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    European Majors Expand Digital Plans


Eni and Total have both announced digital initiatives to make energy go further.

by: William Powell

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Corporate, Investments, News By Country, France, Italy

European Majors Expand Digital Plans

Italian Eni has renewed its low-carbon energy research collaboration with the US Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT) by extending its tenure as a founding member of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) through 2023, it said October 18. It has also joined initiatives that use artificial intelligence to improve worker safety and reduce carbon emissions through carbon capture and other technologies.

Since 2008, the collaboration between MIT and Eni has resulted in numerous research successes and 30 patent filings for low-carbon technologies and innovations. Ongoing efforts include the development of nanotechnologies and materials for lightweight, flexible solar photovoltaics that have great potential to provide low-carbon energy. Still elusive however is success in commercial nuclear fusion. Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said the agreement should result in new technologies enabling the circular economy.

Separately, French Total is going to open a digital factory in Paris in early 2020 that will bring together up to 300 developers, data scientists and other experts to accelerate its digital transformation. Total’s goal is to leverage the capabilities of digital tools to create value in all of its businesses, it said the same day.

The factory will be tasked with developing the digital solutions Total needs to improve its operations, in terms of both availability and cost. It will also help customers to manage and control their energy consumption. And it will extend its reach to new distributed energies. Total’s ambition is to generate as much as $1.5bn/yr for the company by 2025 through additional revenue and reductions in operating or investment expenses.

CEO Patrick Pouyanne said artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and 5G are revolutionising our industrial practices. Total "will have the know-how in Paris to integrate them in our businesses as early as possible. The digital factory will also attract the new talent essential to our company’s future."