The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, ADNOC, in collaboration with France’s Total, is to deploy drones and unmanned vehicles to collect 3D seismic data as it expands its search for new oil and gas resources throughout the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
It will be the first time, in the region, the technology has been used to deploy seismic sensors in the search for new oil and gas resources, said a press release issued by ADNOC on Wednesday.
Announcing a pilot project using Total’s Multiphysics Exploration Technologies Integrated System, METIS, the world’s first automated seismic acquisition system, ADNOC said thousands of sensors would be deployed by air using a fleet of drones. The sensors would later be retrieved by unmanned ground vehicles.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Alan Nelson, Chief Technology Officer at ADNOC, said, "METIS is a ground-breaking automated technology with the potential to conduct seismic surveys in harsh environments, such as the desert, which are tough on people and equipment. The technology has been identified by us during RDPETRO 2018 and this collaboration demonstrates our commitment to using ground-breaking technologies, throughout our operations, to unlock the opportunities of the 4th industrial age."
"The ultimate purpose of this collaboration is to be able to jointly develop a safer, faster, more efficient and cost-effective acquisition system to acquire 3D and 4D high resolution seismic images of the subsurface, which can be processed in real-time to build a clearer understanding of the subsurface, lowering geoscience and drilling uncertainties and optimising field production," Khadija Al Daghar, Vice President Research and Technology Development at ADNOC, commented.
Following successful trials of METIS conducted by Total in 2017 in Papua New Guinea, this new pilot project will be undertaken by ADNOC Onshore to test the versatility and upscaling ability of the system in a 36 sq. km desert environment.
"Total is focusing on innovation in seismic acquisition to minimise surface impact of petroleum activities and improve the quality of sub-surface images, while increasing our overall operational efficiency. We are proud to have this opportunity to collaborate once again with ADNOC to share advanced technological knowhow and expertise," said Dominique Janodet, Vice President R&D of Total Exploration and Production.
He added that METIS is a major technology to reduce the environmental footprint of onshore exploration and appraisal campaigns,"which is completely in line with our environmental commitments and our ambition to become the responsible energy major."
The UAE is the world’s sixth largest oil producer, with about 96 percent of its reserves within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. ADNOC continually works to find and develop new commercial oil and gas resources, from increasingly challenging reservoirs, to replenish its reserves base.
In 2018, ADNOC commissioned the world’s largest continuous 3D onshore and offshore seismic survey, covering a combined area of up to 53,000 square kilometres.
ADNOC and Total collaborates across the full value chain, from offshore and onshore exploration, development and production, to processing, products and shipping. In March 2018, the Total was awarded a 20 percent interest in the offshore Umm Shaif and Nasr concession, a 5 percent interest in the Lower Zakum concession and, more recently, a 40 percent stake in Abu Dhabi’s first Unconventional Gas Concession.
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