Oil: Aiming for Excellence Across the Value Chain
Upstream, our Exploration & Production business is developing increasingly complex oil resources. Technological innovation enables us to optimize these operations, with a focus on deep offshore developments, unconventional resources, and enhanced oil recovery. In addition to meeting the technical challenges involved, we are also working to manage and reduce environmental impacts. Our efforts in this area include preventing soil contamination and implementing carbon capture and storage (CCS) systems.
Refining remains one of our key areas of expertise and we continue to upgrade our production base to align it with changing feedstocks, regulations and market expectations. Reorganizing our industrial operations in the new Refining & Chemicals business segment will serve as a springboard for innovation by:
- Standardizing investment programs and certain production sites;
- Optimizing support functions such as IT and human resources;
- Developing integrated solutions designed primarily for growth regions like Asia and the Middle East.
More than 90% of the plastic that has become such an integral part of our daily lives is made from crude oil. Total Petrochemicals breaks down and then reassembles molecules derived from the refining process to obtain polymers. Our innovation strategy is reflected in our petrochemicals business through:
- Synergies with refining. For example, one of the world’s biggest aromatic polymer production units is located on the site of the Jubail refinery;
- Research and development programs that focus on the use of new resources, particularly renewable resources;
- Our commitment to promoting recycling systems for plastic, which contains twice as much energy as coal.
Total’s highly dedicated Exploration & Production teams are driven by the challenge of targeting increasingly complex prospects, discovering and one day producing resources previously considered unattainable, and recovering all of the ultimate reserves from conventional fields. This challenge also guides our R&D strategy.
Yves-Louis Darricarrère, President, Exploration & Production
Natural Gas: Leveraging Our Expertise to Support Changes in the Market
As the world’s fourth-largest publicly-traded gas producer, we are leveraging the expertise acquired through more than 60 years of experience in this segment to accelerate its development. Gas markets have undergone a sweeping transformation in recent years, with physical flows becoming more complex as new consumer countries emerge and nations turn to imports once their domestic production has dried up.
The ability to plan large-scale industrial development projects must be matched by an ability to recommend innovative solutions for marketing the gas discovered. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a perfect example. Liquefying the gas and shipping it by LNG carrier is the most efficient way to unlock the value of large reserves discovered far from major consumer areas.
Solar Energy and Biomass: Innovation Through Partnerships
Innovation plays a pivotal role in the solar energy and biomass segments, where the development and commercial scale-up of promising techniques enables us to offer efficient solutions that can supplement fossil fuels. Our involvement in photovoltaic solar energy and bioenergy is supported by:
- A sustained commitment to R&D;
- Long-term partnerships with world-leading laboratories and research institutes;
- A network of start-ups with specialized expertise in these areas.
Supporting Innovation Actively and Broadly
R&D is pivotal to Total's growth strategy. That’s why we have increased our R&D budget by 37% in the last five years and are planning to spend €6 billion over the next five years.
In line with this commitment, we are partnering four of the R&D institute projects covered by the French government’s Investing in the Future stimulus program. The projects are being implemented by public-private partnerships that combine academic and business resources in France to prepare the energy future.