Artificial intelligence can be used in oil and gas field production optimization. French engineers are developing innovative solutions to reduce energy majors’ environmental footprint.
A start-up serving the oil giants. SpotLight, a company based on the outskirts of Paris, has designed the “world’s lightest” data-driven seismic monitoring system for detecting subsurface changes. Its founder, Habib Al Khatib, started from a simple premise. The average oil recovery rate for oil fields worldwide is just 35%. Better knowledge of subsurface activity could increase this by several percentage points, which would lead to a reduction in the exploration for new oil fields and prevent any new and unnecessary drilling operations – thereby cutting the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Like Habib Al Khatib, French engineers are developing innovative solutions to help the oil & gas industry get more efficient and reduce waste. Thanks to artificial intelligence, industry giants are able to analyse flows, prevent oil spills, optimise profitability and reduce their carbon footprint. Since 2013, TotalEnergies has been using machine learning algorithms to carry out predictive maintenance on its turbines, pumps and compressors. As a result, it has “saved several hundreds of millions of dollars”. This French behemoth has been working with Google since 2018, analysing subsurface data during the hydrocarbon exploration and production phase.
Around forty French Fab companies will be in Dubai from 15 to 18 November for the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC), one of the largest oil & gas events in the world. French talent has distinguished itself in recent years with its breakthrough innovations. Global Bioénergies, which is based near Reims, produces hydrocarbons from gas derived from biomass fermentation. The Bazancourt-Pomacle biorefinery, near Reims, generates €750 million in turnover and employs over one thousand people.
A further example: in October, a flight from Nice to Paris was fuelled with 30% sustainable aviation fuel. This initiative, led jointly by Air France, TotalEnergies and Nice airport, slashed CO2 emissions by three tonnes. The biofuel was derived from used and recycled cooking oils from a biorefinery in La Mède (near Marseille) and the Oudalle plant (near Le Havre), both owned by TotalEnergies.
France, which accounts for 15% of Europe’s bioeconomy, plans to use its expertise to take the lead in the development of new fuels.
As the saying goes, we don’t have any oil in France, but we do have ideas!