulfilling stringent design specifications and meeting every deadline.
  • Successfully integrated a hybrid, IP based, EPABX system deployed over multiple sites using SIP-based trunks, while working with the OEM for the first time.
  • All field equipment was temperature-controlled using a heater with thermostat and fan filter arrangements to work even in subzero conditions.
  • Translation of all project and system documents in the local language.

The Benefits

Through our meticulous planning, detailed design execution capabilities, and precisely accurate multiple systems integration we have won another customer for life. Known for our reliable and quality solutions, we brought together a team of in-house experts who executed the project with immaculate detail, saving considerable time and effort.

The team engaged with the customer on a deeply devoted level, with round-the-clock availability in person for elaborate discussions and approvals. Such a level of sustained engagement led to on-time project delivery, fulfilling our customer’s expectations in every manner. In keeping the customer up-to-date with progress at every project stage, we demonstrated exquisite coordination and project management skills.

Due to the compressed project schedule, the entire fleet of sub-systems was flown into our Systems Integration Centre, saving crucial time and meeting scheduled deadlines. Factory Acceptance Testing for the entire telecommunication package and Integrated Factory Acceptance Test were accomplished without any pain points. Our eye-to-detail has always benefitted the customer, making it a fruitful experience at both ends.

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Case Study Oil & Gas

A turnkey solution that transcends geographical boundaries

Our Case Studies

A turnkey solution that transcends geographical boundaries

Empowering a 741 km long multi-product pipeline, in the desert, with a state-of-the-art communication systems network.

Overview

The desert, both daunting and hostile, is an environment that requires systems capable of operating in the most extreme conditions

Despite mobility being a major concern, we had to deploy a seamless communications network for a 12" pipeline, within a span of 6 months.

The Task

Our customer base surpassed continents and reached a country known for its challenging geographic conditions.

The 12” multiproduct pipeline, at a length of 741 km, required a turnkey solution that we were entrusted with implementing. We built a  dedicated optical fibre-based communication system to meet the optimum operation, maintenance, and safety requirements.

Hence, an exhaustive list of integrated systems was provisioned viz. an optical fibre-based digital telecommunication system, comprising of SDH STM-4 and associated PDH equipment along with their Network Management System.

Other communication systems included VHF trunked mobile radio and EPABX systems. Standalone HF-SSB system was also provided for long-range radio communication.

These systems formed an integrated telecommunication unit encompassing 21 stations across the pipeline.

The Challenge

Challenges associated with this project were abundant, from extremely remote work locations to unavailability of adequate transportation and cellular connections in some stretches.

The terrain was tough and the climate was severe, with ambient temperatures ranging from 47-52 degrees Celsius during summer.

Delivery capabilities became demanding, with just 325 km of accessible road network along the pipeline stretch of 741 km. Moreover, the execution of work became tough in the wake of frequent sandstorms and challenging site navigation.

To top it all, the implementation time provided for the entire project was only 6 months.

The Solution

We executed the integration of Marconi SDH STM-4 equipment, Nokia Primary Multiplex equipment, Alcatel EPABX, and TAIT VHF Trunked Radio System over an optical fiber network in a flat loop architecture.

The SDH STM-4 and PDH communication system provided facilities such as voice and data communication at various stations along the pipeline. Implementation of SCADA and telecom systems ensured data collection and data management. In order to deliver the project with acute objectivity, our engineers designed and positioned specialized towers for mounting antenna systems of a trunked radio and HF radio.

Factory Acceptance Testing, Training, Installation, Testing and Commissioning of the entire turnkey project were accomplished within the stipulated time.

The Highlights

  • Procured equipment from 6 different countries and entire systems integration was done at the Systems Integration Center in Mumbai.
  • Extensive testing of multiple systems prior to actual installation at the sites.
  • Acute detailing, designing and delivering of specialized towers made in India and shipped in containers to the site thousands of kilometers away.
  • Integration and installation of different units of the tower and erecting it as one single component.
  • Equipment dispatch from Mumbai to the country where the project was being executed was done in one single consignment.
  • An elaborate approach towards providing a tested and ready-to-install equipment solution saved considerable time, energy, and money.

The Benefits

Delivering a superior customer experience under any condition has time and again proved a point about our commitment and performance-oriented work. Our state-of-the-art communication systems network design not only provided high availability but also strengthened the pipeline infrastructure.

The towers which were specially designed for mounting radio devices were robust enough to withstand rough weather conditions of the desert. Meticulous planning and faultless execution at different stages from design engineering to supply chain management and effective systems integration ensured comprehensive turnkey delivery in its entirety.

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Case Study Oil & Gas

Optimizing one of the world’s largest refineries

Our Case Studies

Optimizing one of the world's largest refineries

Equipping an area of 16 sq. km (1600 hectares) with telecommunication as well as security and surveillance infrastructure to make it safer and smarter than ever before.

Overview

Owned by a global EPC and serving a multitude of customers, it is of paramount importance that one of the world's largest refineries be secure and optimally operational.

We equipped it with state-of-the-art technology for processing, security, surveillance as well as telecommunication.

The Task

Being one of the largest refineries in the world, covering an area of 16 square kilometres (or 1600 hectare), this project was implemented in five packages for utilization by various EPCs.

The five packages include Main Process Units, Support Process Units, Utilities & Offsites, Tank Farms and Marine & Export facilities. Commtel, as the main system integrator of this project for Telecommunication and Security Surveillance Systems, was responsible for project management, design engineering, procurement, manufacturing, system integration, configuration, FAT, IFAT packing, shipment, installation supervision, commissioning and warranty support of all related systems for the entire plant.

The project’s telecommunication and security surveillance system scope comprised of fourteen systems interconnected on Optical Fibre and Radio.

The Challenge

Delivering one of the world’s largest, and most complex, integrated telecom and security projects to a renowned International EPC for building a new world-class refinery comes with its own set of challenges. The stringent deadlines required that all parties involved coordinate and collaborate as one team.

The Solution

We are ever dedicated to serving our customers with unmatched advanced engineering solutions, often revisiting and reinventing our offerings. We pushed the boundaries of ‘customer-first’ by executing the entire project with minimal external guidance.

The scope of the project is broad; covering the complete aspects of telecom and security & surveillance for the Refinery. Therefore, it will have interfaces to all the other packages of the facility as well. Under the project’s scope, multiple systems are proposed to cater to communications and security needs.

The telecommunication system comprises an Ethernet switch-based OFC network. The proposesd network consists of a backbone network connecting the core switches at the CCR, Maintenance Building, and Administration Building. The core locations are connected to the switches of other buildings through optical fibre cable

SYSTEMS OFFERED BY COMMTEL
  1. LAN System with Cisco Core Switches, Access Switches and Network Switches
  2. WLAN System with Wireless Controllers, Wireless Access Points, WLAN Switches
  3. Telephony with IP Exchanges, Hotline, IP telephony with IP and Analog Telephones
  4. TETRA based Trunked Mobile Radio solution consisting of multiple Repeaters, mobile stations, desktop radios, and hand portables
  5. Public Address and General Alarm system (PAGA)
  6. Process Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)  system
  7. Security / Personnel Access System with Access Control Facility and CCTV security cameras
  8. Weather monitoring system with Meteorological sensors
  9. WAN System with DWDM & SDH
  10. Structured Cabling System including Station Termination Outlets, building inside cables, passive components, racks, and supporting hardware
  11. Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) for the systems provided with battery backup.
  12. Global Maritime Distress and Safety System ( GMDSS Marine Radio Systems)
  13. Storage Area Network (SAN System)
  14. Perimeter Intrusion Detection System

The Highlights

  • One of the largest refineries in the world.
  • The entire telecom and security surveillance system of the refinery has been designed and supplied by Commtel.
  • Total of 723 equipment cabinets with multiple systems.
  • 239 cameras were set up in our facility for testing., including an Ex-proof dome, and indoor cameras.
  • Equipment sourced from 37 countries
  • Coverage Study conducted for Plant Radio, PAGA, CCTV, and Wireless LAN
  • FAT and IFAT are done on 100% of equipment generating live traffic from end devices and simulating real-life
    site conditions.
  • Design & Engineering done at Commtel facilities in India and the UAE.
  • Procurement, Integration, FAT, and IFAT at Commtel UAE.

The Benefits

Using state-of-the-art technology, we’ve been able to successfully ensure the smooth and optimal operation of functionalities at this plant. This not only benefits the internal operations of the facility but also enhances the performance of the multiple EPCs utilizing its packages.

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Case Study Oil & Gas

Connecting one of the world’s largest gas pipelines

Our Case Studies

Connecting one of the world's largest gas pipelines

Strengthening the energy landscape of the country by deploying end-to-end communications across a 1400 km gas pipeline.

Overview

Natural gas, forming one of the most important sources of energy in the current age, is a resource available at select locations only. .

In order to make it available to industries across the country, it is transported via cross-country pipelines. We deployed intelligent communication solutions along 40+ stations, over a 1400 km pipeline.

The Task

We were entrusted by one of our valued customers to deploy a dedicated optical fiber-based communication system to meet the optimum operation, maintenance and safety requirements of one of the world’s largest gas pipelines. The 48” Gas Pipeline that starts from the east coast, runs across the breadth of India to end at the western shores, covering a staggering distance of approximately 1400 km.

The task at hand was to equip the pipeline, having 41 stations all along the route, with an STM-4/16 SDH optical fiber-based digital telecommunication system. The project was meant to be delivered in turnkey solution mode, involving provisioning of NMS system, CCTV System and EPABX System.

The Challenge

A gas pipeline running across the breadth of a country needed a communication network that is all-encompassing and self-sustaining.

Such independent systems have critical instrumentation requirements that ensure a pipeline’s security and longevity.

A project of this scale implied massive integration and deployment activities. Coordinating with other prime vendors for equipment testing at several places was no mean feat either. We decided to tread our time-tested path of using optimally designed and intelligently engineered solutions that were fit for the present and the future.

The Solution

Commtel engineers devised a Two-Tier network architecture, comprising of STM-16 and STM-4 SDH transmission systems that provided Layer 2 Ethernet connectivity at all stations along the pipeline.

Layer 2 Ethernet connectivity with point-to-multipoint and multipoint-to-multipoint configuration of Ethernet ports of STM-4/16 equipment, ensured consistent connectivity of all Ethernet devices in all failure conditions.

State-of-the-art CCTV systems were used at designated areas of main and remote stations using IP fixed, PTZ and explosion
proof PTZ cameras with encoders.

78 CCTV cameras, with a redundant recording functionality to capture video on a 24×7 basis, were centrally managed through a Network Video Management Software (NVMS). An archiver was provided at the master location, with a backup at a secondary location.

For centralized monitoring of this complex telecommunication network, the Network Management System (NMS) was provided to enable remote monitoring and control of telecom equipment at all telecom stations, from communication control centers located at the master location and a backup NMS provided at secondary location.

The Highlights

  • SDH STM- 4/16 deployed all along the pipeline route with features of being in-service upgradable to STM-64.
  • Packet-based triple-play service using EoSDH (EoS)
  • Major compressor stations at every 170 km were connected without any repeater stations.
  • Long-range optical amplifiers for end-to-end connectivity saved considerable cost and time.
  • Explosion-proof PTZ cameras were installed at all stations in high-risk zones.
  • Integration of multiple systems done effortlessly to form a seamless network.

The Benefits

This project brought us opportunities to prove our expertise beyond our core expertise. We didn’t just become a facilitator of world-class technical solutions; we became a symbol of trust and assurance.

The installed fibre-optic backbone, based on SDH STM-16 architecture, was ahead of its time and could be easily upgraded to STM-64. This feature of flexible upgradation ensured that it could be updated any time in the future, without any interruption to mission-critical traffic flow. This will save considerable time and effort, highlighting Commtel’s farsightedness.

The VoIP-based Voice communication was provided at all stations using a state-of-the-art Digital IP EPABX system at the master location and secondary location, ensuring round-the-clock connectivity.

When it comes to delivering world-class equipment, we strike all the right chords with our suppliers.

Our relationships with Fiberhome Technologies and Pelco were further strengthened during this project and have remained cemented to date. Our time-bound approach, with efficient people and time management, speaks volumes of the commitment and the dedication that we bring to all of our projects.

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Case Study Oil & Gas

Making one of the world’s longest pipelines cost-efficient

Our Case Studies

Making one of the world's longest pipelines cost-efficient

We value-engineered a complex amalgamation of world-class technologies to deliver invaluable savings across 700 km of a 44-station network.

Overview

The soaring temperatures and arid climate of the desert makes it a hostile and unforgiving environment; highly unfavorable for inhabitation or infrastructure.

We value-engineered a complex solution to allow our customer to successfully manage one of the world's largest pipelines, across a 44-station network.

The Task

Our customer owns one of the world’s longest pipelines, carrying contents at high temperatures in a geologically hostile environment. They entrusted us to set up a robust uninterrupted communications infrastructure in order to ensure safety, surveillance, maintenance, operations, and security for all 700 km of the pipeline.

The system had to facilitate secure, dedicated communication between the 44-station network spanning the pipeline and deliver uncompromising reliability as well as cost-efficiency. The goal was to minimize the losses that could occur due to error.

The Challenge

The scope of the project was enormous as it entailed a complex amalgamation of multiple products, systems, and technologies. The integration had to be seamless and fail-proof.

The time period was pre-defined, with innumerable variables to be taken into consideration; each with sufficient buffers for unanticipated delays and cost overruns.

Logistics for procurement and delivery also posed a formidable challenge to our skills. The communication infrastructure had to be successfully demonstrated in a simulated environment for approval prior to commissioning.

The goal was not solely providing extreme reliability but also achieving it at the lowest possible cost, in order to deliver at the highest efficiency.

The Solution

We unveiled an innovative use of equipment, some of which was a first in the country. We established a robust fiber-optic SDH STM-4 backbone transmission system all along the pipeline in a 2-tier architecture offering a range of services for their SCADA data, CCTV, trunked mobile radio, and long-distance stand-alone radio services.

For centralised monitoring of the telecommunication network, we provided a Network Management System (NMS) that enabled remote monitoring and control of telecom equipment at all the stations.

Equipment from reputed providers were used to ensure high reliability supporting redundancy, leading to acutely high overall network availability (99.999%).

The next-generation SDH system was based on the Multi-Service Transport Platform (MSTP), providing both legacy TDM and data (Ethernet) services for fulfilling end-user functional requirements.

Systems like NDB and PAGA were also provided at select stations. The entire fleet of varied systems deployed was technically superior and the most sophisticated for its time, proving once again how robust, flexible, and future-ready our solutions are.

The Highlights

  • The demonstrated repertoire of experience and expertise across different technology platforms through a value-engineered integration of systems and products.
  • Intensive training with almost every reputed technology leader provided a deep understanding to optimally conceptualize, configure and plan with micro-detailed precision.
  • Internal processes and discipline prevented budget and costs from spiraling out of control.
  • Brought significant savings to the customer while delivering fail-proof reliability across 700 km of pipeline.
  • Effective delivery of the project was done with
    minimal risk. Optimum resource management enabled us to accomplish the entire project in just 6 months.
  • We were solely responsible for the delivery of the entire project, from concept to deployment and maintenance of the entire communication infrastructure.

The Benefits

We built a superior communication infrastructure that delivered high quality and efficiency, in a mission-critical operation.

Our solution enabled communication in areas with poor cellular connectivity. The remote-controlled centralised monitoring provided a considerable reduction of manpower and operation costs.

Our deep understanding of all major technologies and equipment enabled us to integrate diverse components seamlessly; configuring them optimally to save costs. We believe that our role is not to just deliver networking solutions to our customers but to partner with them and provide phenomenal value.

We pride ourselves on being able to use our strengths to provide our customers with meaningful advantages at every stage of association. We are deeply committed to using our experience, technology, and expertise to deliver substantial benefits to our customers.

Optimum Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) measures were taken by us at every step, from integration to installation. This corroborates the fact that we stand for the best of practices in every sphere. Our 3C model (Conceptualize, Construct and Care) stands testament to this.

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Case Study Oil & Gas

Enabling a global EPC to prevail over harsh marine environments

Our Case Studies

Connecting an offshore facility

Enabling a global EPC to prevail over harsh marine environments by installing a communication system at their offshore plant with no compromise on quality or safety.

Overview

This offshore facility, owned by a global EPC covers a platform that processes outputs from a large number of production platforms, carried by submarine pipelines, as well as an adjacent platform that encompasses the living quarters housing 70 people.

We provided a comprehensive communication system fitted with voice, video and data transmission capabilities that prevailed over the harsh marine environment.

The Task

Partnering with yet another global EPC, we were entrusted with equipping their offshore process platform, and its living quarters, with an advanced digital telecommunication system for one of their long-time customers. The entire system was engineered for a life span of 25 years under offshore conditions. Considering the stringent emergency communication objectives to be met, there needed to be two independent means of communication. Thus, even if one system were to undergo complete failure, the objectives wouldn’t be compromised.

The Emergency Control Centre (ECC), which is responsible for managing emergencies, disseminating warning messages in case of danger, signaling assembly at muster stations, and managing abandonment of installation, depended heavily on a reliable internal communication system for reaching all personnel on board and coordinating the muster stations, emergency response teams, emergency crane operators, and the infirmary. The communication system enabled full radio coverage so that personnel working anywhere in the facility could be contacted. It also required facilities for paging and party intercom, data and crane operator communications, phone and data communication facilities for operational and administrative functions as well.

The Challenge

As with any offshore installation, there were a unique set of extreme requirements, both in terms of design and execution, to be met. The communication system had to service not only the platform and living areas during normal operating conditions but also the lifeboats and survival crafts during emergencies and disasters; all with exceptional reliability.

All telecommunications systems and equipment had to be operational in hot, humid, corrosive, extremely saline and hostile marine environments. This meant ambient temperatures ranging from 16 C to 40 C, with 100% relative humidity and wind speeds upto 49 km/hr. Additional ingress protection was required for equipment installed in areas vulnerable to sea-water spray or deluge. Furthermore, due to the presence of explosive vapours, all outdoor electrical equipments were to be designed for operation in Zone-1 hazardous environments.

A project of this size and complexity required extraordinary engineering expertise. Co-ordination with the EPC and consultants occurred at multiple levels, with a high degree of detailed engineering down to the design of the minutest of accessories for phenomenal execution at the offshore construction yard.

Apart from keeping in line with the constant modifications in the construction layout, our engineers played a crucial role in determining the most suitable telecom solutions. Assembling the entire system at one point required well-coordinated logistics for timely transportation of equipment and components from various suppliers spread across the globe.

The Solution

The multi-systems solution for a vast critical facility with wells that are expected to produce 5.57 million metric tonnes of oil, 0.75 million metric tonnes of condensate and 5.12 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 15 years had to be absolute and future-proof.

Thorough project execution plans were drawn up to synchronize with timelines for platform construction and commissioning. Comprehensive site surveys were done to ascertain the critical systems requirements.

The solution provided wide-ranging radio functionality in VHF-AM (Airband), VHF-FM (Marine), and HF SSB Radio bands using sea-worthy equipment.

This included survival craft and lifeboat communication systems like Search and Rescue Transponders (SART), Global Marine Distress Safety System (GMDSS), and Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)

In addition, the solution included a redundant PAGA System, hybrid EPABX System, Application Specific LAN, Non-Directional Beacon (NDB) system, and state-of-the-art Weather Monitoring Instrumentation.

The project entailed rigorous monitoring of air, sea, and environmental parameters to ensure the safe and uninterrupted functioning of the entire offshore platform.

Meteorological and Environmental Instrumentation was installed for providing real-time weather and sea-state information, which helped make informed decisions about flight movements, supply and support boat activities, and other weather-dependent tasks. Sensors were installed for measuring outside temperature, dew point, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, sea current speed and direction, wave height and frequency, and tidal level. The instrumentation data was displayed in real-time and also recorded in archives.

A digital PAGA system was implemented, for the first time, for an end user’s offshore platform. The entire area was covered in three zones, with the sound levels carefully calibrated to be 10-20dB (A) greater than the background noise, and with the provision of additional beacons in areas of background noise above 85dB (A).

The cabling used for the PAGA system was armoured and fire-resistant. All outdoor speakers were corrosion-resistant with IP66 ingress protection, and IEC/ATEX Zone 1 certified. Crane shout control units were installed for assisting crane operators while lifting heavy loads even in emergency conditions.

The Highlights

  • Seamless execution considering the vast scale and complexity of the offshore project.
  • Maintained technical integrity through pre-engineered designs with proven track records which met international standards for offshore installation.
  • Digital PAGA and Page Party System with explosion-proof, corrosion-resistant outdoor speakers.
  • VHF FM Marine Band, GMDSS, SART, EPIRB, VHF AM Airband Radios and NDB.
  • EPABX System including explosion-proof telephones for marine environments.
  • Environmental Instrumentation System for temperature, pressure, rain, wind and sea current monitoring.
  • Global scope of project, meeting all delivery challenges on a timely basis.

The Benefits

Our ‘3C Model’ (Conceptualize, Construct and Care) proved effective in delivering the project to performance and timeline objectives. Going the extra mile to support all parties involved is something that comes naturally to us at Commtel. The systems were designed in-house and constructed at the yard with meticulous attention to detail, always keeping in view the real offshore conditions.

Seamless implementation of multiple systems directly at the overseas offshore construction yard maximized the efficiency of time and resource utilization. Commtel’s years of experience have proven useful so ensuring that the technical integrity of the solution was maintained at all times and only existing, well-proven designs were selected. This goes a long way in reducing downtime.

Our experienced site engineering team, through their determined efforts, completed the installation and testing within the project schedule, while adhering to proper HSE practices required on the platform. The outcome was a first-rate offshore communication system that the end-user can safely depend on at all times.