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TotalEnergies takes steps to broaden methane emission reductions in the oil, gas sector

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TotalEnergies has announced the signing of three cooperation agreements with national oil and gas companies to carry out methane detection and measurement campaigns

Photo by Reuters

5th December 2023

By: Tasneem Bulbulia

Senior Contributing Editor Online


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TotalEnergies has announced the signing of three cooperation agreements with national oil and gas companies – Petrobras in Brazil, SOCAR in Azerbaijan and Sonangol in Angola – to carry out methane detection and measurement campaigns using the Airborne Ultralight Spectrometer for Environmental Applications (Ausea) technology on oil and gas facilities in these three respective countries.

TotalEnergies, which made the announcement during the ‘Eliminating Methane Emissions by 2030’ roundtable on the sidelines of the twenty-eighth Conference of the Parties (COP28), says this demonstrates its commitment to partnering with national oil and gas companies to identify, quantify and reduce methane emissions and to encourage the entire oil and gas industry to aim for zero methane emissions by 2030.

Mounted on a drone, the Ausea gas analyser, developed by TotalEnergies and its research and development partners, is currently one of the most accurate technologies in the world to detect and measure methane emissions, the company posits.

It says reducing methane emissions is a “quick win” in the battle against climate change.

Methane emissions come from multiple sources, such as agricultural activities, fossil fuel production and use and decomposing waste. For the oil and gas sector, reducing these from hydrocarbon production is a priority in the sector’s efforts to mitigate global warming.

After halving its methane emissions from its operated sites between 2010 and 2020, TotalEnergies set targets to step up its efforts and reduce methane emissions by a further 50% by 2025 – with the ambition to reach this target a year early, in 2024 – and by 80% in 2030, compared with 2020.

In this respect, last year, it conducted a global campaign to measure methane emissions from its upstream operated activities using the Ausea technology.

Since 2017, TotalEnergies has been working with Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique and the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne as its research and development partners to develop the pioneer Ausea technology to detect and quantify greenhouse gas emissions.

Ausea comprises a miniature dual sensor capable of detecting methane and carbon dioxide emissions, while simultaneously identifying their source.

This ultralight drone-mounted technology enables access to hard-to-reach emission points while delivering high-precision readings on all types of industrial facility, both onshore and offshore.

This technology marks a step change in methane emissions detection and measurement compared to traditional techniques such as infrared cameras, ground sensors and satellites, TotalEnergies avers.

TotalEnergies is now expanding its Ausea initiative beyond its own operated assets.

The three cooperation agreements signed aim to conduct Ausea drone-based emissions measurement campaigns on facilities operated by the national oil and gas companies and demonstrate concrete actions taken to mobilise the oil and gas industry toward zero methane emissions.

“The COP28 Presidency counts on the mobilisation of all the major industrial sectors of the global economy to ensure the success of this conference. For the oil and gas industry, cutting methane emissions from operations is a priority as technologies are available.

“The first step is to measure emissions, asset by asset. By making our Ausea technology available to our partners, TotalEnergies is taking a concrete step to encourage the whole industry, including national companies, to aim for zero methane emissions,” says TotalEnergies CEO and chairperson Patrick Pouyanné

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



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