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Page 105
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Application of Remote Real-Time Monitoring to Offshore Oil and Gas Operations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23499.
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Page 105
Page 106
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Application of Remote Real-Time Monitoring to Offshore Oil and Gas Operations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23499.
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Page 106

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105 A P P E N D I X C Potential Barriers Related to Data Transfers and Communication Alternatives Communication Element Definition Key Issues Bandwidth Bandwidth refers to data rate transfer, or the amount of data that can be carried from one point to another in a given time period, and is usually expressed in bits per second (bps). Modern offshore facilities require higher bandwidths. Bandwidth requirements will continue to increase as offshore facilities add requirements for real-time data sharing or videoconferencing. Different communication applications require different bandwidths. For example, instant messaging uses less than 1,000 bps, while high-definition video requires up to 4 Mbps. Latency Latency in communications often refers to the delay (or wait) between a source sending data and the des- tination receiving the data. This wait time can vary from one system to another. The delay is often introduced when the data travel over the geographical distance and different types of communications equipment. Latency can be critical for applications connected by either satellite or microwave networks and could limit technologies for real-time monitoring applications. Sources of latency can include propagation, transmission, and router and end-user issues. Synchronization Synchronization for commu- nications refers to the relationship of data from multiple sources with the actual time of occurrence. Data can be generated and gathered from different types of sensors and process- ing equipment. Careful synchronization of the time stamps of data elements is necessary for the correct interpretation of collected data.

106 Application of Remote Real-Time Monitoring to Offshore Oil and Gas Operations Reliability, performance, and affordability Reliability, performance, and affordability refer to the challenges of designing a network that will provide the necessary support for the movement of data at a specified capacity, speed, and cost. Designing a reliable, high-performance network in remote and often harsh environments might prove costly to many companies. Given this type of environment, the shorter-term contractual arrangements of drilling operations could lead to a network solution that is assembled from multiple providers. Such hybrid solutions supported by multiple oil service companies could create less reliable network designs. Production facilities allow for a more per- manent and integrated communications solution. Redundancy of systems is important for minimizing downtime of critical data transmission that may occur during common communication outages and planned maintenance. Note: Mbps = megabits per second. Source: Generated by the committee. Communication Element Definition Key Issues

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TRB Special Report 322: Application of Remote Real-Time Monitoring to Offshore Oil and Gas Operations provides advice to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) of the U.S. Department of the Interior on the use of remote real-time monitoring (RRTM) to improve the safety and reduce the environmental risks of offshore oil and gas operations. The report also evaluates the role that RRTM could play in condition-based maintenance (CBM), and how BSEE could leverage RRTM into its safety enforcement program.

The report makes recommendations to BSEE about how RRTM could be incorporated into BSEE's regulatory scheme. The recommendations also suggest that BSEE monitor the development of RRTM technologies in relation to risk-based goals governing offshore oil and gas processes.

As a part of this study, TRB held a workshop and issued TRB's Conference Proceedings on the Web 17: Application of Real-Time Monitoring of Offshore Oil and Gas Operations: Workshop Report, which summarizes presentations made during the committee’s workshop in Houston, Texas, on April 20–21, 2015. A Report in Brief for this publication is also available. Read the media advisory.

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