Petrobras plans to enable the 5G system on 29 production platforms in the Campos and Santos basins – and 17 units on land (among refineries, gas treatment units, and ports, among others) by 2024. The expectation is to increase the speed of data transmission by dozens of times, boosting remote operations and monitoring technologies in real-time in confined environments, leveraging augmented and mixed reality and the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), among other advances.  

The first results of the expansion of connectivity in the company are already starting to emerge with the implementation, in progress, of LTE (Long Term Evolution) 4G private networks, and the leap will occur, in a second stage, with the activation of 5G – in an evolution of the LTE 4G standard.

Optical fibre network

To provide data transmission coverage and enable 5G operation in the offshore environment, the company is installing an extensive fibre optic infrastructure, which will occupy more than 1600 km in length along the Campos and Santos basins. The network is being installed from Praia Grande, on the coast of São Paulo, and the works are expected to be completed by the end of 2023.  

Onshore, Petrobras plans to install 5G in 17 units under its operation, which include refineries, Gas Treatment Units (GTUs), thermoelectric plants, ports, warehouses, corporate environments, in addition to its Research and Innovation Center (Cenpes). With the fifth generation network, the intention is to increase the remote control of drones and robots anywhere in industrial plants, both in onshore and offshore environments, as well as expand the digitisation of processes and reduce the exposure of professionals to risk.

Impulse to the Internet of Things

In addition to onshore platforms and systems, Petrobras intends to extend 5G to mobile units, such as rigs, Maintenance and Service Units (UMS) and support vessels. With 5G, the company expects to increase process efficiency, reduce costs, raise operational safety, and obtain more data from field operations, accelerating decision-making. According to data from McKinsey consultancy, the combination of 5G and LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellites can generate gains of up to US$ 70 billion for the global oil and gas industry in the coming years.  

At Petrobras, 5G will also drive state-of-the-art innovations, such as the Internet of Things – a network of equipment and people connected to sensors, software and other technologies – which already has a series of ongoing projects gathered at the Center for Excellence in IIOT (Industrial Internet of Things) of the company.  

In this centre, the company’s specialists are dedicated to developing the various aspects of IIoT – such as industrial data governance, architecture, security, and standards – aimed at developing projects for sensors for predicting equipment failures and applications for remote monitoring and processing of data, image, among others.

Image source: Courtesy of Petrobras; image credit: GENERALDO FALCÃO

Read more Fibre Optic cable news here