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Expanding offshore operations have generated an increased need for communications in both international and domestic areas. The capabilities of communications satellites are presented both as currently existing and as envisioned in the future. The possibilities of using these capabilities in offshore communications systems are discussed especially with regard to the potential of new services brought about by the latest generation of satellites currently under production. Two potentially new types of services are hypothesized. Lastly, progress on the development of a small earth station of low cost suitable for such services is reported. It is concluded that communications satellites hold potential both currently and in the future for various offshore operations.