Technical  and  economic  issues  facing  the  offshore  market were the core topics discussed during OTC’s “Around  the  World  Series:  France”  panel  discussion  where  leaders  of  France’s  oil  services  sector  gathered  on Tuesday, May 7. The session, which was divided into three panels, began with a welcome address by Michel Hourcard, president and CEO of Total E&P Americas. “I’m honored to be a part of the session at the 50th anniversary of OTC and proud to share our achievements in the industry,” he said.

“With  the  advent  of  new  technologies,  we  have  decided  to  pass  all  our  data  to  the  cloud,”  said  Olivier  Peyret,  president  of  Schlumberger  France,  speaking  at  the panel focused on exploration and discovery. “We see his  innovation  as  a  fundamental  change  and  an  opportunity  for  us  to better serve our customers.”

He  also  pointed  out  that  to  attract  the  next  generation  of  talent, R&D in areas of technological innovation is extremely important. “While digital transformation is an opportunity  for  some,  it  could  be  a risk for others,” Peyret said. “For example, if Schlumberger opens its artificial intelligence research  center  in  Paris,  it’s  a  fantastic  opportunity  to  develop human resources. On the other hand, it could be  a  risk  for  others  if  the  transition  is  disrupted  and  the workforce is not reskilled or trained to adapt to the advanced technologies.”

Sophie Zurqiyah, CEO of CGG, highlighted the need to adopt digital technologies in the field of exploration. “Due to the oil and gas downturn, our clients are constantly  looking  for  efficiency,  reduction  in  cycle  time  to develop offshore fields and improve the outcome of exploration,” she said.   

“It’s  not  sufficient  to  collect  data  but  it’s  equally  important to look at the physics behind the data using technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning,” said Daniel Averbuch, senior program man-ager at IFPEN. He added that his company is also using technologies  to  mitigate  climate  change  such  as  using  efficient  wave  technology  contributing  to  the  development of offshore wind energy.

The  panelists  of  the  second  session,  which  focused  on oil and gas development, discussed the importance of identifying local content while working across international borders. “It’s import-ant  to  acknowledge  the  fact  that  local  content  is  important  to  reduce  costs  of  development because it eliminates the need to carry assets and inventories. In this area, one of the key points is having the shortest supply chain possible,” said Nicolas de Coignac,  senior  vice  president  of  North  America at Vallourec.

“Several  technological  inventions  that  are  impacting  the  oil  and  gas  industry  today were developed in France with strategic  partnerships,”  said  Dominique  Bouvier,  chairman  of  Evolen,  speaking  at  the  last panel session, which focused on future developments of the offshore industry.

Evolen’s  main  goals  includes  development  of  inter-professional  networks  and  to  support  the  international  expansion  of  its  corporate  members,  notably  small  and  medium-sized  enterprises.  “We  are  convinced  that  hydrocarbon  services  companies will play a major role in the ecological transition  and  almost  50%  of  our  companies  are  investing  in  clean  energies  to  reduce  the  carbon  footprint  and  reduce  emissions.  The  future  of  the  industry  will  focus on reducing the carbon footprint and to develop gas, which will be a key element in fighting climate change,” Bouvier said.