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Total and ADNOC collaborate on drone innovation for automated seismic acquisition



Total and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) have announced their collaboration on what they’re calling “the world’s first automated seismic acquisition system”.

Total's METIS system which drops sensors from automated drones will be tested by ADNOC in a desert environment
(Image via Total)

 The two firms have launched a pilot project that uses autonomous unmanned drones and a ground vehicle to drop off and receive seismic sensors without human intervention. This is intended to increase efficiency while reducing costs.

The project is using Total’s Multiphysics Exploration Technology Integrated System (METIS®), which was trialled successfully in Papua New Guinea at the end of 2017. ADNOC Onshore will test the system in a desert environment over a 36 km2 area, by sending six autonomous aerial drones to drop seismic sensors at key points, where they can later be retrieved by an unmanned ground vehicles.

The test looks at the systems versatility and upscaling ability as it reduces the need for manual deployment and recovery of the sensors.

Following the successful pilot program, the system will be deployed throughout the emirate of Abu Dhabi to contribute to onshore exploration and appraisal campaigns.

“METIS is a pioneering automated technology with the potential to conduct seismic surveys in harsh environments, such as the desert, which are tough on people and equipment. This collaboration demonstrates our commitment to using ground-breaking technologies, throughout our operations, to unlock the opportunities of the 4th industrial age” said Alan Nelson, Chief Technology Officer at ADNOC.

“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 optimizing field production” added Khadija Al Daghar, Vice President Research and Technology Development at ADNOC.

Total's METIS system has been previously tested in Papua New Guinea, where 400 DART sensors carpeted target areas to deliver data in real time
(Image via Total)

The METIS system uses Downfall Air Receiver Technology (DART) - dart-shaped wireless geographical sensors that are dropped by the drone fleet to “carpet” the exploration area and deliver high resolution images of seismic traces to the processing centre in real time. The fleet can drop up to 400 receivers per square km, at a rate of up to 4,000 DARTs per day.

“Total is focusing on innovation in seismic acquisition to minimize 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 & Production in a company statement.

“In addition, METIS® is a major technology to reduce the environmental footprint of our onshore exploration and appraisal campaigns, which is completely in line with our environmental commitments and our ambition to be the responsible energy major.”

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Recent Comments
Have any Electrical Technician job for me
There are many applications for drones that have not been explored yet, such as the use of drones accompanied with sensors on the ground to help first responders at Urban Interface to detect wildfires. We at Kanooq Industries are working on such programs.
Tom Talal Asadi, 13 November 2019
I am interested for the role as R&D.
Sankar Majumder, 16 November 2019
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Total and ADNOC collaborate on drone innovation for automated seismic acquisition - Time to read 3 min
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