Total S.A. is a French international integrated oil and gas entity, and it is one of the seven “Bigwig” oil companies in the world.
Its businesses cut across the complete oil and gas chain, ranging from the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas to power generation, refining, transportation, petroleum product marketing, and international crude oil and product trading.
Total is also into large scale chemicals manufacturing. It doesn’t end there; Total is also a top gun player in solar energy with their products like SunPower and Total Solar.
Total’s head office is located in La Défense district in Courbevoie, west of Paris. Total is a subsidiary of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index.
Total Petroleum History
Total was established after World War 1, when the French Prime Minister in power back then, Raymond Poincaré refused the idea of establishing a partnership with Royal Dutch Shell in favour of setting up an entirely new and independent French oil company.
At Poincaré’s command, Col. Ernest Mercier combined with the support of ninety banks and companies established Total on 28 March 1924.
Based on what was agreed upon during the San Remo conference of 1920, the French state was granted the 25 per cent share held by Deutsche Bank in the Turkish Petroleum Company (TPC) as part of the compensation for war damages Germany caused during World War 1.
The French government’s share in Turkish Petroleum Company (TPC) was transferred to CFP, and the Red Line agreement in 1928 reshuffled the shareholding of CPF in TPC (the Iraq Petroleum Company was later renamed in 1929) to 23.75%. In view of its listing on the Paris Stock Exchange in 1929, Total was initially regarded as a private sector company.
During the 1930s, Total was engaged in exploration and production of oil and gas, primarily from the Middle East. In 1933, Total’s first refinery started operating in Normandy. When the World War II ended, CFP engaged in oil exploration in Venezuela, Canada, and Africa while it pursued energy sources within France.
Exploration in Algeria, then a French colony, began in 1946, with Algeria gaining position as a leading source of oil in the 1950s.
CFP introduced its downstream product in 1954 – Total brand of gasoline in the African continent and Europe.
In 1980, North American component of Total Petroleum Ltd., a company controlled 50% by CFP, acquired the American refining and marketing assets of Vickers Petroleum as part of a sell-off by Esmark of its energy holdings.
Through this purchase, Total got refining capacity, transportation, and a network of 350 service stations in 20 states.
Total Petroleum Organisation
Since September 2016, in order to achieve its “One Total” company goal to become a responsible energy major, Total has introduced a new organization. It is composed by the following segments:
- Exploration & Production
- Refining & Chemicals
- Gas, Renewables & Power
- Marketing & Services
- Trading & Shipping
- Total Global Services
Total has also announced the establishment of two new corporate divisions:
People & Social Responsibility: the Security Division; Human Resources; Health, Safety & Environment; and a new Civil Society Engagement Division.
Strategy & Innovation: Strategy & Climate Division, in charge of ensuring that Total’s strategy incorporates the 2 °C global warming scenario, the Senior Vice President Technology, Audit, Research & Development, the Chief Digital Officer and Public Affairs.
Total Petroleum Head office
Total has its head office in the Tour Total in the La Défense district in Courbevoie, France, near Paris.
Between 1983 and 1985, the building was originally constructed for Elf Aquitaine; Total SA later purchased the building after its merger with Elf in 2000.
Total S.A Senior management
From 14 February 2007 until 20 October 2014, Christophe de Margerie was chief executive, when he died in a plane crash at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow.
The plane collided with a snowplow during its takeoff roll; it 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.
The current chairman and CEO of the company is Patrick Pouyanné (2014 to present). On December 16, 2015, Patricia Barbizet was named Lead Independent Director.