Total CEO on importance of ‘digital segment'

Exaflop HPC, giga-cell simulation, T-Storm platform underscore in-house development approach.

In a short plug for the 2016 Schlumberger Forum which is to be held in Paris next year, keynote speaker Patrick Pouyanné (Total’s CEO) sets out a vision of an upstream where everything is connected, thanks to digital technology. Total is to leverage its ‘digital segment’ to be ‘more efficient at $50 oil’ and to lower operating costs.

A recent in-house publication shines further light on the extent of Total’s ongoing digital transformation. Computing power installed at Total’s CSTJF scientific and technical center in Pau, France is now rated at 6.7 petaflops and is set to attain exaflop bandwidth by 2020. Along with the raw compute power, Total is working on HPC architecture, languages and programming models and new algorithms for depth imaging and reservoir simulation. Total has a stake in the next generation Intersect reservoir simulator which is now capable of handling giga-cell simulations.

Total believes in achieving a competitive advantage from in-house development. The Total seismic to reservoir modeling (T-Storm) platform provides a common platform for proprietary tool development. These include new unstructured grids, geomechanical models and full physics models of fluid flow. Other key in-house developments include Sismage (seismic interpretation) and WakeUp (upscaling).

For drillers, Total’s T-Desk well design is said to guarantee ‘complete independence’ from drilling contractors. T-Desk federates Total’s expertise in drilling simulation and well construction and is modestly claimed to be, ‘unmatched by any other industry major.’

Total is always on the lookout for new breakthrough technologies and has set up a ‘Prospective Lab’ to provide early warning of novel, high potential developments from outside the industry. Current developments of note include nano-sensors (in work with Apix Analytics) and robotics.

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