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MCP connects DeepOcean and Statoil

Maritime Communication Partner (MCP) has agreed a contract with subsea services company DeepOcean to provide online and mobile communications for a newbuild MT6022 offshore vessel.

The vessel, built by Kleven and to be chartered from REM Maritime, 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 1.5 billion ($253 million).

MCP explains that its role will be to keep DeepOcean and Statoil connected. The Telenor-owned business will provide the new vessel with high bandwidth online services and mobile network coverage. This will facilitate the transfer of large quantities of data between the vessel and DeepOcean and Statoil’s onshore operations, while providing 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,” said MCP’s senior vice president Offshore Tom Løwehr.

“Our solution, anchored by our market proven CellAtSea network, will allow those on board 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, PCs or any other device.

“It’s the ideal solution for our needs,” said 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 on board.”

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.

MCP says that it wants to leverage its experience in the cruise and ferry sector (where CellAtSea connected over 13 million users last year) to target the offshore segment.

DeepOcean’s contract with Statoil includes a further three-year option, pushing its potential value close to NOK 2.5 billion ($421 million).

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.

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