Total News - 2008
News summaries from
Total S. A.
press releases and from unaffiliated news agencies are provided below. The summaries are sorted by month and are further categorized as upstream news, downstream news, and business/finance news.
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• Upstream news:
• Downstream news:
- Total announces the commercial start-up of a large scale liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) import and underground storage terminal located in Visakhapatnam, in the south eastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. This facility is owned and operated by South Asia LPG Limited (SALPG), a company equally owned by Total and HPCL, the second largest petroleum refining and marketing public company of India. With a storage capacity of 60,000 metric tonnes, this terminal is the largest LPG import facility of India, able to accommodate the largest LPG vessels available on the market. It is also the first underground cavern for hydrocarbon storage of India.
• Business/Finance news:
- With regard to the document suggesting the signature of a Partnership Agreement for a Nuclear Power Plant Project in the United Arab Emirates, Total specifies that, at this stage, no proposal has been made and no agenda has either been discussed with, or approved by, the Government of the United Arab Emirates.
- Total is pleased that the last employee facing charges has been acquitted and that Total S.A. has been acquitted for reckless endangerment. Total is disappointed that the Paris Criminal Court has imposed a fine for maritime pollution in the criminal proceedings and also ordered it to pay compensation to civil parties, especially since the court has acknowledged that the actual cause of the sinking was beyond Total’s control. The court established that the sinking was caused by corrosion of the ship’s structures and that this corrosion resulted from gross negligence of which Total could not have been aware. Total was found guilty of recklessness in its vessel inspection and vetting procedure. Total voluntarily introduced this procedure to enhance its shipping safety. It is therefore hard to understand how it could be found guilty for alleged shortcomings in a procedure not required by law. Furthermore, the company’s practices are compliant with standard industry practice. To enhance efficiency and safety, international maritime law clearly separates the responsibilities of the main players in the shipping industry. The charterer is not responsible for inspecting and classifying vessels. By assigning liability to Total, the court’s verdict could create confusion concerning the responsibilities of the players and have the contradictory effect of making shipping less safe.
- Total wishes to express its wholehearted support to its partner Jean-Louis Etienne, and also to his whole team, following the accident that happened this morning to the Total Pole Airship.
- Following the verdict announced by the Paris Criminal Court, Total has decided: to immediately pay compensation to the victims of pollution, in full and final settlement, as ordered by the court; to appeal a verdict that it deems unfair and that runs counter to the intended aim of enhancing maritime transportation safety. Total will be immediately paying the court-ordered compensation to the victims of pollution, in full and final settlement. The Erika sinking was a traumatic experience for everyone in France, from people living along the coastline to Total’s employees. When after several years the long-awaited trial was held, it provided an opportunity for all of the parties to express their positions before the Paris Criminal Court. The January 16, 2008 verdict ordered compensation to be paid to the victims of pollution from the Erika. The Group is committed to paying the court-ordered compensation to any of the Third-Parties who are willing to accept it. A procedure is put in place to ensure that payments are made immediately and are full and final, whatever the result of the appeal. The overall amount of the compensation is €192 million. This is in addition to the €200 million already spent by Total after the sinking to help clean up the coastline, especially hard-to-access areas, pump out the heavy fuel oil remaining in the wreck and treat the waste collected along the coast.
• Upstream news:
- Total announces the signature of two joint study agreements with PDVSA concerning the Junin 10 block in the Orinoco Belt in Venezuela. Signed by Christophe de Margerie, Chief Executive Officer of Total, and Rafael Ramirez, Minister of Energy and Petroleum of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and President and Chief Executive Officer of PDVSA, the state-owned oil company, the agreements call for appraising the block’s extra-heavy crude oil reserves and examining a project to produce extra-heavy oil. Covering nearly 600 square kilometers, the Junin 10 block is located in the Orinoco Belt, south and west of the area developed by Sincor, which is being transformed into PetroCedeño, a mixed company. The two agreements illustrate Total and PDVSA’s commitment to maintain their cooperation over the long term, especially to develop the Orinoco Belt’s significant reserves of extra-heavy crude oil.
- After issuing a decree in November 2007 creating the Mixed Company PetroCedeño, the Venezuelan authorities issued on January 10, 2008 a decree transferring Sincor’s extra-heavy oil development operations in the Orinoco Belt to the new company. Total, state-owned PDVSA and the Venezuelan Ministry of Energy and Mines finalized today the texts stipulated in June 2007 memorandum of understanding, which set out the new contractual terms and conditions governing PetroCedeño and the transferring process of Sincor into this company. Under the terms of the final agreements, Total, which had held a 47% interest in Sincor, will have a 30.323% interest in PetroCedeño alongside PDVSA (60%) and Statoil (9.677%). Total will be compensated with oil for the transfer of the 16.677% interest to PDVSA.
- At the central office of Gazprom, Alexey Miller, Chairman of the company’s Management Committee, Christophe de Margerie, CEO of Total S.A., and Helge Lund, President and CEO of StatoilHydro signed a Shareholder Agreement relating to the creation of Shtokman Development AG. Gazprom holds a 51% stake in Shtokman Development AG while Total holds 25% and StatoilHydro 24% shares. The company is registered in Switzerland. Shtokman Development AG will be organizing the project engineering, development, construction, financing and exploitation of first phase facilities related to the development of the Shtokman field. The partners also indicated that front end engineering design (FEED) on the project has commenced, and will be finished at the second half 2009 allowing a final investment decision to be made. Among other things, Russian and international subcontractors for FEED studies have already been identified and a site has been chosen for the technical and transportation complex near Teriberka in Murmansk Region.
- Total announces that its wholly-owned subsidiary Elf Petroleum Nigeria Limited (EPNL) has obtained the required approvals from the Nigerian government and co-venturers to begin developing the offshore Usan field, which it operates. Co-venturers in the Usan development include Elf Petroleum Nigeria Limited (20%, operator), Chevron Petroleum Nigeria Ltd (30%), Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria (Offshore East) Ltd. (30%) and Nexen Petroleum Nigeria Ltd. (20%). Discovered in 2002 in OPL 222, the Usan oil field is located around 100 kilometres offshore, in water depths ranging from 750 to 850 metres. Proved and probable reserves of the Usan field are expected to be more than 500 million barrels of oil. Usan is expected to come on stream early in 2012 and to ramp up quickly to plateau production of 180,000 barrels of oil per day. The associated gas will be reinjected in the reservoir. The field development plan comprises 23 producer wells and 19 water and gas injector wells tied back to a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) unit with a storage capacity of 2 million barrels of oil.
- Total subsidiary Total Gabon today announces that it has begun redeveloping the Anguille Field in Gabon. Anguille is located 20 kilometres offshore Port-Gentil, in a water depth of 30 metres in the Grand Anguille Marine concession. The concession is wholly owned by Total Gabon and governed by the “Convention d’Etablissement”, which was renewed in July 2007 for a further 25 years. Discovered in 1962, Anguille came on stream in 1966 and produced 7,500 barrels per day in 2007 prior to redevelopment. The project will improve the oil recovery factor to 23% from 13% by increasing the number of drainage points, in particular in the northern part of the field, and by enhancing well productivity using hydraulic fracturing and massive waterflood. Phase 1 of redevelopment is under way, leveraging existing facilities. Around a dozen wells will be drilled in 2007 and 2008, and the associated surface facilities will be debottlenecked. Running from 2009 to 2011, Phase 2 entails installing new offshore infrastructure and decommissioning obsolete process units, building an onshore plant (power generation, fluid treatment, gas compression) and drilling an additional 30 or so wells. The project will eliminate gas flaring on the field by 2011, as well as coastal discharges of production water. Production is expected to increase from 2008, peaking at over 30,000 barrels per day in 2013-2014. The development cost is an estimated 2 billion dollars for additional proved and probable reserves of around 150 million barrels. As well, operating costs will be reduced by refocusing operations onshore.
• Downstream news:
- Total announces that its Port Arthur refinery in Texas (United States) has launched a project to build a 50,000-barrel-per-day coker, a desulfurization unit, a vacuum distillation unit and other related units. Up to 2,200 people will work on the $2.2-billion project, which is scheduled for commissioning in 2011.The new units will increase the facility’s deep-conversion capacity and expand its ability to process heavy and sour crude oil. They will add 3 million tons per year of ultra low sulfur automotive diesel to the refinery’s current production, raising total output of all products combined to around 12 million tons per year.
• Business/Finance news:
- The Board of Directors of Total, led by Chairman Thierry Desmarest, met on February 12, 2008 to review the fourth quarter 2007 accounts, to close the parent company and consolidated accounts for 2007, and to propose a dividend to submit to the May 16, 2008 Annual Shareholders Meeting.
• Upstream news:
- Total announces that it has signed an agreement with Nigeria’s Conoil Producing Limited to farm into the deep offshore OPL 257 license with a 40% interest. Conoil remains the operator with a 50% interest, and a local company holds the remaining 10%. The Nigerian government has approved this transaction. Covering an area of 372 square kilometres, OPL 257 is located some 150 kilometres offshore, in water depths ranging from 1,600 to 1,800 metres. It lies south of OML 130, where the Akpo and Egina fields, operated by Total, are situated, and north of the Joint Development Zone administered by Nigeria and Saõ Tomé and Principe. Total will be the technical advisor. Conoil started its activity in 1984 and currently operates six licenses in the Niger Delta. The partners of OPL 257 will jointly conduct further exploration, appraisal and development works of any commercial discovery.
- The Board of Directors of Total Gabon, chaired by Jean Privey, met on March 14, 2008 and approved the final accounts for the year ending December 31, 2007. Net income in 2007 increased 2.5% to $334.4 million, compared to $326.4 million in 2006. The oil production of the fields operated by Total Gabon averaged 81.5 thousand barrels per day in 2007, declining 4% from the previous year’s figure of 84.8 thousand barrels per day. Total Gabon’s share of the operated and non-operated oil produced (including the oil tax reverting to the Republic as per the profit sharing contracts) amounted to 64.2 thousand barrels per day in 2007, compared to 67.0 thousand barrels per day in 2006, representing roughly 26% of the country’s total crude oil production.
- Total announces that it has ceded a 20% stake in the Taoudenni permit in Mauritania to Sonatrach. The permit was previously 100% owned by Total. Total is the operator, with an 80% stake. This transaction has been approved by the Mauritanian Ministry of Oil and Mines. Total signed in January 2005 two production sharing contracts with the State of Mauritania for onshore Blocks Ta7 and Ta8 in the Taoudenni Basin, representing a combined total of 58,000 square kilometres. Following an aerial survey to obtain magnetic and gravimetric data performed in 2005 and 2006, a 3,260-kilometre 2D seismic campaign was undertaken in 2006 and 2007. Total is showing, by ceding this stake, that it is committed to establishing a strategic partnership with the national oil company Sonatrach both inside and outside of Algeria. Present in Algeria since 1946, Total is associated to Sonatrach on the Hamra and Tin Fouye Tabankort gas fields, the Timimoun exploration block, and on the Rhourde El Krouf and Ourhoud oil fields through its interest in Cepsa. Total is also associated with Sonatrach for a major petrochemical project in Arzew, in Algeria.
- Total announces that its wholly owned subsidiary Total E&P USA, Inc. has acquired a 30% working interest from Chevron in several onshore Alaskan exploration blocks known as White Hills. Chevron is the operator with a 70% interest. Located onshore in Alaska, 40 kilometres Southwest of Prudhoe Bay, the blocks cover an area of approximately 2,000 square kilometres. The exploration campaign is under way with three wells planned for this drilling season (Winter 2007-2008), and additional exploration wells planned for next winter’s season as well. Total will work closely with the operator, to protect the Alaskan environment. A wide range of measures are implemented to preserve the soil, air, water and wildlife.
• Downstream news:
- Total announces the signature of an agreement to acquire ExxonMobil’s marketing assets in Puerto Rico, Jamaica and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The acquisition represents a marketing capacity of around 1 million tons per year through a network of approximately 200 service stations, a number of petroleum product depots and an aviation fuel retailing business.
• Business/Finance news:
- The Iraqi government is negotiating with American and European oil companies to manage the development of five new fields in northern and southern Iraq, an Oil Ministry official said. Iraq hopes to reach agreements that will help it reach its goal of increasing crude oil production — now 2.3 million barrels a day — by 500,000 barrels a day, said Asim Jihad, a spokesman for the Oil Ministry. The oil minister, Hussain al-Sharistani, is in Vienna for a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and did not respond to requests for an interview. Iraq once had one of the region’s strongest agricultural and industrial economies. But United Nations sanctions and years of war with Iran destroyed much of its economic base, leaving the nation heavily dependent on petrodollars. Hobbled by armed conflict, mismanagement and neglect, Iraq produces less oil than Saudi Arabia (more than nine million barrels a day) or Iran (nearly four million barrels a day), and far less than its potential capacity. Mr. Jihad said Iraq hoped to produce six million barrels of crude a day by 2015. He declined to identify the companies invited to bid on the technical service contracts because the deals have not been completed. But in previous interviews Iraqi officials have described meetings in February with executives from Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and Total SA. Mr. Jihad said Iraqi officials selected specific companies for their knowledge of Iraq’s oil fields and their expertise in managing large development projects. The negotiations are in their second round, he said, and would probably be completed by the end of this month.
- Effective March 1, Total’s senior management organization has been revamped. Chaired by Chief Executive Officer Christophe de Margerie, the Executive Committee now has a total of six members. The other five represent three operating and two cross-functional divisions: President, Chemicals and Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee: François Cornelis. President, Exploration & Production: Yves-Louis Darricarrère. President, Refining & Marketing: Michel Bénézit Chief Financial Officer: Robert Castaigne. Chief Administrative Officer: Jean-Jacques Guilbaud.
- Effective March 1, Jean-Jacques Guilbaud, currently President of Human Resources and Corporate Communications, is appointed Chief Administrative Officer. He is also a member of the Executive Committee. Effective the same date, François Viaud, currently Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Communications, Total Exploration & Production, is appointed Senior Vice President, Human Resources and member of the Management Committee.
• Upstream news:
- Total announces that its wholly owned subsidiary, Total E&P USA Inc., was the highest bidder in the lease sale 206 on 13 blocks in the Central Gulf of Mexico. Situated in deep waters (1,500 to 2,000 metres) and close to Total’s wholly-owned blocks in this area, each of the thirteen Lease Sale blocks is of an area of approximately 25 square kilometres. The lease period for these exploration blocks is ten years. Total E&P USA Inc. will operate and wholly own 12 blocks in the Garden Banks and Keathley Canyon areas. Total will own 50% of the thirteenth block in partnership with Cobalt International Energy L.P. The award of these blocks is subject to final approval by the Minerals Management Service. Total has also recently acquired a 50% working interest from Cobalt in 8 deep offshore blocks located in the Garden Banks area close to Total’s blocks in the same area. Cobalt, the operator, acquired these blocks in 2006, for a lease term of ten years.
- Total announces that it has sold a 20% stake in the Taoudenni Ta7 and Ta8 permits in Mauritania to Qatar Petroleum International. Total is the operator, with a 60% stake now. The blocks represent a total surface of 58,000 square kilometres. The assignment agreement was signed yesterday by his Excellency Abdullah Al Attiyah, Deputy Premier of the State of Qatar and Chairman of Qatar Petroleum International, and Christophe de Margerie, Chief Executive Officer of Total. Nasser Jaidah, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Petroleum International, and Yves Louis Darricarrère, President of Total Exploration and Production, were also present at the moment of signature. This transaction is subject to approval by the Mauritanian Ministry of Oil and Mines. Following on from the recent entry of Sonatrach into these blocks with a 20% stake, Total is showing, by ceding a second 20% stake to Qatar Petroleum International, that it is committed to establishing strategic partnerships with national oil companies both inside and outside of their respective countries.
- Mabruk Oil Operations, a subsidiary of Total, confirms that it has temporarily shutdown production on the Al-Jurf field offshore Libya. Mabruk Oil Operations is the operator and Total has a 37.5% working interest. During the drilling operation of one of the development wells B18 (gas injection well), a deviation occurred in the well trajectory resulting in damage in the production pipe of the adjacent well B12. For security reasons,all the platform wells have been shut down. A task force of specialists has been set up to evaluate and remedy the situation. There have been no injuries, and no damage has been done to the environment. Al Jurf production capacity is around 45 000 barrels per day.
- Total has entered into an agreement with Synenco Energy Inc., a company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, to make a cash offer to acquire all of the common shares of Synenco Energy Inc. at a price of 9 Can $ per share, or a total amount of close to 480 Can $ million (or about 300 million €). This friendly offer has been unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of Synenco Energy Inc., which will recommend the offer to its shareholders. The offer circular will be published in the coming days, and is expected to be open for acceptance from that date for a period of about 35 to 45 days, subject to the date of receipt of the regulatory approval required from the Canadian authorities. Synenco’s main asset is a 60% stake in the Northern Lights Project. Synenco is the operator of this project in the Athabasca region, in Alberta, at approximately 100 kilometres northeast of Fort Mc Murray. Sinopec, a Chinese company, is the holder of the remaining 40% stake through its subsidiary SinoCanada Petroleum Corporation. The latest estimate of contingent resources of the Northern Lights Project published by Synenco is 1.08 billion barrels of bitumen; these resources should be recovered using mining technologies. An application for the mining development of the Northern Lights Project was submitted to the Alberta authorities in mid-2006 and is being reviewed.
- Total E&P Congo announces that the deep offshore Moho-Bilondo field has been brought on stream in the Republic of the Congo, nearly a month ahead of schedule. Discovered in 1995, the field is located nearly 80 kilometres offshore in water depths ranging from 540 to 730 metres and contains estimated reserves of close to 230 million barrels of oil. The first deep offshore development to be brought on stream in the Congo, the Bilondo and Mobim reservoirs will be produced using nine producing wells and five water injectors in two submarine clusters. Plateau production is forecast at 90,000 barrels of oil per day. Insulated umbilicals and flowlines will bring the oil to the floating production unit (FPU), from which it will then be exported via a new 16-inch, 80-kilometre pipeline to the Total-operated Djeno onshore terminal. The project leverages Total’s experience of drilling complex, extended-reach wells. One innovative feature is the use of bottomhole gas injection in a deep offshore project. Despite the complex development plan, the reservoir was brought on stream in a record 33 months after the signature of construction contracts.
• Downstream news:
- Total announces that it is merging its operations in Portugal with those of Cepsa to create a major operator in the Portuguese petroleum product market. The new company will have a market share of almost 11%, a network of 300 service stations and a strengthened position in specialties, including lubricants, bitumen, aviation fuel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The service stations will be co-branded Cepsa/Total, while lubricants will be marketed under the Total, Cepsa and Elf brands. Cepsa will manage the new entity. Total has been a Cepsa shareholder since 1990 and holds a 48.83% interest in Spain’s second-ranked petroleum company.
- The Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification terminal (Louisiana, on the Gulf of Mexico) built by Cheniere Energy, Inc. was inaugurated. Total is pleased that the terminal has now come on stream. The Group had reserved rights to 10 billion cubic meters a year in regasification capacity beginning in April 2009. Capacity at the facility will be increased from a current 26 billion cubic meters per year to 40 billion after phase 2 is commissioned, making it the largest LNG terminal in the United States.
• Business/Finance news:
- The Registration Document (Document de référence) for the year ended December 31, 2007 was filed with the French Financial Markets Authority (Autorité des Marches Financiers) on Wednesday April 2, 2008. It is available free of charge to the public, as provided by law, and can be downloaded from the Company’s website ( www.total.com, under the heading Investor Relations / Regulated Information in France / Annual Reports).
- A Chinese public fund has been gradually building a stake in the French oil major Total since before the end of 2007, the company confirmed. Total declined to say whether the fund was China Investment Corporation, the $200 billion sovereign wealth fund that has taken loss-making stakes in the American private equity firm Blackstone Group and the investment bank Morgan Stanley. A Total spokeswoman said it was in regular contact with its Chinese investor, but declined to name the entity or specify the size of the stake for reasons of confidentiality. The Chinese fund’s interest is a “good thing” for Total, she said, adding that “funds of this type choose profitable and long-term assets.” If the fund continues to increase its stake, Total will take that as a “sign of confidence,” but will remain “attentive” to “preserve the independence of the group,” she said. The spokeswoman also recalled that the fund would be obliged, under French rules, to make the size of its holding public through a filing with the market regulator if its stake rose above 5 percent. The Total spokeswoman pointed out that the company had other sovereign funds among its investors, including one from Norway. She declined to say how many sovereign funds have stakes in Total. Total, she said, has the same attitude toward sovereign funds as it does to all other shareholders. A spokesman for President Nicolas Sarkozy of France declined to comment. Jon Rigby, an analyst at UBS who has a buy rating on Total, said the Chinese fund’s decision to build a stake made “a whole lot of sense” and looked like nothing more than investing for value. Buying shares of Total is an “opportunity to buy assets that are undervalued,” he said, adding that sovereign funds had the advantage of being able to take a longer-term view of value than Western equity markets seemed willing to take.
• Upstream news:
- Total announces the acquisition in the latest Australian bidding round of a 50% participation in two offshore permits in the Vulcan basin, in partnership with Apache (operator, 50%), and of one permit (operator,100%) in the Browse basin, north of Ichthys. The two permits AC/P 42 and AC/P 43 in the Vulcan basin cover 1,925 and 1,465 square kilometres respectively and are located around 300 kilometres northeast of Ichthys and 300 kilometres offshore, in water depths ranging from 15 to 550 metres.
- Total announces that it has acquired a high-performance computer that makes it a global leader in scientific computing power. This investment aims at efficiently enhancing the ability to process data needed to explore and produce oil and gas. The computer is installed at the Total Scientific and Technical Center in Pau (France). This machine will allow the company to have a better knowledge of deep hydrocarbon reservoirs, using seismic depth imaging* processing. More specifically, it will be dedicated to the exploration of zones showing complex geological subsurface structures that are harder to study and therefore present significant current and future challenges. It will also provide better oil and gas reservoir definition. Selected after a highly competitive tender, the SGI Altix ICE+ computer from Silicon Graphics reaches a computing power of 123 TeraFlops. The storage capacity linked to it will jump to 1 Petabyte (1015 bytes). The computer needs 400 kW of electrical power. The heat released by the machine will be recovered and used to warm up part of the buildings at the Scientific and Technical Center.
- Total announces that it has achieved first gas from its Jura field on time and on budget. Jura is situated in the Alwyn area, 100% owned and operated by Total, and comes on stream less than a year after development was sanctioned and only 17 months after discovery. This High Pressure/High Temperature (HP/HT) field with proved and probable reserves of 170 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) lies in block 3/15 of the UK sector of the Northern North Sea some 440 kilometres (275 miles) north-east of Aberdeen in a water depth of 113 metres. This discovery, exceptional in a mature zone, was made possible by the use of state-of-the-art technology to interpret seismic data and by the desire to maximise the potential of the Group’s assets portfolio. Jura’s development represented capital expenditures of around 300 Million dollars. Its production is expected to ramp up to 6,5 million cubic metres of gas per day at plateau. With 6,000 barrels per day of liquids also being produced, this will give a combined total production capacity of around 50,000 boe per day. The ability to link into existing Total infrastructure has been a key factor in the Jura development coming on stream quickly.
- Total announces that its wholly-owned subsidiary Total E&P Malaysia has signed a production sharing contract with national oil company Petronas. The contract covers Blocks PM303 and PM324, located around 100 kilometres offshore Peninsular Malaysia in 50 to 80 metres of water depth. Total E&P Malaysia will hold a 70% interest in and operate each block, alongside partner Petronas Carigali. The work commitments during the exploration period encompass seismic data acquisition and high-pressure/high-temperature exploration drilling, an area in which Total enjoys recognized expertise. The acquisition reflects Total’s commitment to expanding its relations with Petronas and broadening its presence in Southeast Asia.
- Total announces a significant discovery of gas and condensates on Block B, offshore Brunei, in a water depth of 62 metres, approximately 50 kilometres from the coast. Total, with a participation of 37.5% is the operator of this block, in association with Shell (35%) and local partners (27.5%). With a final depth of 5,850 metres, the MLJ2-06 well is the deepest ever drilled in Brunei in a high pressure/high temperature (HP/HT) reservoir. New gas compartments in the Maharaja Lela/Jamalulalam field have been detected and further appraisal work is necessary to evaluate them. However, this well should come onstream before the end of 2008. Total has been present in Brunei since 1986, where it operates the Maharaja Lela/Jamalulalam field which produced 28,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2007. The gas is delivered to the Brunei LNG liquefaction plant.
• Downstream news:
- The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) and Total have both confirmed their decision to invest in a 400,000 barrel per day world-class, full-conversion refinery in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. The refinery will process Arabian Heavy crude to high–quality refined products that will meet the most stringent global product specifications and is expected to begin operations at the end of 2012. The refinery will benefit from the proximity to the Arabian Heavy crude supply system and from the excellent facilities of the Jubail industrial city such as King Fahad Industrial Port, power and water grids and residential area.
• Business/Finance news:
- First Quarter 2008 Results are announced.
- Robert Castaigne, Chief Financial Officer and member of the Executive Committee since 1994, will retire from both positions effective May 31, 2008. Patrick de la Chevardière, currently Deputy Chief Financial Officer, will be appointed Chief Financial Officer and member of the Executive Committee, effective June 1, 2008. Patrick de la Chevardière will also be in charge of Insurance; Trading and Shipping; and Information Technology and Telecommunications.
- Total Gabon - First Quarter 2008 Financial Results are announced.
- 2008 General Meeting Report is released.
- Total announces the signature of an innovative framework agreement with Angola’s Ministry of Education, which will allow both parties to strengthen their cooperation in the field of education. The agreement will be implemented immediately with the construction and opening of four Angolan high schools, in Bengo, Cuanza Norte, Malanje and Cunene provinces, by Total and the Ministry of Education with the cooperation of the Mission Laïque Française association. Offering quality education, the schools will open in time for the 2009 school year. Each will initially offer grade 10 equivalent classes, adding grade 11 in 2010 and grade 12 in 2011.
• Upstream news:
- Total announces that it has made a new gas and condensate discovery in the Alwyn Area of the Northern North Sea, close to the Jura field that recently came on stream. The field, to be known as Islay, lies in block 3/15 of the UK sector of the North Sea, some 440 kilometres (275 miles) north-east of Aberdeen, in a water depth of 120 metres. The discovery well was drilled to a depth of more than 4,000 metres into the Brent reservoir and during testing it has produced 1.22 million cubic metres of gas per day or 8,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day including condensates. Total is the operator of Islay with a 100% interest. In this region, Total is already the 100% owner and operator of the Alwyn North, Dunbar, Grant, Ellon, Nuggets, Forvie North and Jura fields. Although a separate field, Islay is just 3 kilometres east of Jura, which was discovered in November 2006 and came on stream on 20th May this year. Having confirmed the Islay discovery, Total is now to define a plan to connect this new well to the Alwyn facility in the near future.
- Total announces that it has signed a heads of agreement with Azerbaijan’s state-owned SOCAR, setting out the main terms of a production sharing agreement (PSA) for a license in the Absheron area. Total will be the operator of the Absheron Block, with 60% interest, SOCAR holding 40%. This block is located in the Caspian Sea, 100 kilometres from Baku, in a water depth of around 500 metres. This latest exploration contract will strengthen Total’s ties with Azerbaijan. The company will continue to support the development of Azerbaijan’s oil and gas industry over the long term.
• Downstream news:
- Total announces that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with one of China’s major oil & gas companies China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC). CNOOC Group President, Fu Chengyu, and Total Chief Executive Officer, Christophe de Margerie, signed the MOU on behalf of the two companies respectively. The aim of the two companies is to enhance wide-ranging cooperation in the areas of upstream, downstream and in the field of new energies. As a first concrete application of the MOU, Total Gas and Power Limited (TGP) and CNOOC Corp. signed a Heads of Agreement (HOA) for the sale of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) by Total to CNOOC. Fu Chengyu and Christophe de Margerie witnessed the signing of the HOA between CNOOC Gas and Power Group President, Wang Jiaxiang, and Total Gas & Power President, Philippe Boisseau. Under the terms of this agreement, up to 1 million tons of LNG will be delivered annually to the Chinese oil group starting in 2010. The gas will be sourced from Total’s global LNG portfolio, based on its participation in over 10 liquefaction projects worldwide, and on TGP’s trading activities. The MOU will be one of the foundations for Total and CNOOC to explore further cooperation, in line with China’s priorities of energy security and sustainable development, by providing increased access to clean sources of energy, also a priority for Total. The HOA illustrates the confidence both parties have in the future of the Chinese natural gas industry. LNG imports will be decisive to secure its rapid growth, particularly in the coastal areas of China.
- The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) and Total signed the Shareholders Agreement and other core agreements for the establishment of their joint venture, the Jubail Refining and Petrochemical Company. The signing of these agreements in Jiddah by Mr. Abdallah S. Jum’ah, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, and Mr. Christophe de Margerie, CEO of Total, marks an important step for the planned construction of this 400,000 barrel per day world-class, full-conversion refinery in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. On May 6 and May 8, 2008, respectively, the Executive Committee of Total and the Board of Directors of Saudi Aramco decided to launch the project.
• Business/Finance news:
- Four Western oil companies are in the final stages of negotiations this month on contracts that will return them to Iraq, 36 years after losing their oil concession to nationalization as Saddam Hussein rose to power. Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP — the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company — along with Chevron and a number of smaller oil companies, are in talks with Iraq’s Oil Ministry for no-bid contracts to service Iraq’s largest fields, according to ministry officials, oil company officials and an American diplomat. The deals, expected to be announced on June 30, will lay the foundation for the first commercial work for the major companies in Iraq since the American invasion, and open a new and potentially lucrative country for their operations. The no-bid contracts are unusual for the industry, and the offers prevailed over others by more than 40 companies, including companies in Russia, China and India. The contracts, which would run for one to two years and are relatively small by industry standards, would nonetheless give the companies an advantage in bidding on future contracts in a country that many experts consider to be the best hope for a large-scale increase in oil production. There was suspicion among many in the Arab world and among parts of the American public that the United States had gone to war in Iraq precisely to secure the oil wealth these contracts seek to extract. The Bush administration has said that the war was necessary to combat terrorism. It is not clear what role the United States played in awarding the contracts; there are still American advisers to Iraq’s Oil Ministry. Sensitive to the appearance that they were profiting from the war and already under pressure because of record high oil prices, senior officials of two of the companies, speaking only on the condition that they not be identified, said they were helping Iraq rebuild its decrepit oil industry. For an industry being frozen out of new ventures in the world’s dominant oil-producing countries, from Russia to Venezuela, Iraq offers a rare and prized opportunity. While enriched by $140 per barrel oil, the oil majors are also struggling to replace their reserves as ever more of the world’s oil patch becomes off limits. Governments in countries like Bolivia and Venezuela are nationalizing their oil industries or seeking a larger share of the record profits for their national budgets. Russia and Kazakhstan have forced the major companies to renegotiate contracts. The Iraqi government’s stated goal in inviting back the major companies is to increase oil production by half a million barrels per day by attracting modern technology and expertise to oil fields now desperately short of both. The revenue would be used for reconstruction, although the Iraqi government has had trouble spending the oil revenues it now has, in part because of bureaucratic inefficiency. For the American government, increasing output in Iraq, as elsewhere, serves the foreign policy goal of increasing oil production globally to alleviate the exceptionally tight supply that is a cause of soaring prices. The Iraqi Oil Ministry, through a spokesman, said the no-bid contracts were a stop-gap measure to bring modern skills into the fields while the oil law was pending in Parliament. It said the companies had been chosen because they had been advising the ministry without charge for two years before being awarded the contracts, and because these companies had the needed technology. A Shell spokeswoman hinted at the kind of work the companies might be engaged in. “We can confirm that we have submitted a conceptual proposal to the Iraqi authorities to minimize current and future gas flaring in the south through gas gathering and utilization,” said the spokeswoman, Marnie Funk. “The contents of the proposal are confidential.” While small, the deals hold great promise for the companies. “The bigger prize everybody is waiting for is development of the giant new fields,” Leila Benali, an authority on Middle East oil at Cambridge Energy Research Associates, said in a telephone interview from the firm’s Paris office. The current contracts, she said, are a “foothold” in Iraq for companies striving for these longer-term deals.
- From the first days that American-led forces took control of Iraq, the conquering army took pains to broadcast that it was there to liberate the country, not occupy it, and certainly not to cart off its riches. Nowhere were such words more carefully dispensed than on the subject of Iraq’s oil. As they surveyed facilities in the weeks after Saddam Hussein’s government fell, American officials said they were merely advising Iraqis on how to increase production to finance the democratic nation being erected across desert sands that, conveniently, held the third-largest oil reserves on earth. Many critics of the invasion derided that characterization. In Arab countries and among some people in America, there was suspicion that the war was a naked grab for oil that would open Iraq to multinational energy giants. President Bush had roots in the Texas oil industry. Vice President Cheney had overseen Halliburton, the oil services company. Whatever else happened, such critics said, energy players with links to the White House would surely wind up with a nice piece of the spoils. Behind those competing conceptions was a fundamental reality that forms the wallpaper for American engagement in the Middle East: oil, and its critical importance to the American economy, has for decades been a paramount interest of the United States in the region. Almost everything the United States has tried to do there — propping up autocrats or seeking democracy, fighting terrorism or withstanding Soviet influence, or, in this case, toppling the dictator Saddam Hussein — could affect the availability of oil for American markets and therefore entailed some calculation about it. Today, the question hanging over Iraq is whether its natural endowment will be used to help create a sustainable new state, or will instead be managed in ways that reward the cronies and allies of the country whose army toppled Mr. Hussein. Or perhaps both at the same time. That basic question was yanked back to the fore recently when word emerged from Baghdad, in a report in The New York Times, that the Iraqi oil ministry was close to awarding contracts to service its oil fields to some of the largest Western oil companies. While relatively small, these contracts could serve as a foot in the door for much more lucrative licenses to explore widely for Iraqi oil. Some 40 companies from around the world had jockeyed for the contracts, but they were being awarded without competitive bids, the report said. Those about to land the deals — Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP and Total — had held oil rights in Iraq before Mr. Hussein nationalized the fields and kicked them out more than three decades ago. They all came from countries that had either been stalwart allies of the Bush administration or — in the case of France, which is home to Total — had lately increased their support for the American-led campaign to isolate Iran. Just as striking were the companies that failed to capture a foothold: the Russian oil giant Lukoil, which had signed a deal to exploit a huge field in southern Iraq while Mr. Hussein was still in power, only to see it revoked just before he fell, and Chinese firms with their own claims. Before the 2003 invasion, the Russian and Chinese governments had lent muscle on the United Nations Security Council toward fending off American-led sanctions aimed at the Hussein government. Iraqi officials said the no-bid deals reflected nothing more than pragmatic stewardship. Iraq needs to get more oil out of the ground to finance reconstruction, they said, and the oil giants getting the contracts have the skill to make that happen. But those most suspicious of the Bush administration’s motives fixed on the contracts as validation. They accused the administration of pulling strings and shelving concerns about preserving Iraqi sovereignty, in favor of expedient deal-making in a time of exploding oil prices. In the days after word of the deals leaked out, three senators, including Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat, demanded that the Bush administration somehow cancel the contracts, arguing that they would damage American credibility. The White House disowned any role and said the senators were being hypocritical. Here they were, in effect, accusing the administration of orchestrating the deals, while calling for orchestration to make them disappear. Sovereignty has been a subject wrapped in thorns ever since American-led forces drove Mr. Hussein from his palace. Arguments over who really makes decisions in Iraq, and for whose benefit, cut to the heart of the very point of the war.
• Upstream news:
- Total confirms that an agreement has been signed for Repsol operated blocks NC115 and NC186 with Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) in the Murzuq basin, onshore Libya, some 700 kilometres south of Tripoli. Total has a 30% equity share in Block NC115 alongside Repsol (40%) and OMV (30%) and holds 24% in Block NC186 alongside Repsol (32%), OMV (24%) and StatoilHydro (20%). The agreement provides for an extension of the contracts to 2032, by 15 years for Block NC115 and by 10 years for Block NC186, as well as a 5-year extension of the exploration period on both blocks. The agreement also includes a signature bonus and the adequacy of the EPSA contracts (Exploration and Production Sharing Agreements) signed in 1994 and 1997 with those now prevailing in Libya. The total production from these two blocks will increase from the current production of 300,000 barrels per day to a plateau level of 380,000 barrels per day.
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- For the third year in a row, Total Summer School is hosting a weeklong session near Paris on global energy issues. Invited by Université Total, 104 students arrived on Sunday, June 29 to study and discuss these issues with Total managers and experts from major French and international institutions and universities. Launched in 2006, the Summer School program gives Total the opportunity to strengthen its ties and share knowledge with some 80 universities and schools in its main growth markets worldwide. The 104 students selected to participate in the third Summer School are from 28 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas and range from 20 to 29 years of age. Around 30 energy and international relations experts and Total managers, are slated to lead the discussions and present headline energy issues, sharing their knowledge on the economy, geopolitics, the future of energy, climate change and corporate social responsibility. Total Summer School provides a forum for addressing the complex challenges facing the Group. Each year, the Summer School gives Total a unique opportunity to discuss issues with students from a scientific, economic and sociological perspective.
- Total announces that Total E&P Canada Ltd.(“Total Canada”) has increased the offer price for the issued and outstanding common class "A" voting shares (the "Common Shares") of Synenco Energy Inc. ("Synenco") from Can. $9.00 in cash to Can. $10.25 in cash per share pursuant to its offer and take-over bid circular dated May 13, 2008, as extended by notices of variation dated June 19, 2008, July 4, 2008 and July 16, 2008. The increased offer price represents a premium of approximately 32% over the closing price of Can. $7.79 for the Common Shares on the last trading day prior to the announcement of the original offer. As a result of the increase of the offer price, Total Canada has entered into lock-up agreements with each of D. E. Shaw Laminar Portfolios, L.L.C. and Wellington Management Company, LLP, which collectively own approximately 23% of the outstanding Common Shares pursuant to which they have agreed to tender to the offer and not withdraw, except in certain limited circumstances, all of their Common Shares. Total Canada has extended the time in which Synenco shareholders may deposit their Common Shares under the offer to 7:00 p.m. (Calgary time) on August 5, 2008.
• Upstream news:
- Total announces a gas discovery from the Mimia-1 exploration well on the WA-344P permit (Total 40%), in Australia. Total E&P Australia and Inpex (operator, 60%) acquired the WA-344P exploration acreage in November 2007 and completed the Mimia-1 well in July 2008. A 72 metre gas column was found and a production test completed recently confirmed the discovery of gas and condensate. The Mimia-1 well was drilled in a water depth of 254 metres and is located approximately 20 kilometres north-east of the WA-285P (Inpex 76%,Total 24%) which contains the giant Ichthys gas-condensate field (close to 13 Trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas and 530 Million barrels of recoverable liquids).
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- Second Quarter 2008 Results are released.
- Effective September 1, nuclear power expert Bernard Estève is appointed Advisor to Total, reporting to Philippe Boisseau, President, Gas & Power. His appointment will help Total meet its strategic goal of expanding into the nuclear power industry.
- Total Gabon: First-Half 2008 Results are released.
- Chevron said that record oil prices drove second-quarter earnings up 11 percent to its highest-ever profit, but weak margins from gasoline production led to a big loss at its refining operations. Chevron, the second-largest oil company in the United States, joined StatoilHydro of Norway and Total of France in posting huge earnings as a result of soaring crude prices. Oil prices averaged slightly less than $125 a barrel in the quarter, nearly double year-earlier levels, but gasoline prices rose only 25 percent during that same period, resulting in weak profit margins for the companies’ refining and marketing businesses. Chevron said net income rose to $5.98 billion, or $2.90 a share, from $5.38 billion, or $2.52 a share, a year earlier. Analysts expected the company to earn around $3.02 a share. Revenue rose to $82.98 billion from $56.09 billion. The company posted a $734 million loss at its refining and marketing business, down from a profit of $1.3 billion a year earlier. It said weak profit margins as well as planned refinery maintenance in the United States hurt results at that unit. Chevron’s income from its exploration and production business nearly doubled to $7.25 billion. The company’s production fell about 3 percent, to 2.54 million barrels of oil equivalent a day. Chevron said production rose slightly, excluding the effect of contracts that give a higher share of productions to host countries as oil prices rise. Total said second-quarter net income surged 39 percent, to 4.7 billion euros ($7.32 billion), and beat analysts’ estimates. The start-up of a gas field in the North Sea and an oil field off the Republic of Congo helped lift Total’s output by a percent, to 2.353 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. StatoilHydro reported record second-quarter profit but missed forecasts in adjusted terms, sending its stock lower. Quarterly net income at StatoilHydro rose 36 percent, to 18.92 billion crowns ($3.68 billion). Operating profit, which excludes income taxes and other items, rose 74 percent from the year-earlier level to a record 62.6 billion crowns ($12.19 billion). Second-quarter production met analysts’ average expectations and rose to 1.71 million barrels of oil equivalent a day from 1.67 million a year ago.
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- Total announces that it has just entered into an agreement with Talisman Energy to purchase the shares of its Dutch subsidiary, Goal Petroleum (Netherlands) B.V. (Goal), for $480 million (excluding working capital). The agreement, effective 1 January 2008, is subject to all necessary approvals by the authorities in accordance with Dutch legislation. The assets of Goal, predominantly located in permits operated by Total, include 10.25% of the K4b/K5a licence and 20.273% of the K5b licence, both operated by Total E&P Nederland B.V., and 8% of the E18a licence, operated by Wintershall. This acquisition will increase Total E&P Nederland’s reserves and production portfolio by about 20%. It will enable Total E&P Nederland to increase production by 8,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2011, thanks to new developments due to come on stream in the near future. The acquisition will strengthen Total’s portfolio on the Dutch Continental Shelf, where the Group will continue to optimise its exploration and production activities and maximise the recovery factor of its gas fields’ reserves and resources in a mature area.
- Total, the French oil company, agreed to buy Talisman Energy’s assets in the Dutch sector of the North Sea for $480 million. The purchase includes three field stakes with production in 2007 equivalent to about 23 million cubic feet of natural gas a day, Talisman said. The purchase will increase Total’s reserves and production in the Netherlands in 2011 by about 20 percent, or by about 8,000 barrels of oil a day, Total said. Total is based in Paris and Talisman is based in Calgary, Alberta.
- Total announced that it signed three oil and gas agreements in Syria that will strengthen the Group’s long-term presence in the country. The first agreement renews the Deir Ez Zor oil license, wholly-owned by Total and jointly operated by Total and the Syrian Petroleum Company via the Deir Ez Zor Petroleum Company joint venture. The license was extended for 10 years to 2021, and enables Total to prolong and optimize production from the Jafra, Qahar and Atalla fields. The second agreement covers enhancing output from the Tabiyeh gas and condensate field to increase gas deliveries to the domestic market from the Deir Ez Zor plant. This agreement will help Total develop its activities in Syria’s gas industry. Lastly, Total signed a memorandum of understanding with state-owned Syrian Petroleum Company and Syrian Gas Company to set up a strategic partnership that will allow the development of common projects between Total and those companies.
- Total has announced a significant increase in the potential of the West Franklin field in the Central Graben Area of the UK North Sea, following the drilling of the West Franklin B appraisal well. The West Franklin field is located in Blocks 29/5b and 29/4d, approximately 240 kilometres east of Aberdeen and 4 kilometres west of the Franklin wellhead platform, from where it was drilled. Total is the operator (35.784%) and is now considering options for the next phases of development of the field, all of which will maximise synergies with existing Elgin Franklin facilities. West Franklin, which exports via Total’s Elgin/Franklin installations, was discovered in 2003 and brought into production in 2007. It is the deepest high pressure/high temperature (HP/HT) development to date in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). The West Franklin well encountered a very good quality Upper Jurassic reservoir and was tested with a rate of 985,000 standard cubic metres per day (m3/d) of gas and 314 standard m3/d of condensates on a 26/64" choke. It is currently producing at a rate of 2.6 million standard m3/d. West Franklin is currently producing 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, and is expected to produce 45,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Ultimate resources have been significantly increased and are now estimated at close to 200 million barrels of oil equivalent with additional drilling.
- Total announces the production of first gas from the K5F field, part of its gas development project in the K5a block of the Dutch Continental Shelf, located approximately 115 kilometres northwest of Den Helder on the Dutch Coast. K5F will be the first project in the world to use all-electrically activated subsea equipment (“Christmas Trees”) as opposed to hydraulically operated standard technology. This step change in subsea technology will bring increased system reliability and enhanced environmental performance. Furthermore it will add to Total’s capability of bringing new production from deepwater fields, including frontier areas of the North Sea where Total continues its strategy of investment in exploration and production. Total is the operator of the K5F field, with its partners E.B.N, Dyas B.V., Goal Petroleum (Netherlands) B.V. and Lundin Netherlands B.V.
- Total announces that it has signed an agreement with Madagascar Oil S.A. to farm into the Bemolanga license with a 60% interest. Located onshore in western Madagascar, the 6,500 square kilometres Bemolanga license was awarded to Madagascar Oil in 2004. The license contains heavy oil in place that has been evaluated at 10 billion barrels during earlier drilling operations and that can be developed using mining technology. Following the transaction, Total will operate the license. During the initial appraisal phase, additional core drills will be drilled to determine the license’s potential. A production pilot will be set up in a second phase to confirm the development parameters before considering a large scale development of the license.
- Total, Gazprom and Yacimentos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) have signed a cooperation agreement to explore the Azero block within the framework of a joint venture company in which Total and Gazprom will own equal stakes. The 4,764 square-kilometre Azero block is located in a new gas-rich province in the Andes foothills in southeastern Bolivia. It is next to the Ipati and Aquio blocks, where Total made a major natural gas find in 2004.
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- This month, as a member of a Volvo-led consortium, Total is taking part in the kick-off of the European Union’s BioDME project in Stockholm and Piteå, Sweden, to demonstrate the technical feasibility of the process. Produced by gasifying black liquor, a pulp manufacturing waste product, the DME1 will be transported to service stations in four Swedish cities, including Stockholm, Göteborg and Piteå, to fuel a pilot fleet of 14 Volvo trucks. This preliminary stage is crucial before commercial production can be undertaken. Total will be focusing on fuel specifications, additives and an appropriate lubricant. The four-year, €28-million project will run from 2008 to 2012. It is being jointly funded by the consortium partners2, the EU Seventh Framework Program (€8 million) and the Swedish Energy Agency3. DME does not produce soot when burned, which significantly reduces emissions and helps engines meet tougher international standards. Biomass-derived DME will have an even lower climate footprint, while delivering highly competitive efficiency in terms of kilometers traveled per hectare.
- Photovoltech announces that it will increase the photovoltaic cell production capacity of its plant in Tienen, Belgium, from 140 MWp1 by end-2009 to 260 MWp by end-2010. For this a new production plant will be built at the present site. By 2010, the cells produced in a year by Photovoltech should equip the roofs of more than 100,000 homes. This investment will create more than 150 jobs. Photovoltech’s investment is spurred by strong growth in the European market, in particular in Germany, Spain, Italy, France and Belgium and will cement Photovoltech’s position as a top-tier operator in the European photovoltaic solar energy market. In this context of strong development and to secure long-term supply of essential components for photovoltaic cell production, Photovoltech has also signed a new wafer supply contract under which China’s LDK Solar will supply it with 400 MWp of silicon wafers over a period of ten years.
- Total will be participating in Futurol, a second-generation bioethanol research and development project. Bringing together top-tier French research organizations, manufacturers and financial institutions involved in this sector of activity, Futurol will develop a process to produce bioethanol by fermenting non-food lignocellulosic biomass and verify its industrial viability. The estimated budget for this project is around €74 million and should last 8 year.
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- Effective September 1, Jean Bié, Chief Executive Officer of Total Gabon, is appointed Vice President, Purchasing, in the Corporate Affairs Department at headquarters.
- The Board of Directors of Total, led by Chairman Thierry Desmarest, met on September 9, 2008. Confident in the outlook for Total’s results, the Board approved the 2008 interim dividend1 of 1.14 euros per share, an increase of 14% compared to the interim dividend paid in November 2007. With its view of the supply-demand balance and other elements that should support the price of oil over the medium term, Total reaffirms its policy of sustained investment oriented toward long-term projects on the main growing segments in the petroleum chain. Total’s asset portfolio, its ability to manage major projects and to negotiate strategic partnerships are among the strengths that should allow it to create value over the long term. Total is also expanding its R&D program and expects to commit 5.5 billion euros from now through 2013 mainly to find new solutions for improving the efficiency of its industrial sites and products, accelerating its growth in new energies and contributing to the fight against global climate change.
- Total is launching in France a Universal Visa card, in partnership with Sofinco, a subsidiary of the Crédit Agricole bank. The card entitles users to instant rebates on fuel at all Total branded service stations in France.
- Total has decided to group all of its sponsorship initiatives together within a broader foundation: the environment, with the emphasis on biodiversity and the sea; culture and heritage; community support in the areas of healthcare and education, becoming in the process the first foundation in France to have a budgetary allocation of €10 million. It was in 1992, just after the Río Earth Summit, that Total decided to set up a foundation dedicated to the environment. Over the years, sponsorship initiatives evolved within the Group, and its undertakings increased. Gradually, it became clear that these initiatives were going to have to be grouped together. Grouping these sponsorship initiatives together within this new Foundation will result in the Group's various undertakings being more coherently structured. Synergies will emerge from them, they will be more readily understood and have more far-reaching effects.
• Upstream news:
- Total announces that it has signed an agreement with Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) to farm into onshore exploration Block 70 (Attaq Area, Shabwa Governorate) in Yemen with an interest of 30.875%. This agreement has been approved by the Yemeni Ministry of Oil and Minerals. Block 70, which covers an area of 1,367 square kilometres, is located in the south-eastern part of Central Yemen’s Marib Basin. Following the farm-in, Total has a 30.875% interest in the block, alongside KNOC (30.875%, operator), Samsung Corporation (19%), Daesung Industrial Co. Ltd. (14.25%) and Yemen General Corporation for Oil and Gas (5%). 2D seismic was acquired in 2007 and a well is presently being drilled.
- Total announced its recent success in the development of a downhole regenerable sulphur removal and recovery process called “DSR” (Downhole Sulphur Recovery) with CrystaTech, a clean energy technology development company headquartered in Austin, Texas. Under a technology development and commercialization agreement between Total and CrystaTech, the companies are working to develop a regenerable process for the continuous removal and recovery of sulphur depositions in sour gas well bores. CrystaTech is modifying its patented CrystaSulf® hydrogen sulphide removal process to develop the new technology for this downhole application. The new DSR technology relies on the use of physical solvents that absorb and carry the sulphur out of the well bore.
• Downstream news:
- At its petrochemicals complex in Feluy, Belgium, Total inaugurated a demonstration plant intended to produce olefins and polyolefins from methanol. The integrated unit is the world's first application of an innovative technology that helps to diversify the source of plastic feedstock. The inauguration was attended by Jean-Claude Marcourt, Minister for Economy, Employment and Foreign Trade for the Belgian region of Wallonia, François Cornélis, Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and President of Chemicals at Total, and Jean-François Minster, Senior Vice President, Scientific Development, Total. Worldwide, the petrochemicals industry currently relies on oil and natural gas derivatives, naphtha or ethane, to produce olefins. These are subsequently converted into polyolefins, the raw material for plastics.
- On Wednesday, October 15, 2008, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) and Total signed a memorandum of understanding concerning the management and financing of a joint research and development program to make industrial processes more energy efficient. Under the agreement, small and mid-size businesses working on energy-efficient technologies will receive support, with the goal of helping France to meet the goals set at the Grenelle Environment Forum. Long-term solutions to the challenges of climate change and reduced consumption of fossil fuels can only be found by developing more energy-efficient technologies. France’s manufacturing industries consume 37 million metric tons of oil equivalent a year, or 23% of the country’s total energy consumption. That’s why ADEME and Total are committed to providing industries in France and around the world with an array of high-performance, cost-effective technologies designed to make industrial processes more energy efficient. In particular, the program involves technologies for small cogeneration plants, heat exchangers, boilers, drying, fluid separation, low-temperature heat recovery, refrigeration systems, compressed air, ventilation, pumping, lighting, steam and heat transfer fluids. The technologies cover all industries. Total plans to provide the program with €100 million in financing over five years, while ADEME will provide annual appropriations of approximately €3 million, to be defined on a yearly basis.
- Total announces that its subsidiary Total E&P Nigeria Limited (TEPNG), operator of the NNPC/TEPNG joint venture with a 40% interest, has launched the OML 58 upgrade project. Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) owns the remaining 60% interest of the joint venture. OML 58 is located onshore Nigeria (Rivers States), approximately 85 kilometres North West of Port Harcourt in the Niger Delta. The OML 58 Obite gas treatment plant has been on stream since December 1999. The OML 58 upgrade is designed to increase gas production capacity from 10.6 million cubic metres per day (370 mmscfd) at present to 15.6 million cubic metres per day (550 mmscfd), and also increase oil and condensate output by around 15,000 barrels per day bringing the total output to 140,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. This project is expected to increase production as from 2011, and will comply with the Federal Government’s “Flare Out” regulations, improve safety and extend the life of existing installations as well as enhancing oil recovery. It will develop more than 280 million barrels of oil equivalent of proved and probable reserves. A second stage of the project is under evaluation in order to develop additional proved and probable reserves (about 230 Mboe) using these upgraded facilities.
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- Jacques Marraud des Grottes, who was appointed Senior Vice President, Exploration & Production in Africa replacing Jean Privey on September 1, was named to the Management Committee on October 1.
- Total has acquired an equity interest in the Centre Européen de Recherche et Formation Avancée en Calcul Scientifique (CERFACS), a private-sector scientific computation research center based in Toulouse, France. The Center is delighted to welcome the Group alongside its six other shareholders, which are the French National Space Agency (CNES), aerospace company EADS, Electricité de France, the French national weather service, aerospace lab ONERA and aircraft engine manufacturer SAFRAN. Total has joined this center of excellence in order to deploy its R&D strategy in digital simulation and data-intensive computing technologies. This process will be supported by CERFACS’ world renowned, multidisciplinary team of around one hundred physicists, applied mathematicians, numerical analysts and software engineers1. In this way, the investment has further strengthened Total’s position as a global leader in scientific computing power. This new advance is perfectly aligned with the group’s recent purchase of a high-performance supercomputer, installed at the Scientific and Technical Center in Pau.
• Upstream news:
- Total announces a significant gas and condensate discovery in Block B offshore Brunei, in a water depth of 62 metres, around 50 kilometres from the coast. Total operates the block with a 37.5% interest, in association with Shell Deepwater Borneo Ltd. (35%) and local partners (27.5%). Drilled to a final depth of 5,227 metres, the ML-4 well discovered a new gas-bearing compartment in the Maharaja Lela/Jamalulalam Field. A gas column of over 400 metres was encountered in reservoirs equivalent to those already in production in the field. Gas was also found in deeper, high-temperature/high-pressure (HT/HP) formations. Further appraisal is necessary to evaluate these discoveries. Following the successful MLJ2-06T well, the ML-4 well completes the first phase of an exploration drilling program that will resume in 2009.
- Total announces that it has signed an agreement with OMEL(1) Energy Nigeria Limited (OENL) and OMEL Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (OEPNL) to acquire interests of 25.67% in deep offshore license OPL 285 and 14.5% in deep offshore license OPL 279. OENL will remain the operator for block OPL 285 and OEPNL the operator for block OPL 279. The Nigerian company EMO Exploration and Production Limited is also partner on both of the blocks. The necessary approvals have been obtained from the Nigerian authorities. Covering an area of around 1,170 square kilometers, OPL 285 is located approximately 80 kilometers offshore, near the Bonga field, in water depths ranging from 400 to 900 metres. OPL 279 is located some 100 kilometres offshore, near the Ehra and Bosi fields, in water depths ranging from 800 to 1,800 meters. The license covers an area of around 1,125 square kilometres.
- Total announces that three successful exploration wells have been drilled in Thailand and that a new phase of development of the Bongkot North Field has been launched. Three exploration wells, Ton Sak 7, Ton Sak 8 and Ton Son 2, have been drilled on the Bongkot offshore concession in the Gulf of Thailand, all of which discovered commercial quantities of gas and condensates. Two of these discoveries, Ton Sak 7 and Ton Sak 8 have been sanctioned for development. The Greater Bongkot North field currently produces around 600 million cubic feet per day of gas and 20,000 barrels per day of condensates from 20 wellhead platforms and a central complex. Two additional wellhead platforms are currently being constructed and should go into production in 2009. The newly sanctioned phase will add a further 3 wellhead platforms, bringing the total number to 25. This new phase of development will enter into production in 2010 and extend the plateau well into the next decade. The third discovery, Ton Son 2, will be included in a subsequent development phase.
- Total announces positive appraisal results for the Moho Nord Marine-3 well, lying around 80 kilometres offshore of the Republic of Congo in 1,030 metres of water in the northern part of the Moho-Bilondo license. The discovery follows on from the Moho Nord Marine-1 and 2 finds in 2007. Moho Marine Nord-3 was drilled to a total depth of 2,300 meters, 1.7 kilometers northwest of Moho Nord Marine-2 and 2.7 kilometres north of Moho Nord Marine-1. The well encountered a 60-metre column of good quality sands, containing 18°API oil in the Upper Miocene and flowed at 3,000 barrels per day through a choke. This discovery confirms the Tertiary Miocene resource cluster in the northern part of the Moho-Bilondo license. The well will make it possible to further refine the development plan for Moho Nord.
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• Business/Finance news:
- Third quarter results are released.
- In Shanghai, Total joins the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China (CCIFC) in announcing the winner of the 2008 Excellence Award for SMEs in China (Prix PME-Chine). The award recognizes the boldness, professionalism and perseverance of a French SME that has successfully launched a sustainable business in the country. Total is sponsoring the event and will host a VIE* co-op placement participant or an intern to support a development project. This is just one of several methods that Total has adopted to help drive economic growth in its host regions. In China, Total has already hosted 24 VIE co-op placement participants and 16 interns from French SMEs. Similarly, Total also offers support to Chinese SMEs planning to set up business in France.
• Upstream news:
- Total announces that it has been awarded three exploration licences in the 25th Oil and Gas Licensing Round of the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change. In the West of Shetlands area, Total and its partners in the Laggan and Tormore gas condensate discoveries, have been awarded part of the adjacent Block 205/4. Further north, Total will have a 56% interest in the exploration licence formed by Blocks 214/17, 214/21b and 214/22. In addition, in the Central Graben area of the North Sea, Total will have a 75% equity in Block 29/3b where it has a firm well commitment to drill the high temperature-high pressure Corfe Prospect.
- Total announces that its Nigerian subsidiary, Total E&P Nigeria Ltd. (TEPNG), has encountered hydrocarbons in the area within the south-eastern corner of Oil Mining License (OML) 102, offshore south-eastern Nigeria, about 15 kilometres from the Ofon Field, in a water depth of seventy metres. OML 102 is run by the joint venture Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/Total, operated by TEPNG in which Total holds a 40% interest and NNPC 60%. The Etisong-1 well was drilled to a total depth of 2,207 metres and produced from turbiditic reservoirs over 6,000 barrels per day of oil with an API of 40° during the test.
• Downstream news:
- Total announces that it is now a core shareholder in U.S. startup Konarka, specialized in organic photovoltaic technology after Total Gas & Power USA (SAS) recently underwrote a share issue becoming first shareholder with a significant interest in the company. The stake will be slightly less than 20%. Co-founded in 2001 by Howard Berke and Alan Heeger, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry for his work on conductive polymers, Konarka is a U.S. startup actively developing third-generation organic solar energy technology.
- The MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) and Total, a leading oil and gas company, have announced a new energy research collaboration that will support MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change to further understand and mitigate global climate change. As a MITEI Sustaining Member, Total will also support several research projects in subsurface imaging to reduce exploration and production costs and reduce environmental surface and sub-surface impacts for oil and gas development. This portfolio of technologies has direct application to heavy oil production, a critical oil resource especially in the Western Hemisphere where reserves in Canada and Venezuela alone are roughly double those of Saudi Arabia’s conventional oil reserves. Subsurface imaging technologies also have broad application beyond oil and gas and could enhance geothermal energy production, carbon sequestration, and, potentially, nuclear waste disposal. Sponsoring of research projects in the field of renewable energies is also under consideration.
• Business/Finance news:
- In cooperation with Total, Collège de France is creating a chair of sustainable development, energy and societal issues. Endowed for five years, the chair will be held annually by an eminent, internationally recognized figure who will lecture on core sustainable development issues such as climate change and its impact on health and the economy; the impact of human activities on water, carbon and nitrogen cycles; food and nutrition; biodiversity; and the future of energy. Scientific, engineering and social science aspects will be considered. The program will be set for five years by the teaching faculty at Collège de France. With the first year focusing on human population dynamics and demographics, the teaching faculty has appointed demographer Henri Léridon, member of the French Academy of Science and Director of Research at the French National Institute of Demographic Research (INED), to the chair for 2008-2009.
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