Melbourne Australia – January, 7, 2016 – Challenge networks, with technology partners Cisco and Nokia Networks, today announced that Beach Energy Limited (ASX: BPT, “Beach Energy”) has implemented a private LTE network in the oil and gas-rich Cooper Basin of South Australia.  The deployment represents the first stage of Beach’s investment in private 4G LTE mobile infrastructure and will better equip them to harness the opportunities of the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as enhance safety and communication of its staff working throughout the Cooper Basin area.

Driving the next wave of productivity, efficiency and safety in oil & gas exploration requires the delivery of broadband data to wellheads, vehicles and staff, and a technology solution that can deliver mission-critical applications across the vast distances of remote, central Australia.  Beach Energy determined that a private LTE network – a 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) mobile infrastructure owned and managed by them – provided the level of coverage, performance and control they needed, and couldn’t be provided using public services.

Beach Energy engaged Challenge Networks, as LTE integration specialist, to provide a turn-key solution at its Cooper basin oil and gas production facility.  The LTE core network is based on Cisco’s Virtual Packet Core (VPC) platform which has been deployed as a virtualised network function (VNF) on Cisco 4400 series Integrated Services Routers. The Nokia Flexi Multiradio are deployed on Beach Energy communications towers, Cell on Wheels (COWs) and 4WD vehicles, to complete the solution.  Cisco 829 Industrial Routers are used for telemetry, control and Wi-Fi hotspot generation, and Sonim hardened LTE handsets from Cisco are used to provide Push-To-Talk services, 2-way radio integration and corporate voice extension, all over LTE.  The network connects staff and devices natively via LTE, but also allows high-gain LTE antennas on vehicles to make mobile Wi-Fi hotspots to allow the connection of handheld devices via Wi-Fi at the remotest areas of the network.

Neil Gibbins, Acting Chief Executive Officer at Beach Energy Limited, said: “The new LTE network allows our staff to access key systems, facilities and production information throughout our western Cooper Basin field area, reducing requirements for travel between sites, making operations more efficient, saving money and significantly enhancing safety.

We looked at alternatives and found that the LTE network provided by Challenge Networks with their technology vendors provided by provided a better value proposition in comparison with traditional wireless communication technologies.

Beach is proud to be an early adopter of technologies within the oil and gas industry. With Nokia Networks and Challenge Networks, we have become one of the pioneers in adopting LTE as the communications backbone of our remote operations and are pleased that it will deliver ongoing value and enable us to lead the way in low cost oil production within the Cooper Basin.”

Simon Lardner, Director at Challenge Networks, said: “We are proud to have partnered with Beach Energy for this far-reaching initiative. As an organisation which specializes in delivering LTE networks for carrier or enterprise use, this implementation is of great significance owing to the speed of the deployment (less than eight weeks from order to launch) and it being the first-in-market delivery of Cisco’s and Nokia’s collaborative efforts for private LTE.“

Howard Fyffe, Director, IoT and Digital Solutions, Cisco Australia New Zealand concluded: “Private LTE networks are an enabler for the Internet of Things, providing long-reach wireless connectivity that delivers the performance that industrial networks, devices and their applications require. Beach Energy is at the start of a much broader global trend we’re seeing in mining, resources, utilities, transport and military: enterprises investing in their own, small-scale, dedicated mobile networks to suite a whole range of new and emerging network use-cases.”

Ian Ross, Mobile Networks Product Manager , Cisco concluded: “Private LTE networks are an enabler for the Internet of Things, providing long-reach wireless connectivity that delivers the performance that industrial networks, devices and their applications require. Beach Energy is at the start of a much broader global trend we’re seeing in mining, resources, utilities, transport and military: enterprises investing in their own, small-scale, dedicated mobile networks to suite a whole range of new and emerging network use-cases.”

About Beach Energy

Beach is an ASX-listed oil and gas exploration and production company, based in Adelaide, South Australia, with its core operations in one of Australia’s most prolific onshore oil and gas provinces, the Cooper and Eromanga Basins. Beach has established a successful operated oil business in the Western Flank of the Cooper and Eromanga Basins, and has grown to become Australia’s largest onshore oil producer. 

Beach also has a substantial gas business through its interest in the South Australian Cooper Basin Joint Ventures and South West Queensland Joint Ventures. This business, which is operated by Santos, includes key strategic infrastructure such as the Moomba processing facility.

In addition to the Cooper and Eromanga Basins, Beach has permits in other basins around Australia, including the Otway, Gippsland, Browse, Carnarvon and Bonaparte basins, as well as permits in New Zealand, Tanzania and Egypt.

http://www.beachenergy.com.au/