Fiber Optic Cable Installation

Part
01
of seven
Part
01

Companies that Sell Fiber Optic Cables

Some of the leading companies that sell fiber optic cables in the United States include Corning, CommScope, Finisar, Belden, Siemon, OCC, AFL, and OFS Fitel. Details including an overview of their products, revenue, and the fiber optic cables they sell are listed below.

Corning

  • Corning Incorporated is a manufacturer of materials specialized in glass, ceramic, and optical products based in New York.
  • Their products are categorized into five segments namely display technologies, optical communications, environmental technologies, specialty materials, and life sciences.
  • Corning reports a revenue of $4.1 billion in 2018 for its telecommunications division.
  • Corning is listed as one of the largest fiber optic cable companies globally in industry reports from Thomasnet, BusinessWire, IBIS World, and MarketWatch.
  • They sell various types of fiber optic cables including single-mode, cutoff shifted single-mode, non-zero dispersion-shifted (NZDS), bend-improved single-mode, index 50/125 μm multi-mode, and index 62.5/125 μm multi-mode configurations. More details on their fiber optic cables are listed on their brochure.

CommScope

  • CommScope is a network infrastructure company based in North Carolina. They manufacture a diverse line of fiber-optic cables including outside plant cables, indoor/outdoor cables, and fire-rated indoor fiber cables.
  • The company’s revenue for the financial year of 2018 was $4.6 billion with 60% of the revenue generated from its connectivity solutions division.
  • CommScope is listed as one of the largest fiber optic cable companies globally in industry reports from CablingInstall.com and MarketWatch.
  • CommScope sells various types of fiber optic cables including drop cables, indoor & outdoor cables, and outside plant cables. They also offer the cables in the central tube, loose tube, and ribbon constructions, in both single-mode and multi-mode configurations. More details on their fiber optic cables are listed on their website.

Finisar

  • Finisar is a provider of components and subsystems for optical communications based in California.
  • Their products are used by “networking equipment manufacturers, data center operators, telecom service providers, consumer electronics and automotive companies”.
  • Finisar reports a revenue of $1.4 billion for the financial year of 2017.
  • Their fiber optic cables product line includes “SFPwire® AOC for 10/25GbE, Quadwire® AOC for 40/100GbE, InfiniBand QDR/FDR/EDR, SAS3 and PCIe3, and C.wire® AOC for 100GbE”. More details on their fiber optic cables are listed on their website.

Belden

  • Belden is a manufacturer of networking, connectivity, and cable products based in Missouri. They serve enterprise and industrial markets.
  • The company reported a revenue of $1.2 billion for the financial year of 2017.
  • Belden is listed as one of the largest fiber-optic companies globally in industry reports from MarketWatch and ReportsNReports.
  • Their fiber optic cables product line covers “break out cables, distribution cables, interconnect cables, loose tube cables, mini distribution cables, tactical fiber optic cables, Digital Electricity™ cables, hybrid copper-fiber cables”. More details on their fiber optic cables are listed on their website.

Siemon

  • The Siemon Company is an end-to-end network solutions manufacturer based in Connecticut. They offer copper and optical fiber cabling systems, cabinets, racks, cable management, data center power, and cooling systems.
  • The company’s revenue is estimated to be between $92.7-$159 million.
  • Siemon is listed as one of the leading market players for fiber optic cable companies globally in industry reports from CablingInstall.com and Premium Market Insights.
  • The company offers fiber optic cables in XGLO and LightSystem configurations and covers indoors, outdoors, tight buffer, and loose tube applications for North America. More details on their fiber optic cables are listed on their website.

OCC

  • Optical Cable Corporation based in Virginia, claims to be “the second-largest manufacturer of multi-mode fiber optic cable for the North American enterprise market”. Their products are used in oil & gas, mining, military, and other industries.
  • OCC reports a revenue of $87 million for its 2018 financial year.
  • The company is listed as one of the largest fiber-optic companies globally by industry reports from VisionGain and ResearchAndMarkets.
  • The company offers indoor & outdoor fiber optic cables that are suitable for industries including commercial enterprise, military, broadcast/AV, industrial, mining, and oil & gas. More details on their fiber optic cables are listed on their website.

AFL Communications

  • AFL Communications manufactures fiber optic cable, transmission & substation accessories, outside plant equipment, connectors, fusion splicers, test, and inspection equipment. They are based in South Carolina and serve the energy, service provider, enterprise and industrial markets.
  • The company’s revenue is estimated to be between $75-$594 million.
  • AFL is listed as one of the largest fiber optic cable companies globally in industry reports from IBIS World and WiredRelease.
  • The company offers fiber optic cables suitable for high-voltage transmission, challenging climates, enterprise, high pressure, and high-temperature applications. They also sell “umbilical component, high temperature downhole, and LSZH sensing cables” in “non-armored, single-armored, harsh environment and high fiber count/density configurations”. More details on their fiber optic cables are listed on their website.

OFS Fitel

  • OFS Fitel is a manufacturer and provider of optical fiber, optical fiber cable, connectivity, FTTx and specialty photonics solutions based in Georgia. Their products are used in communications, medical devices, aerospace & defense industries, and industrial applications.
  • The company’s revenue is estimated to be between $71-$390 million.
  • OFS is listed as one of the largest fiber optic cable manufacturers in the U.S. in industry reports from Thomasnet, IBIS World, and CablingInstall.com. MarketWatch listed OFS as one of the largest fiber optic cable manufacturers globally.
  • The company offers fiber optic cables suitable for industrial, indoor, and outdoor applications. Types of fiber optic cables they sell include totally gel-free cables, loose tube cables, ribbon, drop cables, central core cables, micro cables, and air blown cables. They also offer a variety of coatings including Polyetheretherketone (PEEK), Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene (PE), and others. More details on their fiber optic cables are listed on their website.


Research Strategy

2 or more industry reports from Thomasnet, BusinessWire, IBIS World, MarketWatch, CablingInstall.com, and other sources were used to qualify each company listed above as leading companies that sell fiber optic cables. The top 8 companies with the highest annual company/ fiber optic cable division revenues are listed for this research.
Part
02
of seven
Part
02

Companies that Install Fiber Optic Cables

Seven fiber optic cable installers in the US are Mason Technologies, Network Cabling Los Angeles, Marquez Cable, PCC Network Solutions, Novatech, Delaney Computer Services and INC Installs.

Mason Technologies, Inc.

  • This company services major companies, government entities, military facilities and educational institutions in the New York area.
  • They offer a variety of cabling, A/V and security services.
  • Mason Technologies does not specify the exact types of fiber optic cables they install, but they offer a range of options and will help the customer decide what is most suitable for their needs.

Network Cabling Los Angeles

  • They proclaim they are the biggest installer in the LA-area.
  • They offer data, voice fiber and network cabling installation for large entities.
  • Their website does not list the specific type of fiber optic cables installed, but it appears they offer a variety of options.

Marquez Cable

  • Located in Sante Fe, Marquex Cable offers end-to-end design and installation services.
  • They can install multimode, single mode, aerial and underground loose tube fiber optic cables.

PCC Network Solutions

  • PCC specialize in low voltage structure cabling systems.
  • They offer single and multimode fiber optic cables for SMBs, enterprises, municipalities and educational institutions.

Novatech

  • Operating in Southern California, Novatech can install CAT 5, CAT 5e, CAT 6, single and multimode fiber cables.
  • As a whole, the company also offers video surveillance installation, VoIP, access control, intercoms and wireless network set-up in addition to network wiring.

Delaney Computer Services

  • Delaney Computer Services serves New York and New Jersey.
  • They offer dark mode, single, multimode and aerial cables. They also offer trenching, testing, optical certification and custom assemblies.
  • As a whole, the company offers a whole host of IT solutions, including cybersecurity consulting, IT services, IT consulting and cloud services.

INC Installs

  • INC Installs can service single, multimode, OM3, OM4 and plenum networks with its fiber optic cable installations.
  • They offer indoor, outdoor, 2-48 strand counts, PVC, plenum, riser, armored, pre-terminated and on-site terminated cables.
  • They have affiliated installers all over the US.
  • The wider company also installs A/V services, IT equipment, wireless networks and other network cabling solutions.

Research Strategy

There are no pre-existing or compiled lists of large fiber optic cable installers in the US. Most companies seem to operate regionally rather than any dominant nationwide entities. We consulted market research reports, industry associations like the Fiber Optic Association and trade press, but nowhere were any dominant companies mentioned as "leading" installers in the US. We then changed tactics and attempted to manually compile such a list, checking dozens of installers for revenue information or company size in order to determine "leading" players. It quickly became apparent that this was not going to work, as most companies are privately-held and do not publicly report revenue. Furthermore, revenue information for many was not even available on business listing websites like Manta and Hoovers who use algorithms to estimate company revenue. Finally, our last strategy was to check listings and directories for prominent or leading installers, from which we could have a more curated list to explore individual revenues or company size. For example, Field Nation maintains a directory of over 10,000 installers nationwide, but there was no organization of the listings to point to who the larger companies are. The FCC does not appear to maintain a list of installers, despite being the governmental department in charge of oversight of this industry.

Overall, it was not possible to compile a list of "leading" fiber optic installers in the US. Instead, we present a list of seven sample installers of various sizes in order to give an idea of what a typical installer offers.


Part
03
of seven
Part
03

Types of Wells Using Fiber Optic cables

Types of wells that use fiber optic cables include steam-assisted gravity drain wells, offshore drilling wells, groundwater wells, and bring wells. Details on the use cases for each of these wells have been provided below.

#1: Steam-Assisted Gravity Drain (SAGD) Wells

  • Fiber optic cables, such as those produced by AFL, have been used in the process of steam-assisted gravity drainage. This process is used to extract bitumen from oil sand deposits under the ground. The process relies on the use of a well to inject steam into an underground cavity and a second well to extract the output.
  • According to JPT Technology Editor, Chris Carpenter, "distributed temperature sensing (DTS) is the most common fiber-optic measurement used for SAGD reservoir monitoring."
  • Other types of distributed sensors also rely on the use of fiber optic cables, including distributed acoustic sensing and distributed strain sensing. These sensors, such as those created by Fiberpoint, can be used in the SAGD process.

#2: Offshore Drilling Well

#3: Groundwater Wells

  • Groundwater wells provide water for homes, irrigation purposes, and industrial purposes.
  • Fiber optic cables in conjunction with sensors can potentially be used in drinking water extraction wells in order to gain an understanding of groundwater flow. Groundwater flow is important to understand when it comes to this type of well because it helps prevent clogging and pollution.
  • Fiber optic cables have been used in groundwater wells for the purposes of "investigating hydraulic and thermal conditions in the subsurface."

#4: Brine Well

Part
04
of seven
Part
04

Distributed Acoustic Sensors (DAS) Market

The market size and growth of the Distributed Acoustic Sensors (DAS) market in the US could not be determined or estimated. However, the market size of the global market was $568 million in 2018, up from $252 million in 2014.

FINDINGS

  • In 2014, the global distributed acoustic sensors (DAS) market was worth about $252 million. At the time, it was expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.78% from 2015 to 2020. North America accounted for about 55% of the market in 2015.
  • By 2018, the global distributed acoustic sensors (DAS) market reached $568 million, with a compound annual growth rate of 17% from 2019 to 2029.
  • The US and Europe account have an aggregate share of 78.84% in the global distributed acoustic sensors (DAS) market.
  • Some US companies at the forefront of this market include Halliburton Co., Schlumberger NV (U.S.), and Baker Hughes, Inc. (U.S.).
  • The improved reliability of "DAS equipment, its ability to operate in harsh environments, and its increasing ability to gather key data required to reduce operating costs in the oil & gas sector are some of the key drivers of the DAS technology."
  • As one of the largest oil and gas producers, the US is expected to lead the DAS market within the next few years.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

Using publicly accessible information, we sought the market size and growth of the US Distributed Acoustic Sensors (DAS) market in a number of ways, none of which proved sufficient to generate an exact picture of this market.
Our first strategy involved exploring trusted market research reports and industry consultancy sources including IBIS World, Market Research, and Markets and Markets. These sources offered many insights into the global Distributed Acoustic Sensors (DAS) industry as a whole and acknowledged that the US accounts for a significant share of the market. However, none of the sources made mention of any segmentation that would allow us to isolate or hone in on the US DAS market specifically.
Next, we turned to data intelligence platforms like Statista. There, we found the market size of fiber optics in the US, however, nothing beyond this data was provided. There was no mention of Distributed Acoustic Sensors (DAS) or its market. We also scanned news articles published by industry-related websites like Bloomberg. This too was a dead end as data on the global market was the only thing provided.
Another approach we employed involved generating a list of the companies dominating the US Distributed Acoustic Sensors (DAS) market and exploring their publicly disclosed financial statements and self-descriptions. We had hoped we could use this information to extrapolate a picture of the market. We found little success with this strategy. Many such companies are privately held and do not release that information and the few we could acquire did not isolate DAS from other types of photonic sensing technology in reporting. This rendered any estimate arrived at from this approach too inaccurate to be useful.
Since not enough information exists in the public sphere to determine or estimate the current US market size or growth of DAS, we provided the data we found on the global market.
Part
05
of seven
Part
05

Distributed Temperature Sensors (DTS) Market

The global Distributed Temperature Sensors (DTS) market was valued at $568.19 million in 2017, up from $486 million in 2015.

HELPFUL FIDINGS

  • In 2015, the global Distributed Temperature Sensors (DTS) market was worth $486 million and was forecast to reach $819 billion by 2022, at a growth rate of 7.9% from 2016 to 2022.
  • The market was valued at $568.19 million in 2017 and was expected to register a growth of 7.4% from 2018 to 2025, thus reaching $1 billion by 2025.
  • The Distributed Temperature Sensors (DTS) market in the US, alone, is expected to grow by 6.2% from 2018 to 2025.
  • By application, the global distribution temperature sensing is categorized into oil & gas (with the largest share, 35%), power utility (with a 20% share), civil engineering (17%), industrial (15%), and safety & security (13%).
  • The companies dominating the US DTS market include Halliburton Company and Schlumberger.
  • High demand from the oil & gas sector "along with growing installation of power-conserving and tiny sensors in myriad industrial applications is likely to augment the growth of distributed temperature sensing (DTS) market over the years to come."

Research Strategy

In order to determine the US market size and historical growth of the Distributed Temperature Sensors (DTS) industry, we first relied on reports by market research platforms such as Globenewswire and Allied Market Research. While these reports offered data on the global DTS market, no data specific to the US was found in them. They simply mentioned that the US has a significant share of the market. They also mentioned the market growth of North America in general.

Next, we turned to news articles published by industry-related websites like Tech Crunch. Although these websites offered statistics on the US Distributed Temperature Sensors (DTS) market, they mentioned nothing about what the US DTS market is worth; neither did they offer the historical growth of the market. We proceeded to review professional social media sites like LinkedIn. Sometimes, professionals on LinkedIn share market reports on this platform. This was a dead end as we only found shared reports on mergers and acquisitions in the US DTS market. Another approach we took involved combing through data intelligence resources including Statista. We tried finding any chart on the countries with the most market share in the global DTS market (this was done under the assumption that the US might be one of these countries). Again, this was unfruitful.

We attempted triangulating the requested data. The first step was to figure out if the US DTS industry is consolidated or fragmented. If it is consolidated, this would mean a few companies control the market and thus, we could find the revenues of these companies, add them up, and estimate the market size. On the other hand, a fragmented industry would mean no company has a large enough share in the market and the above triangulation would be impractical to do. Despite scouring news and market reports, there was no mention of whether the US DTS is fragmented or consolidated. Nonetheless, we tried reviewing the annual reports of key players in the US DTS in order to add up the revenues of these companies. However, we soon found that large companies such as Schlumberger N.V. only provide aggregate figures on their annual reports. Seeing as a lot of them had other businesses or segments and catered to other countries, adding up their total revenues would have led to an exaggerated market size. Some of these companies are also privately-held. While third party portals like Hoovers had revenue figures, they were not segmented by region or country. Therefore, this was also a futile triangulation attempt.
As a result, we expanded our search to the global market in general. Our findings and calculations have been presented above.
Part
06
of seven
Part
06

Fiber Optics Cable Installation in a DTS System

The process of installing a fiber-optic cable into a distributed temperature sensors fracking well involves two phases, which are the cementing and completion phases.

INSTALLATION PROCESS

  • Installing a fiber-optic cable into a distributed temperature sensors (DTS) fracking well typically involves the cementing and completion phases.
CEMENTING PHASE
  • To begin, the operator places the optical fiber cable inside a small stainless steel tubing string clamped to the back of a casing that runs into the hole of the well.
  • The operator then cements the casing to hold it firmly in place, and zero-degree phasing at five shots per foot, one foot per cluster perforations are placed on the top of the casing to prevent damages to the optical fiber due to pumps or colocated instruments.
  • "Once the fiber-optic cable is strapped and run behind production casing, it immediately becomes a source of valuable information. The operator utilizes the DTS to evaluate the cement curing time, and determine when to pressure-test the well."
  • With the aid of a distributed acoustic sensor (DAS), the operator can detect whether the cementing plug, which separates the cement slurry from other fluids, has landed at the required depth.
  • Later on, the optics cable can be used to check for contaminations or other cement integrity issues in the casing.
COMPLETION PHASE
  • During the completion phase, the operator uses the plug-and-perf process to detect if the hardware setup is working as designed by shooting "perfs" whose heat signatures are detected and recorded on the fiber-optic temperature sensor.
  • Fracturing treatments can also be carried out using limited-entry techniques that produce multistage and multicluster fractures.
  • Recommendations can then be passed across to the relevant field personnel to "verify hardware positions and fluid flow paths."

TECHNICAL FACTORS TO CONSIDER

  • For shallow wells, the operator may choose to install the fiber-optic cable by sending it down to the required depth and leaving it there to monitor the temperature. However, for deep wells, the cable feed needs to be addressed to support the cable's weight and reduce bending radii.
  • "Short-range DTS units (under 10 km) generally use multimode fibers (typically 50 lm core diameter, 125 lm cladding diameter). The added glass cross-section allows the injection of greater light intensity and captures a larger fraction of the backscatter compared to single-mode fibers, which results in higher measurement performance. Cable design that includes multiple fibers is advisable for downhole applications as these provide redundancy in case of damage occurring to one, and allows single-ended or double-ended measurements to be obtained."
  • The fiber must be protected against the pressure that could lead to a non-uniform, differential attenuation.
  • The design of the fiber-optic cable selected should include hydrogen-scavenging gel for sites containing organic compounds.
  • "In the case of tightly wrapped fibers, there have been documented entrance effects in approximately the first 100 m of the fiber after the transition from a straight cable to the wrapped cable that, if not corrected for, will result in erroneous data."

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We began our research to provide a detailed explanation for the installing a fiber-optic cable into a distributed temperature sensors (DTS) fracking well by consulting case studies for the same from companies that make use of fiber-optic monitoring solutions such as Schlumberger and Tendeka, among others. We aimed to obtain reports with detailed explanations of actual situations when a fiber-optic cable was installed in a DTS fracking well, including the time it took to complete each step, the technical risks, and costs involved. The case studies that we found mentioned the installation of a fiber-optic cable, however, in some instances, the reports did not provide a step by step analysis of the installation, but gave little insights and focused on other aspects of the project, and in other cases, the cable was not deployed in a DTS fracking well.

Next, we consulted research papers, dissertations, and scientific journals, and industry articles from sites such as ResearchGate, Standford Earth, and Oil & Gas Journal, Haliburton, GeoScienceWorld, and OnePetro, among others, for an analysis of the installation process of a fiber-optic cable in a DTS fracking well. We hoped to find technical risk, time, and cost estimations for the procedure, as well as some examples of its execution. However, this strategy provided similar results with the previous one, providing some insights into the installation process but with no deep dive that provided cost and time analysis. We also could not access some promising reports, as they were behind paywalls. However, we have included one from GeoScienceWorld and another from OnePetro.

As a last resort, we searched for providers of installation services in the fiber optics cable market in a bid to get an overview of their pricing, installation time, and, if possible, the step-by-step breakdown for installing a fiber-optic cable into a DTS fracking well. This search was also expanded to include case studies of such installation, which we hoped would provide the breakdown from a marketing perspective, and as such, would include details such as the cost and time taken to complete each step. We found several DTS products and solutions providers, including OptaSense and Sensornet, which we analyzed. The latter provided case studies of its optics fiber installations as well as a breakdown of DTS sensing, while OptaSense gave a summary of its service. As such, we have provided the insights obtained during our research for installing a fiber optics cable in a DTS fracking well, since there was no available technical risk, cost, and time breakdown for the same.

While we were unable to provide associated technical risks when installing a fiber-optic cable in a DTS fracture well, we found a useful source which provided some factors to consider.
Part
07
of seven
Part
07

Fiber Optics Cable Installation in a DAS System

Fiber optics cables are installed into a Distributed Acoustic Sensor (DAS) fracking well with the use of a pulley assembly that helps it fall properly through the well. More information on the installation of these cables, as well as the strategy used for this research, can be found below.

Installation of Fiber Optics Cable into DAS Fracking Wells

  • A self-supporting fiber optic cable is slid inside a borehole using a small-diameter conduit that can be perforated so that the distributed sensing can be done along the length of the cable. The cable may comprise a casing made from plural concentric tubular steel layers with aligned perforations.
  • In another embodiment, another cable is deployed using wellhead valving and is suspended from a fixture composed of a pulley system located just beneath the valving.
  • When the upper end of the cable is released, the pulley system takes up the slack in the cable which allows for the cable to fall through the valving and so that the valving can be closed. A termination is attached to the upper end of the cable located by the fixture so that it can be retrieved.
  • In another embodiment, two portions of concentric tubing are joined together "by forming dimples in the inner tubing portion" which then extend into holes on the outer tubing portion. This allows for more precise DAS data to be gathered and analyzed as well as easier monitoring.

Technical Risk of Installation

Research Strategy:

To determine the process of installing fiber optics cables into DAS fracking wells, we looked into industry reports as well as credible articles from industry-relevant sites such as Silixa and OnePetro for insights. We especially focused on insights related to wells designed for hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking wells." We were able to find articles on DAS at is used in gas and oil well monitoring and advances into how this is utilized in frac design, but none specifically on how it is installed into the wells. We then attempted to look into publicly available patents under the assumption that companies would be patenting their process of installing these cables into the wells that they have. We were able to find a patent for the use of fiber optic cables for distributed acoustic sensing used in wells or pipers. This patent cited another patent for the installation of fiber optic cables into wells for distributed sensing. By cross-referencing information from the articles and industry reports we found and these patents, we are able to provide a step-by-step explanation of how a fiber optics cable is installed into a DAS fracking well. However, we were not able to find an estimate of how long each step takes. Our first attempt into this was looking into the patents and the articles, however, these revealed no relevant information. We moved to our next strategy.

We then searched for information on how long it typically takes to install fiber optics cables into wells. This is done under the assumption that with this insight, we may be able to gather enough insights to reasonable triangulate the amount of time each reported step of the installation takes. We were able to find a guide on how to install fiber optics cable underground from the Fiber Optics Association, however, this revealed no information that is relevant to this request. No other insights could be found from this strategy.

As a final attempt, we looked into case studies of companies that have installed fiber optics cables into wells. These case studies may have information on how long it took to install these cables and would give us adequate information for the triangulation of the necessary details for this request. We were able to find a relevant case study on the use of fiber optics DAS, however, this also revealed no relevant insight on the estimated time it takes to install the cables in a well. Another case study was found, however, this was locked behind a paywall. After exhausting all strategies, we were still unable to approximate the time it takes to complete each installation step.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01