Page 22 - INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY
INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY
R&D and technologies are key to addressing market challenges.
INVESTING IN OUR ADVANTAGE
Our Research and Development (R&D) is an important differentiator, delivering innovative solutions that reduce costs. R&D and technologies are also key to addressing market challenges.
Our network of research centers and experts is situated close to the operational reality of our projects in the different regions. At the same time, expertise developed in one region is often used in another. For example, the expertise in computational fluid dynamics, originally developed by our R&D team in Houston for offshore applications in the Gulf of Mexico, is being used today on floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) projects in the Asia Pacific region.
In 2015, we accelerated R&D to reduce costs. We are introducing new, more cost-effective materials with similar or improved technical performance as existing ones. For example, in 2015 we qualified a new polymer grade for use as a pressure sheath in flexible pipelines.
We are also developing new manufacturing technologies. COWBOT, a co-development with France’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), eases and simplifies the way factory operators terminate the flexible pipe when mounting the end-fitting. It improves manufacturing quality, repeatability and the connection’s long-term fatigue performance.
R&D works to make in-field operations more efficient. Our DIESTA finned tubes technology for air-cooled heat exchangers improves plant efficiency and reduces construction costs while meeting stringent industry standards. On the seabed, our latest laser survey technologies provide faster and more accurate metrology between two connection points. The data captured is used to make spools and jumpers, hence saving time and minimizing rework in installation.
CREATING VALUE FOR CLIENTS
Another area of focus is in giving our clients an edge with technology. For example, in gas plants, our CRYOMAX® family of gas fractionation processes provides highly cost-effective natural gas liquids (NGL) recovery. Moreover, in the past 20 years, our ethylene cracking technologies have reduced CO2 emissions by more than 30%. Under water, electrically trace heated pipe-in-pipe (ETH-PiP) technology continuously monitors the temperature of rigid pipelines and can heat the production fluid to keep it flowing and prevent detrimental build-ups. In 2015, we demonstrated that ETH-PiP can also safely remove hydrate plugs, eliminating the need for a production loop, thereby optimizing the field architecture and significantly reducing subsea field development costs. ETH-PiP also contributes to environmental protection. It mitigates the risk of leaks and significantly reduces the need to inject methanol. We are currently working on the second generation of ETH cables, to extend their use to longer distances.
EXPANDING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
R&D also allows us to shape our future. For example, our groundbreaking FLNG units use remote monitoring technologies to check mooring-line tension and hull stress. Our expertise in active heating has led to the development of a retrofitable blanket that melts blockages in an existing pipeline and brings it back into service. Another promising sector is robotics. Our in-service riser inspection system (IRIS) examines the structural integrity of risers without interrupting production. Finally, through our Open Innovation programs, we are working on the next generation of subsea electrical cables using nano-materials and on interactive virtual simulators to rehearse and optimize the execution and safety of offshore operations.
#REINNOVATION IN ACTION
- €86 million R&D INVESTMENTIN 2015
- 640 PATENT FAMILIES REGISTERED IN OVER 90 COUNTRIES
- 10+ R&D CENTERS WORLDWIDE
- 550+ EXPERTS IN OUR GLOBAL R&D NETWORK