Wireless broadband for ‘first mile’

Schlumberger, Cisco and Intel announce wireless infrastructure for rigs and production facilities.

Schlumberger Information Solutions (SIS), Cisco Systems and Intel have teamed to develop a ‘first mile’ wireless service for oilfield operations. The ‘first mile’ refers to the connectivity of drilling and production facilities into a wider network. The ‘first mile’ solution comprises a wireless fabric of sensors, distributed computing networks and service- oriented applications, removing traditional barriers for instrumentation and improving communication services with access to voice, video and SCADA data.


SIS VP Demetrios Stellas said, ‘We will deliver a collaborative work environment in which geoscientists, petroleum engineers, rig and platform personnel, and other technical and business analysts can access and exploit multiple data sources to improve decision making’.


Schlumberger’s vision includes a global managed network covering the entire oilfield, from the first mile to the last mile, connecting field operations with petrotechnical professionals in the office. A recently alliance with BT is set to provide ‘rich collaboration’ through converged communications and IT services.


The new solution proposes to ‘unwire’ the first mile by deploying a local wireless network leveraging high-bandwidth sensor networks. A ‘resilient’ infrastructure from Cisco includes strong identity management, physical and network security and proactive network management.


The first mile solution was unveiled at the SIS Forum in Paris this month as ‘a digital canopy’ for the oilfield. The canopy moniker has been abandoned in the press release—could this have anything to do with a potential confusion with Motorola’s ‘Broadband Canopy’, first announced in 2002 and already deployed at the Daqing Yushulin oilfield in China?

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