Like all oil and gas companies, Total is wrestling with a myriad of conflicting challenges. It needs to continue to explore for and produce oil and gas for the foreseeable future to keep revenue flowing, but all the while planning for the arrival of the low-carbon future, whenever that may eventually materialize. This conundrum is heightened by the continued low oil price that continues to put pressure on margins forcing operators to seek to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs. A vital tool in this drive continues to be digital technologies such as data analytics, artificial intelligence and immersive technologies.
“We know that the world will need energy, but what will be key is to find ways for technology to exploit oil and gas,” Francois Alabert, vice president technology solutions at Total, said in an interview with Hart Energy. “The sweet spot, I would say, is the area where we have the lowest impact and is cheapest, and which is the best balance in terms of energy use.”
When it comes to the application of digital technologies, Alabert said they offer a lot of potential, particularly in the geoscience arena. “There is a lot of geoscience that is going to emerge around carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS),” he said. “That and the technologies that are being developed in reservoir engineering and seismic monitoring will be key in the future.”