Broadband Demand Heating Up in the South American Oil & Gas Industry

Here at KVH World HQ, we’re currently entombed in the great winter glacier of 2015, but things are plenty warm down south where the extremely active oil and gas industry is consuming an increasing amount of satellite bandwidth.

5 Things Driving Broadband Expansion

A recent Via Satellite article explored this growing demand as well as the key drivers, among them:

  1. crew welfare
  2. monitoring regulations
  3. production efficiency increases
  4. a growing number of vessel types requiring broadband
  5. new exploration and a corresponding increases in the number of pipelines

Each affects satellite launch plans and service expectations and simultaneously feeds a seemingly insatiable demand for capacity.

KVH mini-VSAT Broadband global satellite coverage
KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband service offers global coverage via C-band and Ku-band satellites

KVH Growing to Meet the Need

The trends that the Via Satellite article touches on mirror our own experience in Brazil and the broader South American market. In 2014, we tripled our maritime VSAT capacity in South America on our mini-VSAT Broadband network in response to the rapidly increasing demand not only from the offshore oil and gas industries but also tug, pushboat and tourist traffic along the Amazon.

With New Capacity Comes New Uses

The demand for bandwidth does not appear to be slowing. As with home or office use, any time the size of the data pipe increases, users immediately discover new ways to max out that capacity. For example, monitoring engine and equipment performance will enable greater collaboration between onshore experts and technical people on vessels and rigs, allowing them to assist remotely in the scheduling of maintenance and the repair of onboard equipment.

MLC-2006 Guide by KVH
Connectivity can help maritime operators meet MLC-2006 crew welfare regulations. (Click photo to download the guide)

Keeping the Crew Happy with Maritime VSAT

We’re seeing consumption driven by crew welfare mandates that include voice and Internet access, entertainment, and training. MLC-2006 changed the playing field dramatically in the commercial maritime market by including onboard Internet access as one of the key recommendations for crew welfare and crew morale.

In the oil and gas industry, younger crew and offshore workers are digital natives and likely to expect the same level of connectivity – instant messaging, social media, web access, video, news — that they enjoy on land.

Meeting crew welfare expectations can become prohibitively expensive for the crew member and the vessel operators using traditional satellite connections.

That’s why a multicasting solution like KVH’s IP-MobileCast, which delivers movies, sports, and TV for maritime crew entertainment for an economical monthly subscription and without additional data costs is such a game changer in this arena.

5 More Reasons Why Broadband Demand is also Increasing for Terrestrial Oil, Gas and Mining

Reliable SATCOM is crucial for the digital oil field, where real-time data must be analyzed quickly.
Reliable SATCOM is crucial for the digital oil field, where real-time data must be analyzed quickly.

At the same time, terrestrial operations from South American mining to oil drilling and fracking also see an increasing demand for bandwidth that simply can’t be satisfied by cellular service, especially in remote areas. With an effective, efficient and affordable broadband connection, field operations can enjoy connectivity for:

  1. predictive and preventive maintenance
  2. real-time invoicing and billing
  3. data security
  4. always-on connectivity
  5. rapid response for equipment repair

Managing to Support Future Needs

Satellite services, especially those that enable companies and crew to manage their bandwidth usage, will be key to supporting these expanding operational and crew welfare needs in South America as well as in the global oil and gas industry. After all, we want to keep those crews happy because we need that heating oil to avoid turning into popsicles!


Interested in learning more about mini-VSAT Broadband and the oil & gas industry? Then check out these other articles:

Connectivity Improves Oil and Gas Work Sites

Oil Field Service Company Stays Connected with KVH TracPhone


About Chris Watson 65 Articles
Chris is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for KVH Industries. A lifelong sailor and storyteller, he's a self-professed geek who finds all of this technical stuff fascinating.


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