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Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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Is Artificial Intelligence The Next Step In Total's Tech Push?

France’s top oil player Total has once again demonstrated that it is wasting no time to prepare for the future realities of an increasingly green, increasingly digital world. The company is in talks with Google and Microsoft regarding the development of custom-made artificial intelligence for the oil industry.

The Telegraph quoted Total’s Chief Information Officer Frederic Gimenez as saying engineers from the company were working with software developers to find ways of implementing complex algorithms in oil and gas exploration and production.

Speaking at the FT Digital Energy conference, Gimenez said, “We have a strong knowledge of exploration and seismic analysis. But they are the ones who are the best in artificial intelligence. This has obliged our people to work with completely different partners and to merge our knowledge to find a new way to make oil and gas discoveries.”

The next step after the talks could involve closing some formal partnership agreements, according to a Total spokeswoman. For now, however, the company is testing the waters, she said.

Meanwhile, Total is pursuing its green agenda. Yesterday, it announced two acquisitions that would strengthen its renewable power generation portfolio, and expand its presence on the European energy efficiency market.

The first deal was the acquisition of a 23-percent interest in French solar and wind power generation capacity developer EREN RE. Total has agreed to pay US$285 million (237.5 million euro) for the stake and has the option of taking over the company after five years. The target has a portfolio of 650 MW in installed capacity and plans to boost this to over 3 GW. Total, for its part, aims to have total renewable installed capacity of 5 GW by 2022.

The second deal is a takeover of another local company, energy efficiency solutions developer Greenflex. Without disclosing the size of the acquisition, Total noted that Greenflex is among the leaders in its industry with more than 600 clients and projected revenues of over US$420 million (350 million euro) for this year.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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