TotalEnergies Curbing Emissions Using Drone Surveys

TotalEnergies Curbing Emissions Using Drone Surveys
TotalEnergies has launched a worldwide drone-based emissions detection and quantification campaign across all its upstream oil and gas operated sites.

French energy major TotalEnergies has launched a worldwide drone-based emissions detection and quantification campaign across all its upstream oil and gas operated sites.

The campaign uses AUSEA technology developed by TotalEnergies, the French National Research Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), and the University of Reims Champagne Ardenne.

Since 2017, TotalEnergies has been working with its partners to develop greenhouse gas quantification technology known as AUSEA – short for Airborne Ultralight Spectrometer For Environmental Applications.

AUSEA consists of a miniature dual sensor mounted on a drone, capable of detecting methane and carbon dioxide emissions, while at the same time identifying their source. Measurements can be taken at all types of industrial facilities, whether onshore or offshore, using this technology. It supplements measurements taken using traditional techniques such as infrared cameras, ground sensors, and satellites.

After being successfully tested at sites in Nigeria, Italy, the Republic of the Congo, and the Netherlands, AUSEA technology is being rolled out this year at all upstream oil and gas sites operated by TotalEnergies. The campaign began in early March for African offshore sites, has now been launched in South America, and will reach Europe this summer.

The campaign is an important step towards achieving a reduction of 50 percent in methane emissions at company-operated sites by 2025 and 80 percent by 2030. The French company has also undertaken to keep methane intensity below 0.1 percent across its operated gas facilities. 

“TotalEnergies is committed to moving towards Zero Methane. Considered to be currently the most accurate technology in the world to detect and measure methane emissions, AUSEA will help us to refine our emissions calculations, and to take stronger measures to reduce our emissions even further to achieve the targets we have set”, said Namita Shah, President of OneTech at TotalEnergies.

The AUSEA technology is also being further developed to move from a manual to an autonomous mode to increase the frequency of methane emission measurements. Its deployment will also be extended to TotalEnergies’s other activities, particularly at its refineries.

The company already halved its methane emissions at its operated sites between 2010 and 2020 by targeting all sources – reductions in flaring, venting, fugitive emissions, etc. as well as introducing stricter design criteria for new facilities.

TotalEnergies is also enhancing its reporting as part of the second phase of the United Nations Environment Program’s Oil & Gas Methane Partnership - OGMP 2.0.

The partnership outlines a reporting framework that encompasses the entire gas value chain and non-operated scope, including a breakdown of emissions by source, information on inventory methodologies, and the use of airborne measurement campaigns.

In 2021, TotalEnergies was awarded Gold Standard status. The company is also a signatory of the Methane Guiding Principles.

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