Sakhalin mapSakhalin-1 Project

Exxon Neftegas Limited (ENL) is engaged in a long-term partnership with Saga and to deploy an extensive, TETRA-based communication system for the Sakhalin-1 Project on Sakhalin Island. Sakhalin-1 is one of the largest foreign investment projects in Russia, with investment over the life of the project expected to reach $US 12 billion.

The purpose of Sakhalin-1 is to develop the oil and natural gas reserves of the Chayvo oil field, which is about 30 kilometers off the northeast shore of Sakhalin Island. The communication network that links the project’s three main sites provides the reliable, effective communications that are vital to the coordination of such a project.

The challenges for Sakhalin-1

The Sakhalin-1 Project and the communications system that supports it have faced some significant challenges.

Sakhalin Island, situated between Russia and Japan in the North Pacific, is a mountainous environment with an extreme climate. It is also an ecologically sensitive area with an abundance of plants and wildlife. This makes it particularly vulnerable to the environmental problems that can arise at sites where oil and gas are being extracted or transported.

In addition, the Sakhalin-1 Project is vast in scope. Because of this, it was divided into two phases. Phase one, which started producing oil from the Yastreb drilling rig in 1999, could operate only during the ice-free months of summer. Phase two, however, added a new pipeline and a new offshore platform that increased capacity and allowed production to continue throughout the year. ENL recognized that the phase-two expansion would necessitate an improvement in the communications used to run the project. They needed a communication system that would connect all three sites and ensure the smooth running of operations, not only on a day-to-day basis, but also in an emergency. The new system would also have to be able to combine both marine and aeronautical communications with radio and telephony. ENL chose a TETRA system to meet these requirements.

The solution

ENL enlisted Saga to design and deploy its new communication network. The system Saga proposed was based on Zetrons DCS-5020 digital console system. Saga chose the DCS-5020 for the following reasons:

  • The DCS-5020 would interconnect the systems communication devices (VHF/UHF radio, PABX and TETRA radios) into a single, easy-to-use console.
  • The DCS-5020 screen could be customised to create an intuitive layout that would reflect ENLs operating methods exactly.
  • The DCS-5020 browser would give operators ready access to the operating procedures they might need in an emergency.

System details

The communications system for Sakhalin-1 includes the following:

  • Three separate operator sites, one each at the Orlan oil platform, the Chayvo Onshore Processing Facility (OPF), and the DeKastri oil terminal.
  • Orlan and DeKastri each have one DCS-5020 with four digital switches linked through an E1 ring. They connect to six Motorola MTM700 radios, two VHF marine radios, one aeronautical base station and four PABX lines.
  • At Chayvo the system is configured similarly, providing the interface to two base stations, four MTM700 radios, and four PABX lines.
  • 15 Zetron Model 390 TETRA digital radio remote controllers are used on the Orlan platform. This is the only telephone-style
  • TETRA remote currently available. It can connect to a TETRA system and provide all the functions of the Motorola MTM700 TETRA radio.

The results

The implementation of the system is an ongoing project. When it is fully operational, it will give operators at the three sites full access to all communication devices. It will also support: conferencing, patching, HTML browsing (with push-button access to procedures and safety information), memory dialing, alarm monitoring, alpha-searching of the directory, and emergency group calling.

The network is providing ENL with the vitally important communications network required to maintain, control and manage this huge project. The system helps ensure that routine operations run efficiently, and that emergencies can be identified, responded to, and managed quickly and effectively.


Digital Console System

The DCS-5020 is designed to meet the demands of the smaller control room. It is particularly suited for use in public safety, transportation, utilities, and private industry. Combining telephony and both digital and analogue radio control,

the system supports up to 30 channels and 6 screen-based operator consoles. Specific applications include mobile command and TETRA fall-back systems.

The DCS-5020s distributed architecture eliminates the need for a central switch. It provides the flexibility, scalability, and resilience mission-critical applications require.


  • Integrates telephone call handling and radio dispatch.
  • Based on a resilient, distributed architecture.
  • Supports 1-6 operator positions and 28 line ports.
  • Supports and integrates analogue radio, MPT 1327 and TETRA.
  • Includes a screen-based, configurable graphical user interface (GUI).
  • Offers a wide range of operator and audio interface options.