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TotalEnergies launches methane-reducing drone project

The France-based oil major TotalEnergies, the same company that makes the Total lubricant range, has announced the start of new drone operations to detect and quantify methane emissions from its upstream oil and gas, so it can address leaks and avoid future emissions.

Since 2017, TotalEnergies has been developing its Airborne Ultralight Spectrometer for Environmental Applications (AUSEA) technology, together with the University of Reims Champagne Ardenne and the French National Research Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). It involves a drone equipped with a dual-sensor to detect carbon dioxide and methane emissions, which can then be tracked back to their source. It can complement data from existing means, such as satellites, ground sensors, infrared cameras, and it is suitable for both offshore and onshore industrial facilities of all types.

The President for TotalEnergies OneTech, Namita Shah, reiterated TotalEnergies’ commitment to progressing towards eliminating all methane emissions, adding:

“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 in order to achieve the targets we have set.”

TotalEnergies already managed to halve methane emissions at its operated sites between 2010 and 2020 by demanding tighter design standards and reducing flaring and venting practices, but the AUSEA technology represents an important step in reducing methane emissions from their 2020 level, first by cutting them in half by 2025 and then achieving a fivefold reduction by 2030.

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