Maritime Communication Partner (MCP) has agreed a contract with leading subsea services company DeepOcean to provide state-of-the-art online and mobile communications for a newbuild MT6022 offshore vessel. The vessel, built by Kleven and to be chartered from REM Maritime AS, will provide Inspection, Maintenance and Repair (IMR) services for all Statoil operated fields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). This five-year IMR agreement, commencing in Q1 2014, is worth more than NOK 1.5billion (USD 253million).
MCP's role will be to keep DeepOcean and Statoil connected. The Telenor-owned business, an established leader in the mobile communications at sea market, will provide the new vessel with high bandwidth online services and mobile network coverage. This will facilitate the seamless transfer of large quantities of data between the vessel and DeepOcean and Statoil's onshore operations, while providing excellent internet/Wi-Fi and mobile connections for crewmembers.
"The Statoil contract is DeepOcean's largest ever client agreement, so it's a real endorsement of our services that we've been picked to provide the communications solution for this landmark partnership," comments MCP's Senior Vice President Offshore Tom Løwehr. "Our solution, anchored by our market proven CellAtSea network, will allow those onboard the vessel to communicate with their devices as they would at home, while Statoil and DeepOcean will enjoy reliable, fast and secure communication channels. For such vital operations, over such a large area, this quality of service is absolutely crucial."
MCP's solution features 'multiple data link bundling', which provides optimum bandwidth by combining multiple data links together with the VSAT. This means that when a ship is in position to connect with land- or oil rig-based mobile data networks (2G/3G/4G), or at harbour in the proximity of a WLAN access point, it does so, boosting the bandwidth available over the VSAT. The greater the bandwidth, the greater the quantity of data that can be handled by smartphones, internet enabled PCs or any other applicable device.
"It's the ideal solution for our needs," says DeepOcean Sales and Marketing Manager Bjørn Inge Staalesen. "This IMR vessel will play a key role in maintaining Statoil's oil and gas production on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, so it's vital to have a quality channel of communication at all times. Aside from meeting Statoil's requirements for the transferal of data, MCP's solution will also enhance conditions for the crew, giving them a level of connectivity that they would usually enjoy on land. This comfort, this access to 'home', will make a real difference to everyday life onboard."
The three-year deal marks a further new agreement for MCP in the offshore sector, after it secured a contract with Gulf Offshore in September to provide mobile and internet services to three vessels operating on the NCS. The segment has emerged as a new target market for MCP, which is looking to leverage its extensive expertise and established number one position in the cruise and ferry sectors (where CellAtSea connected over 13million users last year) to attain offshore leadership.
DeepOcean's contract with Statoil includes a further three-year option, pushing its potential value close to NOK 2.5billion (USD 421million). MCP's system will be installed upon the 108m long, 22m wide offshore construction vessel (to be named REM Ocean) upon completion at Kleven's yard in Ulsteinvik, Norway. The cutting-edge ship is equipped with a 150-ton offshore crane and features two work ROVs and one observation class ROV.