In Exploration & Production, in addition to continuously optimizing the development of deep offshore projects and gas resources, TOTAL continues to improve its exploration, seismic acquisition and imagery technologies over the long term as well as those for the initial appraisal of hydrocarbon reservoirs and simulation of field evolution during operations, especially for tight, very deep or carbonate reservoirs.
A new direction is being taken to carry out deep offshore operations in even deeper waters, on the one hand, and at greater distances for multiphase production transport, on the other hand, which is fully in line with the ambitious goals of Exploration & Production and supports major technology-intensive assets such as Libra in Brazil.
Enhancing oil recovery from mature reservoirs and recovery of heavy oil and bitumen with lower environmental impacts are also subjects involving active research.
R&D activity has been intensified in the field of unconventional resources, with a strong focus on water management throughout the production cycle and the search for alternatives to hydraulic fracking. In addition, new technologies for the exploitation of oil shales by pyrolysis are being developed, both in situ and ex situ.
The CO2 oxycombustion capture and storage project in the depleted Rousse reservoir in Lacq (France) is now in the monitoring phase following the injection phase, which ended in April 2013. The Group now has a strong command of the methods used to characterize reservoirs for this type of injection. New projects will look into new capturing solutions.
Finally, R&D continues to devote considerable efforts to technologies for water management associated to the production of hydrocarbons. This subject is now part of a larger program dedicated to sustainable development.
In Gas & Power, the program to develop new LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) solutions is ongoing.