Deep offshore production creates major environmental challenges. Preserving ecosystems and controlling water quality are among Total's top priorities.
Understanding Ecosystems to Better Preserve Them
Understanding how an ecosystem functions is critical to its preservation. Total carries out two types of initiatives to reduce the environmental footprint of its operations. First, it conducts environmental studies throughout the life cycle of a project. Before any work begins, a baseline is established for all of the site's environmental parameters. A study is then carried out to quantify the project's potential environmental impacts and to reduce those impacts to an acceptable level. Throughout the field's life cycle, environmental monitoring programs track and quantify waste and emissions. This allows us to gain a better understanding of the ecosystems in our areas of operation and define appropriate measures to protect them more effectively.
Supporting Scientific Research to Better Protect the Deep Sea
Our second line of action focuses on supporting scientific research and investigating marine life. In the late 1990s, Total teamed up with France's ocean research institute Ifremer to study the deep sea. Our knowledge of deepwater ecosystems has been greatly enhanced thanks to these studies. At depths of 3,000 meters, animal life has managed to develop in certain areas despite the lack of light and the extreme pressure, forming small oases around natural outlets of cold fluids known as cold seeps.