AUSEA technology (Airborne Ultralight Spectrometer For Environmental Applications) developed by the French energy group with partners makes it possible to detect and quantify methane and carbon dioxide emissions on industrial sites while identifying the source of these emissions
The French group TotalEnergies will carry out a global drone detection campaign for its emissions of methane in exploration-production, as part of its commitment to reduce leaks of this very harmful gas for the climate.
It’s about a “global campaign to detect and quantify its emissions by drone on all its facilities” oil and gas companies operated upstream, i.e. in the exploration-production activity, the group announced on Monday May 16.
This large-scale deployment follows a pilot phase carried out ” with success “ at sites located at Nigeriain Republic of Congoin Italy and to Netherlandsaccording to the press release.
TotalEnergies is committed to reducing methane emissions at company-operated sites by 50% by 2025 and 80% by 2030 compared to 2020.
The detection campaign must allow them to “identify, quantify and reduce”. It is carried out on the basis of a technology called AUSEA (“Airborne ultralight spectrometer for environmental applications”or on-board ultralight spectrometer for environmental applications) developed with the CNRS and theUniversity of Reims Champagne-Ardenne.
It is concretely a “double miniature sensor, mounted on a drone, capable of detecting and quantifying methane and carbon dioxide emissions while identifying the source of these emissions”explains TotalEnergies in the press release.
The campaign began at the beginning of March on sites off Africa, it is continuing in South America and will reach Europe this summer. The deployment of this technology must then be extended to the group’s other activities, such as refineries.
Methane (CH4) has generated about 30% of global warming since the Industrial Revolution. Its lifetime in the atmosphere is shorter (about ten years) than that of CO2, but its warming power is much higher.
The energy sector is responsible for about 40% of methane emissions related to human activity, making it the second largest sector of activity behind agriculture. They can come from accidental leaks or bad operational practices.