Total harps on new technologies to drive oil exploration

TOTAL Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd. (TEPNG), has harped on the importance of new technologies to drive crude oil exploration in Nigeria.

The Deputy Managing Director, Deepwater District, of the firm, Ahmadu Kida Musa, said the use of innovation and technologies in driving Nigeria’s future energy demand in the oil and gas sector is of great importance.

Speaking at a conference organized by Nigerian Association of Petroleum Engineers (NAPE), in Lagos, Musa said “the days of easy oil and gas discoveries are gone. We need innovations in order to continue and come back to the era of more frequent giant discoveries as was obtained before 2012.

“In Nigeria for example, we will need to key-in to the use of emerging and innovative technologies from safe exploration to HSE compliant exploitation of the discovered resources.”

He said the belief by some school of thought might be that in Nigeria, “we have totally mastered exploration in the onshore, in the conventional offshore and even somewhat in the deep offshore domains, but this is certainly not an accurate hypothesis. There are still yet-to-find opportunities all around in those mature domains, especially for deep perspectivity and also the Ultra Deep Offshore domain, where little or no exploration activities have been carried out to date.

“Government on behalf of the people are the custodians of all natural resources. Policies must, however, encourage participation of key stakeholders especially those of us who are focused on innovation and technological advancement.”

He stressed further that, “Total’s technological achievements in data imaging has been made possible by its in-house ‘PANGEA III High Power Supercomputer’, that now has its computing power tripled, ranking it as the most powerful supercomputer in the oil & gas industry and firmly placing it among the world’s top 10 supercomputers with the capacity to perform up to 29 billion of million floating point operations per second equivalent to 130,000 laptops.”

“This technological game-changer is another demonstration of Total’s commitment to research and development’s support to her exploration and field development strategy despite the tough economic environment, while at the same time managing related risks and optimizing performance and costs.”

Speaking further, Engr. Musa, explained the in-depth Deep Offshore and Ultra Deep Offshore, environment, will continue to be faced with different and diverse challenging exploration, development and even production context that going forward will require new technologies to maximize our reserves.

“For the last 15- 20 years, exploration activities have been conducted in the deep offshore in water depths of around 2,000 meters and most current developments are generally at a maximum depth of around 2,000 meters. Following innovations with new technologies, Total has been able to explore deeper with an exploration well drilled offshore Uruguay in 2016, at 3405 meters water depth, at that time the world’s deepest sub-sea well.

“In order to succeed in this direction, we certainly need to take the following into consideration, ensure the safety of deep offshore developments, limit environmental impacts throughout the project life, decrease technical costs of new developments ensuring control of cost on major investments and even smaller ones, Developing innovative technologies to go deeper and to face extreme and challenging conditions.

“Total being the largest deep offshore operator in Africa has adopted a culture of innovation in its development projects. Though complex, we consider innovation an absolute mandatory activity from exploration to production of the discovered oil and gas. Our successes in exploration have led to some innovation in our fields’ development,” he said.

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