With years of commitment to the Middle East, Total stands as one of the largest companies in the region exhibiting at ADIPEC, reported by Arabian Oil and Gas.
Total today is present in more than 130 countries with activities spanning the entire oil and gas chain, but it was really the Middle East, more specifically Iraq, that some see as the super-major’s birthplace, almost 90 years ago.
“One could even say that Middle Eastern blood flows in our veins,” muses Arnaud Breuillac, president ,Total Middle East.
It’s been said many times, and it will certainly be said again. Total’s long standing history in the Middle East has followed the highs and lows of the oil and gas industry.
“Throughout good times and sometimes some difficult times, we have been able to grow strong and valuable long-term partnerships with the Middle Eastern countries that host us,” says Breuillac.
Last year, within the region, the company was active in nine countries: the UAE, Qatar, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon and Jordan. While Total may be at the forefront in an often-times tumultuous industry, it remains accountable to stakeholders at home and abroad: In 2011, Total halted its activities in Syria in compliance with European sanctions.
With almost a decade of experience in the region, the Paris-based company has learnt how to ride out the political storms. In 2012, in the upstream segment of the oil and gas chain, Total was one of the most active IOCs in the Middle East, producing 493,000 barrels of oil equivalent from five countries (UAE, Qatar, Yemen, Oman, Iraq).
“Since September last year, we have been able to grow our oil and gas production almost back to its 2011 level before activities came to a halt in Syria, which were approximately 530,000 boe/d,” says Breuillac.
The company has also developed further its portfolio of activities notably in the UAE with the inauguration of the Shams 1 concentrated solar power plant, in Qatar with the signature of the extension of the Al Khalij license for a further 25 years and the decision to go ahead with doubling the Ras Laffan condensate refinery alongside Qatar Petroleum.
“In the past twelve months, Satorp, our JV with Saudi Aramco, has started gradually to commission the 400,000 b/d Jubail refinery, due to be fully on stream by the end of this year. And in Iraq, the Halfaya field in which we are partners of PetroChina, reached First Commercial Production for Phase 1 in September last year,” adds Breuillac.
“Lastly, our marketing and services affiliates were also able to grow their sales figures and market shares throughout the region, notably in Jordan, with the acquisition of more than 120 additional service stations in early 2013.” More recently, the company moved to expand its retail and jet fuels presence in Egypt.
In addition to developing those industrial activities jointly with its partner companies and countries, Total claims a strong track record in education, environmental conservation, local development and the preservation of cultural and heritage, especially in the UAE.
The company’s vocational training initiative ‘Total VEDC ABK Academy’ has provided access to higher education and ultimately to jobs in the oil & gas sector to several dozens of young Emirati nationals since it started in 2008.
“This year we are offering 35 seats for first year students. Eventually, continuous support for industry events such as ADIPEC also shows our commitment to the region and to Abu Dhabi in particular,” Breuillac says.
After such a busy year, it’s no surprise that the IOC’s stand will be busy this year, not that this would be unusual for the company that has won the “ADIPEC Best Booth” award three times.
“ADIPEC is a wonderful platform in the Middle East to showcase our experience worldwide,” says Breuillac. “Without unveiling all of our secrets, I can tell you that, among other subjects, visitors to our stand will be able to grasp the extent of our Pangea supercomputer, which is one of the ten most powerful computers in the world, enabling extremely rapid seismic interpretation and reservoir modeling.”
Total’s engineers, geoscientists, energy experts and senior management have always supported the conference in their role as committee members, panelists and presenters, and a large team will be heavily involved again this year.
All these representatives will spend time at the stand to meet visitors. This year, the delegation will be led once again by president and CEO Christophe de Margerie, who will speak at the inaugural Executive CEO panel on November 10. He will be accompanied by several group senior executives, reaffirming Total’s commitment to being a long-lasting partner of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, sharing its vision, skills and technology.
“Total has been involved in ADIPEC since its inception in 1984, and we’ve never missed an edition since then,” remarks Breuillac. “We’ve actively participated in the conference, and had a significant presence at the exhibition, and we’ve sponsored the event at the highest level and look forward to having another great event!”