Total S.A.

Total S.A.
Société Anonyme
Traded as Euronext: FP
Industry Oil and gas
Founded 1924 (1924)
Founder Ernest Mercier
Headquarters Tour Total, Courbevoie, France
Area served
Key people
Patrick Pouyanné
(Chairman & CEO)
Products Oil and gas exploration and production, natural gas and LNG trading and transportation, oil refining and chemicals
Services Fuel stations
Revenue Decrease US$165.357 billion (2015)[1]
Profit Increase US$5.087 billion (2015)[1]
Total assets Decrease US$224.48 billion (2015)[1]
Total equity Increase US$92.49 billion (2015)[1]
Number of employees
100,307 (2014)[1]

Total S.A. (French pronunciation: [tɔtal]; English /tˈtæl/ or /tˈtɑːl/) is a French multinational integrated oil and gas company and one of the seven "Supermajor" oil companies in the world. Its businesses cover the entire oil and gas chain, from crude oil and natural gas exploration and production to power generation, transportation, refining, petroleum product marketing, and international crude oil and product trading.

Total is also a large scale chemicals manufacturer. The company has its head office in the Tour Total in La Défense district in Courbevoie, west of Paris. The company is a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index.[2]


Total Plaza, the headquarters of the subsidiary Total Petrochemicals USA, in Downtown Houston

Compagnie française des pétroles (CFP): 1924–1985

The company was founded after World War I, when then French Prime Minister Raymond Poincaré rejected the idea of forming a partnership with Royal Dutch Shell in favour of creating an entirely French oil company. At Poincaré's behest, Col. Ernest Mercier with the support of ninety banks and companies founded Total on 28 March 1924, as the Compagnie française des pétroles (CFP), literally the "French Petroleum Company". Petroleum was seen as vital in the case of a new war with Germany.

As per the agreement reached during the San Remo conference of 1920, the French state received the 25% share held by Deutsche Bank in the Turkish Petroleum Company (TPC) as part of the compensation for war damages caused by Germany during World War I. The French government's stake in TPC was transferred to CFP,[3] and the Red Line agreement in 1928 rearranged the shareholding of CPF in TPC (later renamed the Iraq Petroleum Company in 1929) to 23.75%.[4] The company from the start was regarded as a private sector company in view of its listing on the Paris Stock Exchange in 1929.

The company during the 1930s was engaged in exploration and production, primarily from the Middle East. Its first refinery began operating in Normandy in 1933. After World War II, CFP engaged in oil exploration in Venezuela, Canada, and Africa while pursuing energy sources within France. Exploration in Algeria, then a French colony, began in 1946, with Algeria becoming a leading source of oil in the 1950s.[5]

In 1954, CFP introduced its downstream product – Total brand of gasoline in the African continent and Europe.[5][6]

In 1980, Total Petroleum (North America) Ltd., a company controlled 50% by CFP, bought the American refining and marketing assets of Vickers Petroleum as part of a sell-off by Esmark of its energy holdings. This purchase gave Total refining capacity, transportation, and a network of 350 service stations in 20 states.[7][8][9]

Total CFP and re branding to Total: 1985–2003

The company renamed itself Total CFP in 1985, to build on the popularity of its gasoline brand.[6] Later in 1991, the name was changed to Total, when it became a public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The French government, who used to control more than 30 percent of the company's stock in 1991, reduced its stake in the firm to less than 1 percent by 1996[6][10] In the time period between 1990 and 1994, foreign ownership of the firm increased from 23 per cent to 44 per cent.

Meanwhile, Total continued to expand its retail presence in North America under several brand names. In 1989, Denver, Colorado, based Total Petroleum, Total CFP's North American unit, purchased 125 Road Runner retail locations from Texarkana, Texas-based Truman Arnold Companies.[11] By 1993, Total Petroleum was operating 2,600 retail stores under the Vickers, Apco, Road Runner, and Total brands. That year, the company began remodeling and rebranding all of its North American gasoline and convenience stores to use the Total name.[12] Only four years later, Total sold its North American refining and retail operations to Ultramar Diamond Shamrock for $400 million in stock and $414 million in assumed debt.[13]

After Total's takeover of Petrofina of Belgium in 1999, it became known as Total Fina. Afterwards it also acquired Elf Aquitaine. First named TotalFinaElf after the merger in 2000, it was later renamed back to Total on 6 May 2003. During that rebranding, the current globe logo was unveiled.[14]

Chart of the major energy companies dubbed "Big Oil" sorted by latest published revenue

Total: 2003–present

In 2003, Total signed for a 30% stake in the gas exploration venture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) – South Rub' al-Khali joint venture along with Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco.[15] The stake was later bought out by its partners.

In May 2006, Saudi Aramco and TOTAL signed a MOU to develop the Jubail Refinery and Petrochemical project in Saudi Arabia which targeted 400,000 barrels per day (bpd). On 21 September 2008, the two companies officially established a joint venture called SAUDI ARAMCO TOTAL Refining and Petrochemical Company (SATORP)- in which a 62.5% stake was held by Saudi Aramco and the balance 37.5% held by TOTAL.[16][17]

During the 2009-2010 Iraqi oil services contracts tender, a consortium led by CNPC (37.5%), which also included TOTAL (18.75%) and Petronas (18.75%) was awarded a production contract for the "Halfaya field" in the south of Iraq, which contains an estimated 4.1 billion barrels (650,000,000 m3) of oil.[18][19]

As of 2010, Total is one of the world's major oil companies, with over 96,000 employees and operates in more than 130 countries.[20] In September 2010, Total announced plans to pull out of the forecourt market in the United Kingdom.[21]

In November 2012, Total announced it was selling its 20% stake and operating mandate in its Nigerian offshore project to a unit of China Petrochemical Corp for $2.5 billion.[22] In 2013, Total started the operation at Kashagan with North Caspian Operating Company.[23] It is the biggest discovery of oil reserves since 1968. In 2013, Total increased its stake in Novatek to 16.96%.[24][25]

In September 2013, Total and its joint venture partner agreed to buy Chevron Corporation’s retail distribution business in Pakistan for an undisclosed amount.[26]

In January 2014, Total became the first major oil and gas firm to acquire exploration rights for shale gas in the UK after it bought a 40 percent interest in two licences in the Gainsborough Trough area of northern England for $48 million.[27] In July 2014, the company disclosed it was in exclusive talks to sell its LPG distribution business in France to Pennsylvania-based UGI Corporation for €450 million ($615 million).[28]

On 20 October 2014, at 23:57 MST a Dassault Falcon 50 business jet heading to Paris caught fire and exploded during takeoff after colliding with a snow removal vehicle in Vnukovo International Airport, and killing four, including three crew members and CEO of Total S.A. Christophe de Margerie on board. Alcohol presence was confirmed in the blood of the driver of the vehicle on the ground.[29]

Patrick Pouyanne, who was Total's Refining Chief at that time, was appointed as CEO after Christophe de Margerie died.[30] Patrick Pouyanné was appointed chairman of Total on December 16, 2015, in addition to his role as CEO.

In February 2015, Total unveiled plans to cut 180 jobs in the United Kingdom, reduce refinery capacity and slow spending on North Sea fields after it fell to a $5.7bn final-quarter loss. The company said it would also sell off $5bn worth of assets worldwide and cut exploration costs by 30%.[31]

By the 14 October 2016 the company had a share value of 111,581 million euros, distributed in 2,528,459,212 shares. The shares are owned by a large number of shareholders, the biggest being : Blackrock (5.02%), the employees of Total SA (4.90%), the company itself (4,70%), the Group Bruxelles Lambert (2,50%).


Since September 2016, Total has set up a new organization to achieve its “One Total” company ambition to become a responsible energy major.[32] It is composed by the following segments:

Total has also announced the creation of two new Corporate divisions:[32]

Subsidiaries and affiliates of Total S.A.

Headquarters of Total Cambodia in Phnom Penh (Cambodia)

As of 31 December 2014 Total S.A. had 903 subsidiaries consolidated into the group results, together with significant affiliate investments and joint ventures, mostly in LPG. In addition Total had other significant equity holdings amounting to about 3bn euros, treated as investments and was involved in a number of significant joint ventures, mostly relating to LPG and LNG exploration, production and shipping. The joint ventures that are treated as subsidiaries are listed in the consolidated subsidiary section.

Main consolidated subsidiaries
  • Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefaction Company Ltd (5.00%), United Arab Emirates
  • Air Total International S.A., Switzerland
  • Amyris Inc. (17.88%), United States
  • Angola Block 14 B.V. (50.01%), Netherlands (operating in Angola)
  • Angola LNG Limited (13.60%), Bermuda (operating in [Angola]])
  • AS 24, France
  • Atlantic Trading & Marketing Inc., United States
  • Atotech (China) Chemicals Ltd
  • Atotech B.V., Netherlands
  • Atotech Deutschland GmbH, Germany
  • Atotech Taiwan
  • BASF TOTAL Petrochemicals LLC (40.00%), United States
  • Brass Holdings Company Limited, Luxembourg
  • Brass LNG Ltd (17.00%), Nigeria
  • Compagnie Pétrolière de l’Ouest - CPO, France
  • Cos-Mar Company (50.00%), United States
  • Cosden LLC, United States
  • Cray Valley USA LLC, United States
  • CSSA – Chartering and Shipping Services S.A., Switzerland
  • Dalian West Pacific Petrochemical Co. Ltd (WEPEC) (22.41%), China
  • Dolphin Energy Limited (24.50%), United Arab Emirates
  • E. F. Oil And Gas Limited, United Kingdom
  • Elf Aquitaine, France
  • Elf Aquitaine Fertilisants, France
  • Elf Aquitaine Inc., United States
  • Elf Exploration Production, France
  • Elf Exploration UK Limited, United Kingdom
  • Elf Petroleum Iran, France (operating in Iran)
  • Elf Petroleum UK Limited, United Kingdom
  • Gaz Transport & Technigaz S.A.S. (30.00%), France
  • Grande Paroisse S.A., France
  • Hutchinson Argentina S.A.
  • Hutchinson Autopartes De Mexico SA.DE. CV
  • Hutchinson Corporation, United StatesHutchinson SA
  • Hutchinson Do Brasil S.A., Brazil
  • Hutchinson GmbH, Germany
  • Hutchinson Poland SP Z.O.O.
  • Hutchinson S.A., France
  • Ichthys LNG PTY Ltd (30.00%), Australia
  • Legacy Site Services LLC, United States
  • LSS Funding Inc., United States
  • Naphtachimie (50.00%), France
  • Nigeria LNG Ltd (15.00%)
  • Novatek (16.96%), Russia
  • Oman LNG LLC (5.54%)
  • Omnium Reinsurance Company S.A., Switzerland
  • Paulstra SNC, France
  • PetroCedeño (30.32%), Venezuela
  • Qatar Liquefied Gas Company Limited (II) Train B (16.70%)
  • Qatar Petrochemical Company Q.S.C. (QAPCO) (20.00%)
  • Qatargas Liquefied Gas Company Limited (10.00%)
  • Qatofin Company Limited (49.09%), Qatar
  • Samsung Total Petrochemicals Co. Ltd (50.00%), South Korea
  • Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Company (37.50%), Saudi Arabia
  • Shtokman Development AG (25.00%), Switzerland (operating in Russia)
  • Sigmakalon Group B.V., Netherlands
  • SOCAP S.A.S., France
  • Société Anonyme de la Raffinerie des Antilles (50.00%), France
  • Société Civile Immobilière CB2, France
  • SOFAX Banque, France
  • SunPower Corporation (64.65%), United States
  • TOTAL (BTC) S.A.R.L., Luxembourg
  • TOTAL Énergie Développement, France
  • TOTAL Énergie Gaz, France
  • TOTAL Énergies Nouvelles Activités USA, France
  • TOTAL Austral, France (operating in Argentina)
  • TOTAL Belgium
  • TOTAL Capital, France
  • TOTAL Capital Canada Ltd
  • TOTAL Capital International, France
  • TOTAL China Investment Co. Ltd
  • TOTAL Coal South Africa (PTY) Ltd
  • TOTAL Colombia Pipeline, France (operating in Colombia)
  • TOTAL Delaware Inc., United States
  • TOTAL Deutschland GmbH, Germany
  • TOTAL Dolphin Midstream Limited, Bermuda
  • TOTAL Downstream UK PLC, United Kingdom
  • Total E&P Absheron B.V., Netherlands (operating in Azerbaijan)
  • Total E&P Algerie, France (operating in Algeria)
  • Total E&P Angola, France (operating in Angola)
  • Total E&P Angola Block 15 / 06 Limited, Bermuda (operating in Angola)
  • Total E&P Angola Block 17 / 06, France (operating in Angola)
  • Total E&P Angola Block 25, France (operating in Angola)
  • Total E&P Angola Block 32, France (operating in Angola)
  • Total E&P Angola Block 33, France (operating in Angola)
  • Total E&P Angola Block 39, France (operating in Angola)
  • Total E&P Angola Block 40, France (operating in Angola)
  • Total E&P Arctic Russia, France
  • Total E&P Australia, France (operating in Australia)
  • Total E&P Australia II, France (operating in Australia)
  • Total E&P Australia III, France (operating in Australia)
  • Total E&P Azerbaijan B.V., Netherlands (operating in Azerbaijan)
  • Total E&P Bolivie, France (operating in Bolivia)
  • Total E&P Borneo B.V., Netherlands (operating in Brunei)
  • Total E&P Bulgaria B.V., The Netherlands (operating in Bulgaria)
  • Total E&P Canada Ltd
  • Total E&P Chine, France (operating in China)
  • Total E&P Colombie, France (operating in Colombia)
  • Total E&P Congo (85.00%)
  • Total E&P Cyprus B.V., The Netherlands (operating in Cyprus)
  • Total E&P Do Brasil LTDA, Brazil
  • Total E&P Dolphin Upstream Limited, Bermuda (operating in Qatar)
  • Total E&P France
  • Total E&P Golfe Holdings Limited, Bermuda
  • Total E&P Golfe Limited, United Arab (operating in Emirates Qatar)
  • Total E&P Guyane Francaise, France
  • Total E&P Holdings, France
  • Total E&P Ichthys, France (operating in Australia)
  • Total E&P Ichthys B.V., Netherlands (operating in Australia)
  • Total E&P Indonesia West Papua, France (operating in Indonesia)
  • Total E&P Indonesie, France (operating in Indonesia)
  • Total E&P Iraq, France (operating in Iraq)
  • Total E&P Italia, Italy
  • Total E&P Kazakhstan, France (operating in Kazakhstan)
  • Total E&P Kenya B.V., Netherlands (operating in Kenya)
  • Total E&P Kurdistan Region of Iraq (Harir) B.V., Netherlands (operating in Iraq)
  • Total E&P Kurdistan Region of Iraq (Safen) B.V., Netherlands (operating in Iraq)
  • Total E&P °°Libye]], France (operating in Libya)
  • Total E&P Madagascar, France (operating in Madagascar)
  • Total E&P Malaysia, France (operating in Malaysia)
  • Total E&P Maroc, France (operating in Morocco)
  • Total E&P Mauritanie, France (operating in Mauritania)
  • Total E&P Mauritanie Block TA29 B.V., Netherlands (operating in Mauritania)
  • Total E&P Mozambique B.V., Netherlands (operating in Mozambique)
  • Total E&P Myanmar, France (operating in Myanmar)
  • Total E&P Netherland B.V., Netherlands
  • Total E&P Nigeria Deepwater D Limited
  • Total E&P Nigeria Deepwater E Limited
  • Total E&P Nigeria Ltd
  • Total E&P Norge AS, Norway
  • Total E&P Oman, France (operating in Oman)
  • Total E&P Qatar, France (operating in Qatar)
  • Total E&P Russie, France (operating in Russia)
  • Total E&P South Africa B.V., Netherlands (operating in South Africa)
  • Total E&P South East Mahakam, France (operating in Indonesia)
  • Total E&P Syrie, France (operating in Syria)
  • Total E&P Thailand, France (operating in Thailand)
  • Total E&P Uganda B.V., Netherlands (operating in Uganda)
  • Total E&P UK Limited, United Kingdom
  • Total E&P Uruguay B.V., Netherlands (operating in Uruguay)
  • Total E&P USA Inc., United States
  • Total E&P Vietnam, France (operating in Vietnam)
  • Total E&P Yamal, France
  • Total E&P Yemen, France (operating in Yemen)
  • TOTAL Especialidades Argentina
  • TOTAL Exploration M’Bridge B.V., Netherlands (operating in Angola)
  • TOTAL Exploration Production Nigeria, France
  • TOTAL Finance, France
  • TOTAL Finance Exploitation, France
  • TOTAL Finance Global Services S.A., Belgium
  • TOTAL Finance USA Inc., United States
  • TOTAL Funding Nederland B.V., Netherlands
  • TOTAL Gabon (58.28%)
  • TOTAL Gas & Power Actifs Industriels, France
  • TOTAL Gas & Power Limited, United Kingdom
  • TOTAL Gas & Power North America Inc., United States
  • TOTAL Gasandes, France
  • TOTAL Gaz & Électricité Holdings France
  • TOTAL Gestion Filiales, France
  • TOTAL Gestion USA, France
  • TOTAL GLNG Australia, France (operating in Australia)
  • TOTAL Guinea Ecuatorial (80.00%), Equatorial Guinea
  • TOTAL Holding Asie, France
  • TOTAL Holding Dolphin Amont Limited, Bermuda
  • TOTAL Holdings EUROPE, France
  • TOTAL Holdings International B.V., Netherlands
  • TOTAL Holdings Nederland B.V., Netherlands
  • TOTAL Holdings UK Limited, United Kingdom
  • TOTAL Holdings USA Inc., United States
  • TOTAL International NV, Netherlands
  • TOTAL Kenya (93.96%)
  • TOTAL Lindsey Oil Refinery Ltd, United Kingdom
  • TOTAL LNG Angola, France
  • TOTAL LNG Nigeria Ltd, Bermuda
  • TOTAL Lubrifiants (99.98%), France
  • TOTAL Marketing Middle East Free Zone, United Arab Emirates
  • TOTAL Marketing Services, France
  • TOTAL Maroc, Morocco
  • TOTAL Midstream Holdings UK Limited, United Kingdom
  • TOTAL Mineraloel Und Chemie GmbH, Germany
  • TOTAL Oil And Gas South America, France
  • TOTAL Oil And Gas Venezuela B.V., Netherlands (operating in Venezuela)
  • TOTAL Oil Turkiye AS, Turkey
  • TOTAL Olefins Antwerp, Belgium
  • TOTAL Outre-Mer, France
  • TOTAL Participations Pétrolières Gabon
  • TOTAL Petrochemicals & Refining S.A. / NV, Belgium
  • TOTAL Petrochemicals & Refining USA Inc., United States
  • TOTAL Petrochemicals France
  • TOTAL Petroleum Angola, France (operating in Angola)
  • TOTAL Profils Pétroliers, France
  • TOTAL Qatar Oil And Gas, France
  • TOTAL Raffinaderij Antwerpen NV, Belgium
  • TOTAL Raffinage Chimie, France
  • TOTAL Raffinage France
  • TOTAL Raffinerie Mitteldeutschland GmbH, Germany
  • TOTAL S.A., France
  • TOTAL Shtokman B.V., Netherlands
  • TOTAL South Africa (PTY) Ltd (50.10%)
  • TOTAL Specialties USA Inc., United States
  • TOTAL Treasury, France
  • TOTAL UK Finance Ltd, United Kingdom
  • TOTAL UK Limited, United Kingdom
  • TOTAL Upstream Nigeria Limited
  • TOTAL Upstream UK Limited, United Kingdom
  • TOTAL Venezuela, France
  • TOTAL Vostok, Russia
  • TOTAL Yemen LNG Company Limited, Bermuda
  • TotalErg SPA (49.00%), Italy
  • TOTSA Total Oil Trading S.A., Switzerland
  • Yamal LNG (33.59%), Russia
  • Yemen LNG Company Ltd (39.62%), Bermuda (operating in Yemen)
  • Zeeland Refinery N.V. (55.00%), Netherlands

Head office

A total filling station in Wetherby, West Yorkshire.

The company has its head office in the Tour Total in the La Défense district in Courbevoie, France, near Paris.[33][34] The building was originally constructed between 1983 and 1985 for Elf Aquitaine; Total SA acquired the building after its merger with Elf in 2000.[34]

Senior management

Christophe de Margerie was chief executive from 14 February 2007 until 20 October 2014, when he died in a plane crash at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow. During the plane's takeoff roll it collided with a snowplow which had failed to follow the remainder of its convoy. His total annual compensation for this role was €2,746,335, consisting of a €1,250,000 salary and €1,496,335 bonus.[35][36]

The present chairman and CEO of the company is Patrick Pouyanné (2014 to present). On December 16, 2015, Patricia Barbizet was named Lead Independent Director.

Group Performance Management Committee

With effect from 2 April 2015, a Group Performance Management Committee is in place. The mission of this Committee is to examine, analyze and pilot the safety, financial and business results of the Group. In addition to the members of the Executive Committee, this Committee is composed of the managers in charge of the main Business units of the Group, as well as a limited number of Senior Vice Presidents of functions at Group and Branch levels.

Source : the official website of Total.[37]

Executive Committee

Led by the CEO, the Executive Committee is Total's primary decision-making organization. Since September 2016, members of Total’s Executive Committee are:

Source : the official website of Total.[38]

Business segments


Supply and marketing

Elf Aquitaine was a French oil company which merged with TotalFina to form TotalFinaElf. The new company changed its name to Total in 2003. Elf has been maintained as a major brand of Total.

Refining and chemicals

Nuclear power

Total announced in 2007 that they are exploring the possibilities of entering the nuclear power sector. Although they already own one per cent of Areva, the largest nuclear business in the world,[39] Total does not currently have extensive involvement in nuclear power. In the 2013 annual report this stake was listed under "Financial assets available for sale", with a carrying value of 37M€ and an unrealised gain of 32M€.

However, in January 2008 Total announced that they were to sign an agreement with Suez and Areva to submit a nuclear power plant project to the authorities in the United Arab Emirates.[40]


In May 2014, the company shelved its Joslyn North oil sands project in the Athabasca region of Alberta, Canada indefinitely, citing concerns about operating costs. An estimated $11 billion has been spent on the project, in which Total is the largest shareholder with 38.5%. Suncor Energy holds 36.75%, Occidental Petroleum owns 15% and Japan's Inpex has a 10% interest.[41]


On 29 April 2011, Total agreed to buy 60% of photovoltaics company SunPower for US$1.38 billion.[42] By the 2013 annual reporting date Total owned 64.65%.

On 9 May 2016, Total agreed to purchase French battery maker Saft Groupe S.A. for 1.1 billion euros.[43]


Total has provided fuel and lubricants to professional auto racing teams.

Total has been a longtime partner of Citroën Sport in the World Rally Championship, Dakar Rally and World Touring Car Championship. Sébastien Loeb won nine WRC drivers titles, whereas Ari Vatanen and Pierre Lartigue won four editions of the Dakar Rally.

Total has been a partner of Peugeot Sport in Formula One from 1995 to 2000, the British Touring Car Championship in 1995 and 1996 and since 2001 in the World Rally Championship, Intercontinental Rally Challenge, 24 Hours of Le Mans, Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, Dakar Rally and Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Total is a partner of Renault Sport in Formula One since 2009. Their logo has appeared on the Red Bull car since 2009, the Renault car in 2009 and 2010 and the Lotus car from 2011-2014. Total also partnered Caterham F1 Team in 2011-2014, Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2014-2015 and Williams F1 Team in 2012-2013.

Total also has been official fuel and lubricants of GP2 Series and GP3 Series since 2009 and 2010 respectively.

Total also has been official fuel supplier of Kawasaki Racing WorldSBK Team since 2013.

Also, Total is the title sponsor of the Copa Sudamericana football tournament.

In terms of educational development Total provides scholarships worth millions of euros annually to international students to study in France. These programs are mainly for master's degree. Doctoral scholarships are also offered but in limited numbers. The student come from mainly from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle-East where Total Operates. Students from Africa are mainly from Nigeria. The scholarship involves the payment of Tuition and a monthly allowance of 1400 Euros (2014 disbursement). The allowance is able to cater for feeding, transportation and accommodation for the students. The drop in oil prices in 2015 has led to the reduction of the number of scholars.

The scholarship scheme has come under a lot of criticism for various reasons. Some scholars believe the flat rate of 1400 euros is unfair as the cost of living for cities in France are not the same. Also, students have complained that the monthly allowance needs to be reviewed and upgraded to 2000 euros monthly. Other criticism include the fact that the number of PHd. scholarship slots are very small compared to the master's degree slots.

Environmental and safety records

In 1998 the Total SA company was fined €375,000 for an oil spill that stretched 400 kilometers from La Rochelle to the western tip of Brittany. The company was only fined that amount because they were only partially liable because Total SA did not own the ship. The plaintiffs had sought more than $1.5 billion in damages. More than 100 groups and local governments joined in the suit. The Total company was fined just over $298,000. The majority of the money will go to the French government, several environmental groups, and various regional governments. The Total SA company was also fined $550,000 for the amount of marine pollution that came from it. After the oil spill they tried to restore their image and have opened a sea turtle conservation project in Masirah in recent years.

Prior to the verdict in which Total was found guilty one of the counterparts in the incident, Malta Maritime Authority (MMA), was not to be tried for having any hand in the incident. In 2005 Total submitted a report to the Paris courts which stated that Total had gotten a group of experts that stated the tanker had corrosion on it and that Total was responsible for it. The courts sought a second expert reviewing of this information which was turned down.[44]

The AZF chemical plant which exploded in 2001 in Toulouse, France, belonged to the Grande Paroisse branch of Total.

On 13 August 2007, Total announced a lower fuel emission, lower emissions and cost-efficient petroleum product, named Evolution. Evolution is designed to let its user use less fuel and get further than other fuels. The product was developed exclusively for Total because of the demand for more energy efficient products. This fuel can be used with any engine that runs on unleaded.

On 16 January 2008, Total was required to compensate all of the victims of the pollution caused by the sinking of the ship Erika. They are required to compensate the victims in the amount of €192 million. This is in addition to the €200 million that Total spent to help clean up the spill. The company appealed against the verdict, lost the case in the following two appeals and was definitely condemned.


Total SA has been involved in multiples controversies. Hereafter there is a list of the main ones.


Total is being implicated in a bribe commission scandal which is currently emerging in Malta. It has emerged that Total had told Maltese agents that it would not be interested in doing business with them unless their team included George Farrugia, who is under investigation in the procurement scandal. George Farrugia has recently been given a presidential pardon in exchange of informations about this scandal. Enemalta, Malta's energy supplier, swiftly barred Total and its agents, Trafigura from bidding and tenders. An investigation is currently underway and three people have been arraigned.

Myanmar investments

Despite the European Union's sanctions against the military dictatorship Myanmar, Total is able to operate the Yadana natural gas pipeline from Burma to Thailand. Total is currently the subject of a lawsuit in French and Belgian courts for the condoning and use of the country's civilian slavery to construct the pipeline. The documentary 'Total Denial' shows the background of this project.[45] The NGO Burma Campaign UK is currently campaigning against this project.

Italian bribes

On 16 December 2008, the managing director of the Italian division of Total, Lionel Levha, and ten other executives were arrested by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Potenza, Italy, for a corruption charge of €15 million to undertake the oilfield in Basilicata on contract. Also arrested was the local deputy of Partito Democratico Salvatore Margiotta and an Italian entrepreneur.[46][47]

UN Oil-for-Food Programme for Iraq

In April 2010, Total was accused of bribing Iraqi officials during former president Saddam Hussein's regime to secure oil supplies. A United Nations report later revealed that Iraqi officials had received bribes from oil companies to secure contracts worth over $10bn.[48] On 26 February 2016 Paris court of appeals considered Total guilty and ordered to pay a fine of 750,000 euros for corrupting Iraqi civil servants. The court's ruling overturns an earlier acquittal in the case.

Investments in Iran

Total has been a significant investor in the Iranian energy sector since 1990.[49] Total is suspected of concealing the source of its oil imports from Iran.[50] On 28 June 2010 Total announced that it would cease shipments of oil products to Iran following adoption by the United States of economic sanctions against the country.[51]

Bribery in Iran

In 2013, a case was settled that concerned charges that Total bribed an Iranian official with $60 million, which they documented as a "consulting charge," and which unfairly gave them access to Iran's Sirri A and Sirri E oil and gas fields. The bribery gave them a competitive advantage, earning them an estimated $150 million in profits. The Securities Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice settled the charges, expecting Total to pay $398 million.[52]

Western Sahara oil exploration

In October 2001, Total signed a contract for oil-reconnaissance in areas offshore Western Sahara (near Dakhla), with the "Moroccan Office National de Recherches et d’Exploitations Petrolières" (ONAREP). In January 2002, Hans Corell (the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs) stated in a letter to the President of the Security Council that whenever the contracts are only for exploration they're not illegal, but if further exploration or exploitation are against the interests and wishes of the people of Western Sahara, they would be in violation of the principles of international law.[53] Finally, Total decided to not renew their license off Western Sahara.[54]

See also



  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Annual Report 2015". Total. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
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