In 2019, Total Exploration & Production launched twenty oil and gas (O&G) field development projects. These are part of a continuous process that is necessary to sustain the Group’s hydrocarbon production level because, as soon as a field starts to be operated, its production potential begins to decline. So new projects have to be launched constantly to maintain production levels, let alone grow them. These oil and gas projects meet strict performance criteria and, as far as possible, incorporate the latest technological innovations.
These projects play an important role in the transformation of TotalEnergies into a multi-energy group, not only because the industry expertise acquired through them can benefit new Group activities (such as renewable energy) but also because the cash flow generated by releasing new fields helps to fund these activities.
The key issues and phases related to hydrocarbon exploration and production
A portfolio of varied and profitable oil and gas projects
Oil and gas field development projects launched by the TotalEnergies Exploration & Production branch meet strict criteria in terms of safety, respect for local communities and the environment, as well as cost and profitability.
Safety being the Group’s core value, the teams in charge of projects are constantly on the alert to ensure that there are no accidents during well drilling and production facility construction. And if an accident does occur, lessons are systematically drawn from it to prevent its recurrence under similar circumstances.
Two other imperatives: respecting the natural environment and reducing the carbon footprint during both the project execution and the subsequent exploitation of resources. Particular care is also taken to fully integrate all projects into the local economic and social fabric.
On the one hand, field development plans are designed to optimize investment and, on the other, the cost of exploiting the resources to minimize the time between the plan design phase and release. The value created by a project will be greater if the investment and the execution schedule are well managed. A high level of precision is necessary in the design and realization of each project in order to achieve the profitability threshold required by TotalEnergies and to guarantee a sufficiently low break-even point for the future economics of the development to be able to absorb any economic fluctuations over the life of the field (generally 20 to 30 years, sometimes even longer for giant fields).
The Exploration & Production branch is also careful to diversify its projects geographically so that its exposure to any given region or country remains within acceptable bounds. This diversification effort also applies to the nature of developments (oil or gas, offshore or onshore etc.), in line with the Group’s strategic orientations. What is more, the division ensures that its portfolio contains a mix of so-called “long-cycle” projects (i.e. capital-intensive with a long return on investment) and so-called “short-cycle” projects (i.e. with low capital intensity and a rapid return on investment). The advantage of the latter type of project is that it can be managed more reactively because investment can easily be suspended or relaunched, which is important when market conditions are volatile.
Recognized experience and expertise in delivering successful oil and gas projects
Technicians and engineers from every technical discipline in Exploration & Production work together designing and realizing development projects: geophysicists, geologists, reservoir engineers, drillers, petroleum architects, operators and project engineers. Depending on the nature of the project, other specialists or experts may also be involved in more specialized domains (subsea networks, liquefied natural gas, floating structures, instrumentation, electricity, rotating machines, data science etc.). Innovation is always at the fore in each of these disciplines and specialties. This enables us to push back technological limits, provide developments that are ever-safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly at a lower cost and, lastly, to maintain the Group’s competitive advantage.
The technical and industrial expertise of Exploration & Production, the ability of its teams to innovate and work in conjunction with the supply chain on major projects and the industrial experience the division has acquired throughout its history are widely acknowledged. All these qualities are often recognized by our peers, as evidenced by the awards received at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) and International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC). The Pazflor and CLOV developments in Angola (in 2013 and 2015) and Egina in Nigeria (in 2020) are among recent award-winning projects in the deep offshore domain, which is acknowledged to be one of TotalEnergies’ areas of excellence. Each of these projects is a milestone in the history of the Group and the O&G industry.
Experience at the service of TotalEnergies’ new businesses
This ability to manage large-scale industrial projects, the experience and technical expertise of the Exploration & Production teams, the deep knowledge of engineering, construction and heavy industrial equipment supply companies and the ability to undertake work on all continents are valuable assets. They are now being put to use in the development of the Group’s new industrial activities in areas such as renewable energy and CO2 capture and storage. They constitute a key competitive advantage that will contribute substantially to the successful transformation of TotalEnergies into a leading multi-energy group.