TotalEnergies deploys drones to tackle methane emissions

French energy giant TotalEnergies has launched a worldwide drone-based methane emissions detection and quantification campaign across all its upstream oil and gas operated sites.

The campaign uses the so-called AUSEA (airborne ultralight spectrometer for environmental applications) technology developed by TotalEnergies, the French National Research Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and University of Reims Champagne Ardenne. The project is part of the company’s move to achieving a reduction of 50% in methane emissions at its operated sites by 2025 and of 80% by 2030.

The system consists of a miniature dual sensor mounted on a drone, capable of detecting methane and carbon dioxide emissions, while at the same time identifying their source. Measurements can be taken at all types of industrial facilities, whether onshore or offshore, using this technology. It supplements measurements taken using traditional techniques such as infrared cameras, ground sensors, and satellites, TotalEnergies explained.

Following tests at sites in Nigeria, Italy, the Republic of Congo, and the Netherlands, AUSEA technology is being rolled out further. The campaign, which began in early March for African offshore sites, has now been launched in South America and will reach Europe this summer. 

“TotalEnergies is committed to moving towards zero methane. 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”, said Namita Shah, president, OneTech of TotalEnergies. 

The AUSEA technology is also being further developed to move from a manual to an autonomous mode in order to increase the frequency of methane emission measurements. Its deployment will also be extended to the company’s other activities, particularly at its refineries. 

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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