IndigoVision's IP video technology has been used to upgrade real-time monitoring onboard the Polar Pioneer exploration rig, having passed a testing programme in a harsh and challenging environment. The IP-CCTV system monitors the platform drilling operation to ensure safe and efficient operation at all times and provides the rig with a solution for future expansion.
“Using IP-CCTV technology onboard a drilling platform is a major breakthrough for us,” said Per Karlsbakk, CCTV Project Engineer, Fugro Oceanor. “We demonstrated that IndigoVision's system exceeded their demanding specification and the rig benefits from the operational flexibility that IP video delivers.”
Offshore drilling platforms have relied on analog surveillance due to the need for full frame-rate video with minimum latency. Having proved, through a pilot installation that the IP video system guaranteed no dropped frames and delivered quality video at low latency, IndigoVision's partner, Norway-based Fugro Oceanor, deployed the system throughout the rig. The driving force behind the surveillance upgrade was the continuing problems of supporting an ageing analog system and the lack of expansion capability.
Based in the North Sea, Polar Pioneer is operated by StatoilHydro, one of the largest oil companies. The rig is a semisubmersible drilling platform, capable of operating in harsh environments in water depths of up to 500 meters and is able to drill to a depth of 7,000 meters.
Operational running costs for a platform of this kind are high, so any downtime from technical problems is unacceptable. Reliability is a fundamental requirement for the surveillance system. Unlike analog systems that use a central switching matrix, IndigoVision's IP video solution is distributed and doesn't have a single point of failure. Its multiway racks that house the MPEG-4 transmitter/receiver modules have built-in redundancy with dual network connections and power supplies.
The operators use IndigoVision's security management software, to view live video from 24 cameras around the rig. The analog cameras are fitted in specialist housings manufactured from stainless steel by Fugro Oceanor and are designed to handle the harsh environment caused by corrosion, mud and oil. Many of the cameras are for use in hazardous areas. Fugro Oceanor has also developed a special cable for the harsh environment that carries power, digital video and telemetry.
“As the IP video system is distributed, video management workstations can be located anywhere on the network” Karlsbakk said. “StatoilHydro monitor the video from both the rig's main surveillance center and the drilling cabin and plan to expand the system so real-time video can be streamed to onshore surveillance centers.”