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Vingtor-Stentofon Installations Open Up for U.S. Onshore Oil & Gas Rigs

When we talk about Vingtor-Stentofon systems, we typically refer to them as systems for “extreme and demanding environments.” That seems to be a popular catchphrase when making a case for the robust qualities of our intercoms.

A Case study of installing VoIP in Extreme Environments

With Vingtor-Stentofon systems installed in demanding environments all over the world, none can be more challenging than that of on and offshore oil and gas drilling rigs. The extreme dangers of drilling make it one of the toughest professions; the risks are high with workers on shift an average of 12 hour days dealing with highly combustible materials and arduous equipment.  It’s understandable that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have set high safety and security measurements as its number one priority for drilling rigs.

Google Pays Off

When All Star I&E, an electrical contracting company based in Spring, Texas, was tasked by their customer, Paterson UTI Drilling, a land-based drilling rig company that operates primarily in oil and natural gas throughout the U.S. and Canada, to come up with a communication system for a newly built rig, All Star I&E initially set out on a Google search to find a solution that would fit their requirements and standards. That search brought them to Vingtor-Stentofon. Patterson UTI Drilling pushed All Star I&E to dedicate as much time and effort as needed into researching different and innovative systems for their new state-of-the-art rigs. After meeting with Paul Rux, Sales Director for the South Central U.S., All Star I&E was introduced to the AlphaCom XE platform. After researching six intercom and telephony companies and comparing product reliability and quality, All Star I&E decided Vingtor-Stentofon was the only choice for its HD voice audio quality, active noise filtering, interoperability of open architecture, and a strong U.S. based support team.

Changing the Mindset - changing to Vingtor-Stentofon​

“Melvin Hall, Manager Rig Construction for Patterson UTI Drilling, had a vision to come up with the best onshore communications system in the oilfield for their new builds,” said Josh Shawn, Communications Superintendent for All Star I&E. “We had it narrowed down to Vingtor-Stentofon and another supplier (a global communication provider strongly recognized for their telephony products for the industrial market). With so many other drilling companies using the other supplier, we decided to ‘”think outside the box’” and push a product we believed in 100 percent. We knew the Vingtor-Stentofon system would be the most efficient and robust system,” said Shawn.

“Before All Star I&E discovered Vingtor-Stentofon, we were using analog intercoms from another supplier on all Patterson UTI rigs. The system is an ok plug and play system for the money. However, if you're anyone who is affiliated with onshore drilling in the U.S., you know that Patterson UTI doesn't just build "ok" rigs. Their rigs are top of the line and they lease to almost all of the major oil and gas companies. This was a big safety goal for Patterson as they strive to be the safest drilling company in the world, “said Shawn.

Basic Scope of Project & Application

Sixteen AlphaCom XE7 audio servers and a variety of Vingtor-Stentofon analog and IP stations have been installed on eight new rigs. System highlights include:

  • Vingtor-Stentofon AlphaCom XE7’s equipped with the option to connect 12-18 analog stations.
  • Each rig utilizes one 8031 IP flush master with optional footswitch for speech control.
  • A 7083 Industrial Master Station is used on the rigs due to the ruggedness of the station and noisy environment.  The 10 watt internal amplifier of the 7083 is used in conjunction with a 10 watt horn speaker for outgoing announcements.  
  • Other options being used (depending on the oil rig design) have been the deployment of analog and IP Heavy Duty 8072 Telephones, ATEX stations and DECT 300 systems.
  • General intercom use is point-to-point audio conversations, all/group call announcements and the simplex conference feature.
  • Since January of 2012, All Star I&E has purchased over 245,775.00 USD worth of Vingtor-Stentofon Product.

Showcasing Vingtor-Stentofon Products

All Star I&E is currently in the process of building a showroom at their corporate headquarters based in Houston, Texas. With over 30K worth of Vingtor-Stentofon product, the showroom’s purpose is to showcase Vingtor-Stentofon systems and solutions to future customers. The Vingtor-Stentofon products on display will be tied in to one large diverse working system to show people how versatile and feature rich the system is. 

“Anyone can talk about a product and make it sound amazing, but now we’re able to physically show end users the capabilities and array of products offered by Vingtor-Stentofon,” said Shawn. “We have no direction but to look forward and nowhere to go but up from here. We are deeply embedded in the electrical side of the drilling industry in the U.S. and are proud to partner with a company like Vingtor-Stentofon. Our ultimate goal is to work towards providing the very best communication systems for the oil and gas industries of the world.”

Future for On and Offshore Drilling in the U.S.

According to a recent TIME Magazine article, the Obama Administration plans to expand offshore and onshore drilling in the U.S. On March 31, 2012, the president announced his plans to open areas along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to achieve new domestic energy sources.