Our annual Best Innovators competition is intended for employees who have sparked innovative actions, the success of which has already been clearly demonstrated. After the 2017 winners were announced, we talk with Christophe Amadéi, President of the Jury for the second year in a row.
Innovation is a hot topic these days, especially in the oil and gas sector. What are the stakes for Total E&P today?
Christophe Amadei: Innovating is nothing new at Total, especially in Exploration & Production. The reason that we can produce the oil and gas that we do today is that our predecessors looked to the future and came up with pioneering solutions in every one of our industry’s fields and businesses.
We’re continuing that tradition in an environment of increasingly complex oil and gas and shrinking budgets. We need to find ways to make our exploration, development and production activities ever more efficient and value-creating. We have no choice, especially since our daily life is changing at a faster pace. The advent of digital technology has also expanded the scope of our options. So we have to add a new twist to our ability to innovate.
How does the Best Innovators competition encourage and promote innovative ideas at Total?
C.A: Best Innovators is a direct expression of our engagement in innovation. It is proof of our teams’ boldness, energy and drive, on a technological, business, practical, financial and also personal level. Our employees are willing to question their assumptions in our bid to continuously improve our operational excellence. Best Innovators illustrates our pioneer spirit, as well as our agility and adaptability.
For example, we’re seeing more and more innovations that involve digital technology, big data and the growing integration of those new solutions into our work methods. This illustrates the shift to digital we embraced a few years ago and the spread of digital knowledge, so we can achieve our goals faster and more efficiently.
What are the strong points of this year’s finalists?
C.A: The teams tackled challenges facing the oil and gas industry as a whole, while leveraging our long-standing strengths and meeting the highest safety and environmental standards. The topics presented are quite wide-ranging, covering everything from ultra-high-tech solutions to innovations in support fields.
This year the top judges’ award went to the Smart Predictive Analytics, or SPA, application, a data science-based tool to improve performance prediction for our unconventional wells in the United States. Second prize went to the BIOMEM project, a biotreatment process for produced water that will allow us to get a jump on the next round of ecotoxicology regulations starting, right now.
Technical optimization is, of course, a core part of our industry: the third judges’ award went to the dynamic Riser Management System (RMS), which will allow offshore drilling to set new depth records. This year, E&P employees voted to give a special award to the project to reuse wellheads in Angola, a world first in deep offshore operations that epitomizes our cost optimization push. I’d also like to stress the close attention we’ve paid to our HSEQ cornerstone: the initiative in Papua New Guinea heightens the safety and risk awareness of everyone on site. In addition, HELPER is the first multitask, autonomous drone dedicated to offshore safety, security and environmental protection.
All these innovations spotlight the talent available to foster new approaches, meet new challenges and advance our activities. Seen that way, Best Innovators really highlights our pioneer spirit!
What’s the key factor in any kind of innovation?
C.A: Besides the Best Innovators competition, I think risk-taking is essential. The risk has to be studied, measured and anticipated beforehand, to meet our activities’ current and future challenges. All innovation takes a certain boldness, and it’s because we’re able to push innovation at Total that we can come up with major innovations and disruptive technologies. That’s what we want to showcase with the Best Innovators competition in E&P.
|First Judges’ Award||SPA – Smart Predictive Analytics|
|Third Award||Drilling the Impossible|
|Honorary Chair Award||HELPER|
|Employees’ Choice Award||Xmas Tree|
|Dating Rocks and Hydrocarbon migration|
|Cost Effective Subsea Integrity Management|
|The Allocation Meter|
Smart Predictive Analytics (SPA) analyzes millions of field data points in an instant to learn typical well behavior and forecast future reservoir decline.
Water quality before and after passing through the BIOMEM pilot.
Riser Management System (RMS): The Maersk Venturer and a PSV on the drill site of the Raya-1 well in Uruguay.
Reusing wellheads in Angola: Subsea inspection.
HELPER trials at Total’s offshore sites in Angola in 2016.
Absolute dating of diagenesis and HC migration in reservoirs: a yellow arrow points to a growth zone rich in liquid oil inclusions in a diagenetic dolomite cement.
Competitors cruncher: Automated summary of company information.
Autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV): AUV payload for pipeline inspection survey.
40th “Perfect day” Celebration on Antelope-7.
Allocation Meter: Geochemistry Area.
SPA: Improve Production Forecasting for our Wells
Riser Management System
BIOMEM: a Compact Biological Process to Treat Produced Water