Collaboration key to unlocking Better Energy: the Geoscience Research Centre
Being able to successfully develop new energy supplies requires innovative technologies and a bold thinking. In mature basins such as the North Sea there are still billions of barrels waiting to be discovered and produced, but they are in more complicated rock formations and that makes it much more challenging. By creating partnerships with leading academics and research institutions across the UK and internationally, Total is one of the world’s leading players in ensuring future access to energy.
Forging strong academic partnerships
The Geoscience Research Centre (GRC) in Aberdeen is one of Total’s seven internationally-recognised centres of excellence where specialists collaborate on delivering breakthrough and cost-effective geoscience innovations. Over the past 25 years, the GRC has filed more than 25 patents, while in the last five years it has engaged in around 60 research partnerships annually. In addition the GRC funds nine PhD sponsorships and two chair professors at Imperial College London and one at the University of Edinburgh.
Recent breakthroughs include the development of efficient 4D seismic warping techniques to more accurately monitor the reservoir and its overburden. In addition, the evolution of leading edge reservoir history matching technologies, based on the Ensemble method, have improved the calibration of reservoir models against field data, delivering increasingly reliable production forecasts.
A global knowledge transfer network
The way the GRC is plugged into Total’s global network is vital to its identity. Not only is it focused on knowledge generation but also technology transfer into operational entities. The development of advanced analytical tools such as 4D seismic warping and inversion tools, the application of the Ensemble method to improve reservoir modelling and the formation of a Normal Fault Segmentation tool box, have had a positive impact upon production forecasting and helped to inform exploration. As part of a coordinated global research network the GRC has strategic oversight of all R&D activity, supported by a team of Development Architects dedicated to the commercialisaiton of new research.