Partnership Brings Internet of Things to Texas Oilfields

Jan. 6, 2016
Ingenu and WellAware are expanding their collaborative Machine Network to cover more of Texas, including remote oilfields where communications are less than ideal.

If there’s something that Texas has plenty of, it’s remote, open spaces — not always easy to reach with modern communication networks. Texas also has more than its share of oil wells. Those oil and gas exploration companies face a growing need to embrace the Internet of Things (IoT); to better network their assets and leverage the data made available through smart instruments.

WellAware has been teaming with Ingenu to bring the communications technology needed to Texas to deliver WellAware’s full-stack solution for oilfield production monitoring and optimization. First announced in mid-2015, the partnership between WellAware and Ingenu (at the time called On-Ramp Wireless) is now working on a collaborative expansion of the Machine Network.

The Machine Network will provide about 55,000 square miles of coverage for the greater Texas geographic area—a region that accounts for more than half of the total U.S. oil and gas production. The network technology is geared toward transmitting small amounts of data over long distances at a small cost. This is key to the oil and gas industry, especially for remote areas, where it is difficult to get cellular coverage. Satellite monitoring is cost-prohibitive for frequent polling rates; and 900 MHz networks require a high upfront capital expenditure and are plagued by interference issues. The WellAware RPMA Network, already pre-built over the key oil and gas shale plays, delivers more than 99.9 percent data availability and supports more than 5,000 radios per access point.

The public network, powered by Ingenu’s Random Phase Multiple Access (RPMA) communications technology, will serve a variety of industries, including WellAware’s significant offering of oil and gas applications. With RPMA’s scalable architecture, IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) devices can be added without the need for further network investment.

“The solid partnership with WellAware has enabled Ingenu to accelerate its Machine Network build-out strategy in the Southern U.S.,” said John Horn, Ingenu’s CEO. “WellAware has developed extremely innovative, secure and reliable solutions based on our RPMA technology, and we will continue to collaborate and extend the Machine Network as they expand application services in the oil and gas market.”

For its oil and gas customers, WellAware will continue its focus on the development of production data services, which are designed to help exploration/production and pipeline companies capture and use their data for peak operating efficiency.

“The expansion of the Machine Network will provide our customers and prospects with seamless network coverage and management options for monitoring and data collection of their oilfield assets, even in the most remote areas of the oilfield,” said Matt Harrison, president and CEO of WellAware. “The RPMA technology has been proven in the most challenging of network environments, and we are looking forward to bringing new applications to market which will enable our customers to dramatically to reduce operating expenses and enhance oilfield intelligence.”

The Ingenu/WellAware Machine Network build-out is currently in progress, and will continue expansion of additional oil and gas fields throughout 2016.