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Tom Andre Tarlebo

4 key success factors for Unified security and safety communication for Oil & Gas installations

Whether it is direct calls between operators in control-rooms, from control-room operators to service and maintenance crews, drill deck operators communication between platforms/sites/ships, the requirements for direct communication are as diverse as the solutions applied. In addition, there is a need for mass communication in the form of public address- and general alarm systems.

Listed are some of the systems most commonly used to address these requirements:

Critical systems like these have to be continuously monitored to ensure that when something critical happens the systems will work.

Success factors for integrated operations

In order to successfully implement integrated operations, these systems have to integrate as well. This is vital in order to achieve improved operational efficiency and reducing operational expenses.  To achieve interoperability between these systems and a future-proof and cost-effective deployment, the following four key factors must be considered.

Open and commonly accepted standards

 Integration through industry specific, or better yet, open and common standards as well as common interfaces is the key to achieving supplier independence, ease of maintenance as well as minimizing risk of obsolescence. Relying on proprietary APIs, protocols or interfaces increases the risk of obsolescence and vendor tie-in and should be avoided if possible.

Flexible platforms of integration

The platforms on which one chooses to integrate the means of communication should be flexible in terms of scalability, integration paths and technology, ensuring that the system offers sufficient integration for legacy systems as well as scalability for future expansion and integration.

Use of standardized infrastructure

Utilizing standard infrastructure ensures compatibility of equipment (replacement, expansion) and gives the owner freedom of choice with regards to equipment providers. This must be assessed in the context of the regional regulations and legislation, particularly when working with radio communication.  

Compatibility with systems already in use with support functions

Whether it is a Platform Supply Vessel or the local fire brigade, a system which integrates seamlessly to the communication employed by the support functions is a factor to improve communication, reduce response time and increase safety. It cannot be expected that supporting services replace their equipment and/or change methods to cater to the technology choices made by the industry. Rather this consideration should be made by the owner/operator in light of local requirements and circumstances.


About the author:

Tom-Andre Tarlebø
Commercial Product Manager, Zenitel Norway AS
Mr. Tarlebø holds a Master’s Degree (M.Tech) in Industrial Design Engineering from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. His focus as a Commercial Product Manager by profession and Designer/Engineer by education is the total user experience and the benefits to the users and operators as much as regulatory demands. This article is based on the case study “Unified Security and Safety Communication in Areas with Explosive Atmospheres”, please contact the author for more information on the subject.




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