Since the beginning of the global subsea history, TOTAL has been among the leaders in using Subsea technology in field developments. During this time, TOTAL has gained a significant track record of installing/operating ground breaking subsea systems – shallow water and deep water.

The start of the global subsea history is by many considered to be a subsea well installed by Shell in the Gulf of Mexico in 1961. Just a few years later, TOTAL installed their first subsea wells in Africa. In the 1980's the use of subsea technology as an enabling and enhancing technology, started to gain higher momentum globally. But it was maybe not until the early to mid to late 1990's that Subsea technology achieved a more significant global business volume. Since then (with some peaks and troughs) the global subsea business has steadily grown.

With the large variety of challenges encountered around the world, the experience to select the optimum subsea field architecture and associated technology is crucial. Parameters like water dept (shallow, deep and ultra deep), complicated and challenging reservoirs (HP, HT, sour services, CO2 etc), flow assurance issues, long distances, rough weather and/or remote regions, regions with undeveloped infrastructure etc – they are all challenges that may require technology innovations as well as requiring an experienced operator. There are many ground breaking developments that could be used to demonstrate this, and a few selected projects operated by TOTAl will be mentioned.

And today the industry is facing an additional challenge – escalating costs has resulted in significant challenges in creating developments that will be economical. More and more advanced technology may be required to conquer the increased challenges. With the current high cost levels in the industry (combined with lower commodity prices) it is critical to take actions that will enable a continued use and further development of subsea technology in new developments. Subsea Technology is considered to maintain being a key for future safe and cost effective development of offshore assets, whether this is shallow, deep or remote. In addition to improved and efficient technology, increased efficiencies in work methods and business processes are thought to be necessary to achieve a new lower and sustainable cost level.

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