Total Announces Research Collaboration with Masdar Institute

SunPower Corporation, Total’s affiliate, also opens regional headquarters at Masdar City

Abu Dhabi, UAE, December XXX, 2014: Total today unveiled a collaboration to map the complex behavior of the region’s carbonate reserves. The ‘Digital Rock Physics’ (DRP) project will pool the technical resources and expertise of the Masdar Institute, the world’s first graduate-level, research-driven university dedicated to providing innovative real-world solutions to issues of sustainability, and Abu Dhabi’s Petroleum Institute. It marks the first research and development collaboration between Total and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

The aim of the project is to produce an extensive archive of rock images in microscopic detail, as well as to digitally simulate and test the behaviour of oil and gas reservoirs with a view to maximising oil recovery. Masdar Institute’s state-of-the-art microscopy facility will be used to examine rock samples at the nano-scale to generate 3D images of the pore network and pore morphology of typical Abu Dhabi reservoir rock cores.

With an initial staff of four Total researchers, the project has been designed as an ‘open laboratory’ to encourage knowledge transfer through the acquisition and analysis of rock data from all over the world.

The collaboration announcement was made as a Total delegation toured Masdar City, accompanied by Dr. Ahmad Belhoul, CEO of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, and senior management from Masdar and Masdar Institute.

During the tour, Stéphane Michel, Total’s Middle East & North Africa (MENA) president for Exploration & Production, visited the new regional headquarters of SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ: SPWR), Total’s solar power affiliate. The opening of the office – located at Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s low-carbon, sustainable development – will enable SunPower to manage existing developments and pursue new solar energy projects across the MENA region.

SunPower has been active for more than a decade in the region, where it is associated with a number of flagship renewable energy projects. Located inside the Incubator Building, SunPower’s regional base reinforces the company’s longstanding association with Masdar.

“The addition of SunPower to Masdar’s innovation ecosystem is another important benchmark as Masdar City grows and integrates a diverse mix of technology tenants,” said Dr. Belhoul. “The DRP project underlines our ability to facilitate public-private partnerships to accelerate the development of innovative technological solutions that enhance the UAE’s energy sector.”

“Total is immensely proud of its 75-year history in Abu Dhabi, and our collaboration with Masdar, and other Abu Dhabi partners, reflects the strength of our investment in the future of energy, in the emirate and the region,” said Stéphane Michel of Total. “Both the DRP project and the opening of a new regional base for SunPower are tangible evidence of Abu Dhabi’s potential to help advance the responsible development of conventional energies, and the contribution of new energies to meeting increasing power demand.”

Present in the UAE since 1939, Total is a partner with Masdar in Shams 1 in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region, the largest concentrated solar power plant in the Middle East and North Africa. Total acquired a majority stake in SunPower in 2011.

Masdar City is a low-carbon, mixed-use development that pushes the boundaries of smart design and technology – making it one of the most sustainable cities in the world. The city’s cluster of high-performance buildings showcases how sustainability – using dramatically less energy and water – is cost competitive.