The major challenges for future oil & gas installations are to create and increase business value in addition to improve HSE (Health, Safety and the Environment). The Oil & Gas industry has recognised the potential of operating with ‘normally unmanned areas' where access to the entire process is based on utilisation of new technologies from remote onshore locations. During maintenance, personnel have only got restricted access when the process is shut-down, but this is primarily handled remotely. This paper concerns teleoperation and telepresence of oil & gas installations. The challenges involve more than the technology of transferring data and performing operations. A teleoperator or a telerobot is a "machine" which extends a human operator's sensing and manipulation capability to a remote environment. An essential issue of telepresence is to keep the human operators in the control loop to enable them to use their high levels of skill to complement the power of remote manipulators. Teleoperation within oil & gas differs from other known applications as offshore installations represent large, complex and dynamic processes located hundreds of miles away in very harsh environments where failures may result in major consequences for the environment and process equipment.

The challenges of offshore teleoperation are to enhance the operator's perception of the current situation so that the operator has a complete understanding of state of the process and operates the process as if he was offshore without hundreds of miles and complex technology in between. Safe and efficient teleoperation is critical for operation of unmanned platforms to secure added value and optimal production within a distant environment.

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