Main concerns of oil and gas rigs

Out of Control Vessels

A big risk to oil and gas rigs is the possibility of vessels losing control and hitting the platform. Although unintentional, this can evidently cause a lot of damage and prove very expensive to your company. It is imperative to have a system in place that protects against this type of accident. When vessels are moving at high speeds towards the oil or gas rig, time is of the essence and action must be taken immediately.


Piracy is of course, one of the big dangers of these oil and gas rigs which are relatively vulnerable, especially when offshore. The level of danger depends on the location of the waters but it is always important to be equipped with a monitoring system in case of attack.


Unfortunately, nowadays we must be prepared for the possibility of terrorist acts targeting potentially dangerous sites such as gas or oil rigs. Companies must protect themselves against this type of threat by constantly monitoring the area in order to be aware if intruders are approaching.


Oil and gas rigs need to pay careful attention to the weather, as high waves and rough waters can cause great damage. Extreme weather conditions such as tsunamis and hurricanes could cost your company thousands, so it is vital to be fully up to date on weather developments.

The solutions offered by TZ Coastal Monitoring


TimeZero Coastal Monitoring possesses all the features required to make the system perfectly-adapted for use on oil and gas platforms. Surveillance and security are extremely important on these sites and this all-in-one solution will make it as easy as possible to constantly monitor traffic in the area.

TZ Coastal Monitoring lets users fully monitor an entire area around the platform. Long-distance approaching threats from pirates, terrorists or out of control vessels near shipping lanes can be identified by your radar system. This provides the time needed to prepare and call for action if needed.

ARPA/AIS targets

AIS and ARPA targets are displayed directly on your software screen, making it as easy as possible to track any targets that appear suspicious. AIS targets can be picked up by the software up to a distance of 50NM. According to the size and power of the Radar Antenna, ARPA targets can be reliably detected and tracked up to 10NM away (depending on weather conditions).


It is easy to set up a custom-configured advanced alarm system that will alert you to potential dangers. Certain areas on your nautical chart can be marked as “no enter” zones and various guard zones can be set up around your oil or gas rig to protect against out of control vessels.

TZ Coastal Monitoring features the extremely useful concept of the “AIS Directory and Classification” which is a list containing all vessels that are known to you and considered safe. These are trusted vessels that can be set up to not trigger any alarm, reducing the false alarm rate that can be highly distracting to the operator.

Record and Replay Module

If an unknown vessel is detected and has entered your configured boundary zone, an alarm will sound, instantly notifying you of the approaching vessel, and camera(s) can be automatically pointed at the target. This gives you the time to make contact with the boat and instruct them to change course. In the case of an eventual breach, the events will be clearly visible on your camera and can be also recorded for future reference with the option: Record and Replay Module.


TZ Coastal Monitoring includes free and unlimited weather forecast downloads, which can be regularly updated for any area of the world. This makes it easy to stay informed of weather forecasts, including wind, wave and precipitation which may affect your oil or gas rig operation. Wind sensors can also be connected to your Coastal Monitoring system so that you can view real-time wind data directly on your software screen.

Should bad weather force an evacuation of the platform, an optional remote station can be installed on shore to view and control the system remotely.

Installation Diagram Example

To provide effective 360 degree coverage, two Radars are usually installed at two corners of the platform.

The diagram (Fig.1) highlights how simple and straightforward the installation is, thanks to the direct Ethernet integration:

  • Two commercial-grade Furuno FAR2xx7 Radars are simply connected to a switch through their Ethernet output

  • The Furuno AIS receiver FA30 is also connected to the switch through its Ethernet output

  • The WorkStation used by the operator to monitor the traffic is directly connected to the Ethernet switch

Our solution does not require any ‘server’ to handle the Radar, target tracking or to record and replay data. All this is done from one workstation. This means that our solution is extremely cost-effective, easy to install and easy to maintain.

Oil & Gas Platform - Fig.1

In the diagram (Fig.2), cameras are added to the system to provide the user with complete situational awareness on two screens and an optional remote station is installed on shore to be able to monitor and control everything remotely.

Oil & Gas Platform - Fig.2


Surveillance and security are extremely important on these sites and this all-in-one solution will make it as easy as possible to constantly monitor traffic in the area.

TZ Coastal Monitoring is suited to, but not limited to the following types of oil and gas rigs:

  • Fixed platforms

    Fixed platforms are built upon steel or concrete legs, and are therefore usually designed for long-term use. The legs are anchored to the sea bed and used to support the platform for oil or gas drilling.

  • Compliant towers

    Compliant towers are narrow, flexible towers are often used in water between 1,200 and 3,000 feet deep. The towers are designed to withstand strong lateral impact.

  • Semi-submersible platforms

    Semi-submersible platforms have hulls and float on the water, while the columns are attached by chains or wires to the seafloor. They are generally used in depths from 200 to 10,000 feet.

  • Tension-leg platforms

    Tension-leg platforms are also floating platforms, kept very still as they are tethered to the seabed. They can usually be found in waters between 600 and 4,300 feet.

  • Spar platforms

    Much like TLPs, spar platforms are attached to the seabed. This floating oil platform is often used in very deep waters, and logs are used as buoys that are moored in place vertically. Spar production platforms have been developed as an alternative to conventional platforms. The three main types of spars are the classic spar, truss spar, and cell spar.

  • Jack-up drilling rigs

    As the name suggests, jack-up drilling rigs use a type of jack mechanism so that the legs can hoist the platform above water. This platform is mobile so can be moved to different places. They are generally used in waters up to 400 feet deep.

  • Drillship

    Another type of oil or gas rig is a drillship. These are marine vessels that are specially designed to drill into the sea floor. They are often used for exploratory drilling for oil and gas or for scientific drilling. They can be used in depths of up to 12,000 feet.

  • Floating production systems

    Floating production systems are large monohulls which are usually in the shape of a ship. They are moored at a location for long periods of time and used as processing facilities, without actually drilling.

  • Gravity-based structures

    Gravity-based structures are unusual in that they are held in place by the force of gravity. They are connected directly to the seabed. When a GBS is constructed for use as an offshore oil platform, it is usually made of steel reinforced concrete.

  • Normally unmanned installations (NUI)

    Normally unmanned installations are small platforms, which are generally operated remotely. They are only occasionally visited by people to carry out maintenance etc.