Total chief says would have to review Iran gas deal if new sanctions arose

14 Nov 2017   France, Iran

French oil and gas major Total would have to review its Iran gas project if the United States decided to impose unilateral sanctions on Tehran, given its interests in the U.S. market, its chief executive told CNN.  “Either we can do the deal legally if there is a legal framework,” Patrick Pouyanne said in remarks made to CNNMoney Emerging Markets late on Monday. “If we cannot do that for legal reasons, because of [a] change of [the] regime of sanctions, then we have to revisit it.” Pouyanne’s office confirmed the interview had taken place. “If there is a sanctions regime [on Iran], we have to look at it carefully,” Pouyanne also said. “We work in the U.S., we have assets in the U.S., we just […]

Ethanol-based fuel becomes top-selling petrol in France

7 Nov 2017   Biofuels, France

Gasoline containing up to 10 percent of ethanol has become the top-selling petrol in France, its largest market in the European Union, helped by a tax break that made the crop-based fuel more attractive to drivers, French ethanol producers said on Tuesday.  Sales of unleaded SP95-E10 accounted for 38.5 percent of total petrol sales in France in September, the Bioethanol Collective said in a statement.

France’s Total opens Washington office as Iran risks loom

4 Nov 2017   France, Iran, USA

Total has opened an office in Washington in a bid to strengthen relations with the U.S. administration as the French oil and gas company prepares to invest billions in Iran. Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne confirmed Total opened a government relations office, telling Reuters “we should have done a long time ago.” In July, Total became the first Western energy firm to sign a deal with Iran since the easing of international sanctions in 2015, agreeing to develop Phase 11 of the South Pars offshore gas field with a total investment of $5 billion. But the future of the project was thrown into doubt after President Donald Trump last month refused to certify Iran was complying with an international deal […]

France’s Biggest Listed Bank To Stop Funding Shale, Oil Sands Projects

12 Oct 2017   France, Shale Oil

As part of efforts to support energy transition, France’s biggest listed bank, BNP Paribas, said on Wednesday that it would no longer do business with companies whose main business is exploration, production, trading, or marketing of oil and gas from shale or tar sands projects. In one of the latest signs that the banking industry is evaluating the wisdom of doing business with the oil and gas industry in the face of mounting pressure from investors, BNP Paribas also said that it wouldn’t finance any oil or gas exploration or production projects in the Arctic region. The bank will also no longer finance LNG terminals that predominantly liquefy and export gas from shale projects, and choke off funding for pipelines that carry oil and gas from shale and/or tar sands. It doesn’t stop there. BNP Paribas won’t finance coal mines and coal-fired power plants either, and will be no […]

LNG fuel strides continue for French company

11 Oct 2017   France, Norway

Norwegian energy major Statoil will start using liquefied natural gas as a maritime fuel at the port of Rotterdam by the next decade, a French gas company said. French energy company ENGIE and its Japanese consortium partners said they were selected by Statoil to supply LNG as fuel for four crude shuttle tankers at the Norwegian port of Rotterdam. “The four planned dual fuel vessels are to come into service in early 2020,” the French company said. “They will be operated by Statoil in northern European seas.” Deliveries will be supported by bunkering vessel ENGIE Zeebrugge, which is currently in service in Belgian waters. The French company in June said the ENGIE Zeebrugge was its first to provide ship-to-ship supplies for LNG as a […]

Total sees oil production growth of 5 percent until 2022

25 Sep 2017   France

French oil and gas major Total extended its oil production growth target of 5 percent per year until 2022 and plans to focus on projects with a low breakeven, while reducing its costs in a market dominated by volatile oil prices. The company told investors in a presentation that it aimed to achieve savings of $3.6 billion by the end of 2017, and was increasing targeted savings on operations from $4 billion in 2018 to $5 billion in 2020. Total said it was relentlessly cutting costs and was targeting production costs below $5.5 per barrel of oil equivalent (boe) in 2017, from $5.9/boe in 2016 and $7.4/boe in 2015. Total set its capital investment target, excluding resources acquisition, at $13-15 billion between 2018 to 2020 from […]

French company Total steps into solar energy market

20 Sep 2017   France, Solar

In an announcement ahead of the French president’s speech before the U.N. General Assembly, Total said it took a greater stake in a renewable power company. The French supermajor said Tuesday it made a $284.7 million investment to take an indirect 23 percent stake in renewable power company EREN RE. Total said could eventually take the company over completely within the next five years. “EREN RE’s momentum will allow us to accelerate our growth in solar energy and move us into the wind power market,” Philippe Sauquet, the president in charge of gas, renewables and power for Total, said in a statement . “The agreement with EREN RE is a major step towards our objective of […]

France plans to end oil and gas production by 2040

7 Sep 2017   France, Nuclear

France plans to pass legislation by the end of 2017 to phase out all oil and gas exploration and production on its mainland and overseas territories by 2040, becoming the first country to do so, according to a draft bill presented on Wednesday. President Emmanuel Macron wants to make France carbon neutral by 2050 and plans to curb green house gas emissions by leaving fossil fuels, blamed for contributing to global warming, in the ground. Under the draft bill presented to cabinet on Wednesday, France will no longer issue exploration permits and the extension of current concessions will be gradually limited until they are phased out by 2040 – the same year when France plans to end the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles. The decision is, however, largely symbolic because France only produces about 6 million barrels of hydrocarbons a year, representing about 1 percent […]

France proposes ban on oil and gas exploration

7 Sep 2017   France

The French government said it was reviewing a bill that would put an end to new permits for oil and gas exploration in an effort to adopt a low-carbon economy. Nicolas Hulot, the state minister for the environment, introduced a measure Wednesday that would end exploration and conventional and non-conventional resources like shale oil and natural gas. The measure would phase out oil and gas operations by 2040. “With this bill, France assumes its role as a leader in the fight against climate change and encourages other countries to join it in its commitment, in the continuity of the Paris Agreement,” said Nicolas Hulot at the end of the Council of Ministers. If passed, France would be […]

Total Buys Maersk Oil for $4.95 Billion

21 Aug 2017   France

French oil company Total SA has agreed to acquire Danish conglomerate A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S’s oil unit for $4.95 billion, the latest sign activity is returning to the sector following a three-year slump in oil prices . In statements released Monday, the companies said Total will also assume $2.5 billion of Maersk Oil’s debt. The deal is the latest sign of consolidation in the oil-and-gas industry, which is only now coming to grips with a prolonged and painful downturn . In 2016, Royal Dutch Shell PLC acquired smaller rival BG Group in a roughly $50 billion deal. But speculation that the industry could face another wave of megamergers fell flat. Total said its acquisition of Maersk Oil will bolster its production by 160,000 barrels a day in 2018 and […]

Total marks Iran return with South Pars gas deal

4 Jul 2017   France, Iran

The logo of French oil company Total is seen at a Total gas station in Paris, France, April 19, 2016. France’s Total signed a deal with Tehran on Monday to develop phase 11 of Iran’s South Pars, the world’s largest gas field, marking the first major Western energy investment in the Islamic Republic since the lifting of sanctions against it. Total will be the operator with a 50.1 percent stake, alongside Chinese state-owned oil and gas company CNPC with 30 percent, and National Iranian Oil Co subsidiary Petropars with 19.9 percent. The project will have a production capacity of 2 billion cubic feet per day, or 400,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day including condensate, Total said in a statement, adding that the gas will supply the Iranian domestic market starting in 2021. The first stage of the South Pars development will cost around $2 billion, Total added. The […]

This Supermajor Is Leading The Charge On Renewables

4 Jul 2017   France, Renewables

France-based Total S.A. is one of the elite seven “supermajor” oil companies in the world. When people talk about “Big Oil,” Total is exactly the kind of corporation they’re talking about. They have an aggressive vertical strategy, with businesses in every part of the fossil fuel world, from crude oil and natural gas exploration and production all the way down to the marketing of petroleum products. One would think that the company’s primary goal would be to do everything they can to continue the reign of oil in perpetuity, and yet, on Total’s website, the casual visitor can find this statement: “For Total, contributing to the development of renewable energies is as much a strategic choice as an industrial responsibility. We are doing our part to diversify the global energy mix by investing in renewables, with a strategic focus on solar energy and bioenergies.” Total is leading what looks […]

Total to Sign Milestone Iran Gas Deal Since Sanctions Eased

3 Jul 2017   France, Iran

Total CEO to be in Tehran Monday for agreement: oil ministry Deal is to develop Iran’s share of world’s biggest gas field Iran plans Monday to sign a formal contract with Total SA and China National Petroleum Corp. to develop its share of the world’s biggest natural gas field — the first investment in the country by an international energy company since sanctions were eased last year. Total and CNPC signed a “heads of agreement” with National Iranian Oil Co. in November to develop phase 11 of the South Pars offshore gas field, a deal that was valued then at $4.8 billion. Total Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne will be in Tehran for the signing of the formal agreement, Parastoo Younchi, the Iranian oil ministry official in charge of foreign media relations, said Sunday. Patrick Pouyanne Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg A Total official confirmed that a 20-year contract with very […]

Total Pledges $1 Billion Investment in Iran Gas Field

21 Jun 2017   France, Iran

France’s Total SA said Tuesday it would push forward with a $1 billion investment this summer in a giant Iranian gas field, the first commitment by a Western company to put real money into the Islamic Republic’s re-emerging energy industry. The Paris-based oil giant has been at the forefront of Western energy companies looking to return to Iran after sanctions on its energy industry were lifted in January 2016. Total reached a preliminary agreement late last year with China National Petroleum Corp. and an Iranian company…

From Middle East to Argentina, France’s Total bets on cheap resources

21 Jun 2017   France

As the world witnesses spectacular growth in oil and gas production from the U.S. shale deposits, the boss of French energy giant Total paradoxically says this is one area where he doesn’t want to expand. Instead, chief executive Patrick Pouyanne told Reuters he can find an edge over rivals by going after cheaper reserves elsewhere, including from shale in Argentina and deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as through new gas technology. “Shale oil is too expensive,” said Pouyanne, who has clinched strategic deals for Total in Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Iran since taking over as CEO at the end of 2015. Rapid growth in U.S. shale production has led to a sharp increase in global oil supplies that depressed prices. […]

Iran expects contract developments with French major Total

20 Jun 2017   France, Iran

Iran is in the final stages of signing agreements with French energy company Total to develop parts of the giant South Pars field, Iran’s energy minister said. The French energy company, under pressure from Washington in the pre-sanctions era , was the source of Iranian frustration after showing a lack of progress in developing parts of the South Pars field in the Persian Gulf. With sanctions pressures easing in the wake of a multilateral nuclear deal, chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanne said in February that future growth could come from projects in the Islamic republic. Total is among the major European energy companies moving into the Iranian energy sector with the recent signings of memoranda of understanding with its […]

Iran sees gas deal with Total within weeks: minister

Iran expects to sign a long-delayed gas deal with French oil major Total ( TOTF.PA ) in the next few weeks, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying on Saturday. “Iran and Total are summing up the discussions on signing the contract for the development of phase 11 of South Pars, and this is almost in the final stages,” said Zanganeh, quoted by the oil ministry’s news website SHANA. “The contract … will be signed before the end of the (current) government,” Zanganeh said. Re-elected in May, President Hassan Rouhani is expected to form his new cabinet in August. Total’s chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said in late May that the company planned to conclude the South Pars gas deal before […]

Total Eclipse: Oil Giant Sees its Future in Electricity

14 Jun 2017   France

France’s Total SA, one of the world’s largest oil companies, sent its top executives to Silicon Valley last summer, where they met with tech investors and futurists. At Tesla Inc.’s Bay Area factory, a Total executive tweeted a photo of a gleaming, red Model S—an electric car that burns no oil products at all. The trip was meant to “open their minds,” said Total Chairman and Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanné. Total, like its…

France’s Total Approves First Project Since 2014 As Profits Surge

28 Apr 2017   France

French energy company Total gave the go-ahead on Thursday to develop its first major project since 2014 after reporting a sharp rise in quarterly profit that underscored its drive to cut costs throughout the oil price downturn. Total and its peers including Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil are cautiously refocusing on growth after years of slashing spending, which involved cutting thousands of jobs and scrapping major projects. Total, France’s largest company, kickstarted the sector’s first-quarter earnings reporting with an upbeat tone, as its adjusted net profit surged 56 percent to $2.6 billion compared with the same period of 2016. Analysts had forecast Total’s net adjusted profit at $2.4 billion in the quarter. Brent crude prices rose 58 percent during the period. “No question […]

France Plans Loans for Companies Wanting to Invest in Iran

7 Mar 2017   France, Iran

France is working on plans to issue direct loans to companies that want to invest in Iran, Finance Minister Michel Sapin said in a press conference in Tehran. “We are trying to help these companies,” Sapin told reporters at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs in Tehran at a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Tayebnia. “They wil be able to apply for loans, but it’s not active yet. We are working on this.” French companies were among the first to return to Iran after sanctions were eased last year under Tehran’s nuclear deal with six world powers, but officials have said financing issues have hobbled some big infrastructure projects. France’s largest banks have been reluctant to do business with the oil-rich country because of remaining U.S. sanctions, and Iran lacks access to major international lenders. Sapin said he was “confident” that banking relations between France […]

French, Spanish companies set for more wind power off coast of France

7 Mar 2017   France, Spain, Wind

French and Spanish energy companies said Monday they were setting their sights on building up the wind energy potential off the coast of France. French energy company ENGIE counts an installed wind power capacity of more than 1,700 megawatts in France and is now teaming up with its Spanish counterpart, EDPR, on plans to install as much as 750 MW of wind power offshore. According to ENGIE, offshore France is one of the most attractive parts of the world for offshore wind and the two companies have already pre-qualified for further developments. “Already a leader in on-shore wind, we hope to […]

Total in talks to buy Iranian LNG project: sources

28 Feb 2017   France, Iran

Total ( TOTF.PA ) is in talks to buy a multi-billion dollar stake in Iran’s partly-built liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility, Iran LNG, seeking to unlock vast gas reserves. The French oil major — the first of its peers to strike deals in Iran after sanctions — seeks entry into Iran LNG at a discount to the pre-sanctions price in exchange for reviving the stalled project, two sources with knowledge of the matter said. A third source confirmed Total was in the running for a stake, alongside several other oil majors, but any deal was still some way off. Total declined to comment. Iran’s National Gas Export Co. (NIGEC), a central stakeholder in the project, did not respond to requests for comment by email and phone. “Iran […]

France’s Total looks further downstream in effort to ease looming supply glut

15 Feb 2017   France

France’s Total is looking to invest in energy projects further downstream than their upstream and LNG production facilities, the company’s President of Gas Laurent Vivier said Tuesday. The strategy is a logical change given the current tough environment for final investment decisions for new greenfield LNG production projects, according to Vivier. What some industry observers are underestimating is the pace that new buyers can enter the market, as Total’s interests in two recently announced LNG import projects in the Ivory Coast and Pakistan would require a combined 9 million mt/year and will start receiving LNG in 2018, Vivier said. Both projects would allow for quick entrance into the market, utilizing FSRUs from Golar LNG and Hoegh LNG respectively, he said. “We are now ready to invest downstream in the value chain,” Vivier added. Last November, a consortium led by Total was awarded the rights to build and operate an […]

French government gets renewable energy endorsement

11 Feb 2017   France

A move by the French government to budget for more solar and hydropower projects on its grid was endorsed Friday by the European Commission. The French government said new solar initiatives would receive more than $9 billion in support over the next 20 years, while hydropower schemes are backed by a 20-year $530 million commitment. The European Commission said it endorsed an effort that would help France meet its 2020 goal of producing 23 percent of its energy needs from renewable resources. “These French initiatives will stimulate a greater use of renewable energy sources and provide legal certainty to the sector, while limiting the use of state support to the minimum,” Margrethe Vestager, a commissioner in charge of competition issues, said in a […]

Trump Oil Policies Are Bad for Planet, French Minister Says

25 Jan 2017   France, USA

U.S. President Donald Trump’s decisions to get two stalled pipeline projects moving again, to promote shale oil and gas and to remove references to climate change on the White House’s website are bad for the world, a leading French minister said. “These are very bad decisions for the future of the planet,” Environment and Energy Minister Segolene Royal said Wednesday on RMC radio. “I hope they aren’t definitive. If the production of fossil energies gain in the U.S., it will contribute to global warming.” Trump took steps to advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, while stopping short of green lighting either. He put a deadline on the government’s review of TransCanada Corp. ’s proposed Keystone XL to transport Alberta oil sands crude to U.S. refineries. The moves, taken on Trump’s fourth full day in office, are a major departure from Barack Obama’s administration, which […]

EU Approves French State Aid for Areva

11 Jan 2017   France

The European Union approved a restructuring plan for French nuclear group Areva SA on Tuesday, saying a planned €4.5 billion ($4.76 billion) capital injection was in line with the bloc’s state-aid rules. The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, said the planned state aid is subject to conditions, including a positive conclusion to tests being conducted by the French Nuclear Safety Agency, and approval of the divestment of…

Total nabs Brazilian pre-salt in Petrobras deal

23 Dec 2016   Brazil, France

French energy company Total said it was building up its prospects in South America in a partnership that gives it access to some of Brazil’s biggest oil fields. In a deal valued at $2.2 billion, the French supermajor gained access to two of Brazil’s largest oil fields in an acquisition of interests from state-supported Petroleo Brasileiro, known more commonly as Petrobras. Both sides already work together on assets in the U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico and in the giant Libra oil field off the coast of Brazil in the so-called Santos basin. Total gets a tighter hold over the prolific Santos basin, while Petrobas has the option to take on more interest in deepwater exploration off the coast of Mexico. “These agreements will reinforce Total’s position in Brazil through access to outstanding pre-salt resources,” Total Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanne said in […]

Total says happy to be first Western oil firm to do Iran deal: CNN Money

8 Nov 2016   France

The boss of French oil and gas company Total said on Monday that it would be happy to be the first Western oil company to reach an agreement with Iran, but he said a deal had not yet been signed. “Discussions are going on and we’ll see if we can sign in the coming days,” Patrick Pouyanne told CNN Money on the sidelines of an Abu Dhabi petroleum conference. Asked about the estimated $6 billion value of the potential deal, Pouyanne said: “…developing a phase of South Pars (gas field) is more in the range of $2 billion dollars than $6 billion.” Iran’s SHANA news agency said on Monday that Total and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) would sign new contracts on Tuesday with National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) on the second […]

Iran to Sign $6 Billion Gas-Field Deal With Total, CNPC

8 Nov 2016   France, Iran

South Pars Gas field in Asalouyeh Seaport, north of Persian Gulf, Iran. November, 2015. Credit:… Iran plans to sign a preliminary $6 billion deal with Total SA on Tuesday to help develop an offshore gas field, potentially the first Western energy investment there since international sanctions were lifted this year, an oil-ministry official in Tehran said. The agreement with the French oil giant could be a harbinger for the return of more Western companies to Iran’s vast petroleum industry and represents a step forward for the Islamic Republic’s goals of ramping up production of oil and gas over the next several years. European oil companies have been slow to return to Iran since the Persian Gulf country secured an end to sanctions on its energy industry by agreeing to curbs on its national nuclear program in January. American sanctions related to terrorism and weapons remain in effect on Iran. […]

Total and CNPC set to sign Iranian gas deal

8 Nov 2016   France, Iran

France’s Total and China National Petroleum Corp are set to sign the first major agreement with Iran for the development of its gasfields since the loosening of international sanctions in January.  Iran’s oil ministry said on Monday it expected to finalise the preliminary deal, involving development of a new phase of the giant South Pars gasfield, on Tuesday. This would represent a breakthrough in Tehran’s efforts to attract renewed investment in its outdated energy infrastructure and unlock some of the world’s biggest oil and gas reserves.

For Total, the deal would open the way for its return to Iran six years after the French oil major exited the country amid international tensions over Tehran’s efforts to make a nuclear bomb. It would also highlight Total’s hunt for new sources of growth in spite of persistent weakness in the oil market.  Total declined to comment on the expected agreement with Tehran but, in an interview with the Financial Times, Patrick Pouyanné, chief executive, highlighted Iran among the places he was interested in investing.  He said new oil and gas projects were urgently needed to stave off supply shortages after the sharp downturn in industry capital expenditure since oil prices started falling in mid-2014.

Airbus Cuts Almost 600 Helicopter Jobs as Crash, Oil Clip Demand

27 Oct 2016   France

A technician works on a helicopter component in the fabrication and assembly room of the Airbus Helicopters Canada facility in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada. Earnings from ‘chopper’ arm fell 17% in first nine months Airbus Group SE announced the first of what may prove to be thousands of job cuts across its business, saying it will eliminate almost 582 posts at its helicopter arm following a slump in demand from the oil and gas industry and a fatal crash that grounded one of its most popular models. The cuts will come at the main Airbus Helicopters base in Marignane, near Marseille, which has an 8,944-strong workforce, and La Courneuve, on the outskirts of Paris, which employs 750 people, and amount to about 6 percent of the unit’s French payroll. The division has about 23,000 staff worldwide. The loss of an H225 Super Puma in the North Sea on April […]

France’s Total Takes Control of Barnett Shale in Texas

10 Sep 2016   France, Shale Gas

A rare Barnett Shale drilling rig, pictured last year. French oil major is now the… Total said on Friday it is exercising its preemption right to acquire the 75% share in the Barnett Shale which it doesn’t already own to become the sole owner and operator of the field. Total said its Total E&P USA unit will top up Chesapeake’s payment with $420 million to Williams for “a fully restructured, competitive gas-gathering agreement” in addition to paying $138 million to be released from three other contracts. “With the new conditions created by the exit of Chesapeake and the associated restructuring of the midstream contracts, we believe that we can extract significant value from the substantial, well-located resource base of the play,” Total E&P USA President José Ignacio Sanz said in a statement. The Barnett Shale was once a big-producing gas field near Fort Worth in North Texas, but in […]

Total, Qatar form joint venture for offshore oil

29 Jun 2016   France, Qatar

French energy company Total said Tuesday it would send its best talent to Qatar to help advance production at an offshore oil field through a new joint venture. Total signed an agreement with Qatar Petroleum to take on a 30 percent stake in a concession covering the offshore al-Shaheen field. Qatar Petroleum maintains operatorship and a 70 percent stake in a field producing about 300,000 barrels of oil per day. “This is an important recognition of Total’s technical and commercial competence, and the Group will deploy its best technical expertise and experienced teams to this field,” Total Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanne said in a statement. The state-owned Qatari company last […]

French Oil Refining Strike Fills Europe Trading Hub With Crude

28 Jun 2016   France

French Oil Refining Strike Fills Europe Trading Hub With Crude No empty tanks left in Rotterdam as oil diverted from France Swelling stockpiles add to signs of short-term supply surplus Europe’s oil-trading hub is fast filling up with what may be record amounts of crude and strikes in nearby France are to blame. Crude inventories in an area known by oil traders as ARA — Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp — jumped by more than 3.5 million barrels to 65.635 million barrels in the week ended June 17, according to data from Genscape Inc. That’s the most since the company began monitoring in 2013 and the supplies occupied 73 percent of available space. Stockpiles of oil in all of the Netherlands and Belgium haven’t exceeded 65 million barrels for at least 11 years, International Energy Agency data compiled by Bloomberg show. While there’s growing consensus among oil traders and analysts […]

North Sea crude oil to remain pressured as French strikes continue

North Sea spot differentials for Brent blend, Forties and Ekofisk — together with Brent CFDs — are expected to continue their recent slide as French strikes that have brought several French refineries to a standstill continued into their third week. Despite signs that more French refining capacity would be operational this week, spot differentials for BFOE grades would likely fall further as large North Sea crude buyer Total remained out of the market, traders said. “There’s still a long way [down] to go [for spot differentials] for Brent, Forties and Ekofisk,” a trader said. Brent Blend, Forties and Ekofisk spot differentials slid 2 cents/b, 0.5 cents/b and 5 cents/b respectively Monday on the back of offers from BP and Vitol. “The French strike is not helping the overall picture, light sweet [crude] is under pressure,” a second trader said. The restart Sunday of operations at the 274,000 b/d Grandpuits […]

Floods, Protests Risk Denting French Economic Recovery

7 Jun 2016   France

Persisting social unrest and torrential rains risk damping France’s economic recovery. At a time President Francois Hollande is struggling to maintain economic momentum, the costs of floods and strikes hitting refineries, railways, ports and air traffic may compound an expected second-quarter slowdown just when the recovery was starting to feed through into the labor market. Insurance executives met with government officials in Paris Monday to assess the cost of flooding as the Seine river receded from its highest levels in more than three decades. Meanwhile, railway operator SNCF said strikes and protests against the government’s labor reform plan are costing it 15 million to 20 million euros a day. “Social unrest and the floods won’t play well with the French recovery story,” said Claus Vistesen, chief euro-zone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics Ltd, based at Newcastle, in a telephone interview. “The second quarter is already […]

French refineries, ports continue to face disruptions, strike spreads

2 Jun 2016   France

French refineries and ports continued to face disruptions Wednesday as the strike called by the CGT union against changes in labor legislation entered its second week and is also spreading into other sectors, including the railways, metro and air traffic control. Of France’s eight refineries, four remain at a complete standstill, including Total’s refineries at Donges, Feyzin, Gonfreville and Grandpuits. Total’s La Mede, however, is now running at 80% of capacity and has resumed pipeline deliveries of products. But the labor union on the site does not rule out a complete halt of production and has demanded that the refinery does not supply products to the French market, according to media reports. ExxonMobil’s Gravenchon Port Jerome and Fos-sur-Mer are operating normally and loading products, the company said. Runs at Petroineos’ Lavera refinery have been reduced due to maintenance, but also as a result of the strike, according to sources. […]

French labour dispute: Energy supplies hit by strike action

26 May 2016   France

Strikes and blockades have already disrupted most of France’s oil refineries France is braced for further disruption to its energy supplies as workers at oil refineries, nuclear power stations, ports and transport go on strike. But in a sign of the growing pressure on the government, PM Manuel Valls said the labour reforms at the heart of the dispute could be “modified”. Motorists have been panic buying fuel, some petrol stations struggled to get supplies. France is due to host the Euro 2016 championships in two weeks time. Union disruption was expected to take place at: Sixteen of France’s 19 nuclear power stations Six of France’s eight oil refineries, already hit by strikes and barricades The ports of Marseille and Le Havre among others Orly airport in Paris has cut flights by 15% and a rolling strike by train drivers is expected to further disrupt regional and […]

French Oil Refinery Strikes Spread as Fuel Shortages Worsen

25 May 2016   France

A French labor dispute that already caused fuel shortages and clashes between police and protesters worsened Tuesday as every one of the nation’s oil refineries experienced disruptions or outright shutdowns. Oil companies mobilized hundreds of trucks to ship diesel and gasoline around the country as filling stations ran dry after refineries were halted by striking workers. Police in riot gear pushed back workers blocking access to a facility in southern France, while the nation’s largest oil company urged people not to succumb to panic buying of fuel. Workers are protesting against President Francois Hollande’s plans to change labor laws to reduce overtime pay and make it easier to fire staff in some cases. While the government has watered down its proposals since first floating them in February, unions are calling for them to be scrapped altogether. The new law will not be withdrawn and the strikers will be met […]

Refinery Crisis Has French Oil Major Rethinking Investment Strategy

25 May 2016   France

Total refining French Total SA (NYSE: TOT) says it would reconsider its investment plans in France, according to CEO Patrick Pouyanne. Patrick Pouyanne, speaking outside the annual shareholders meeting in France, said it would “seriously reconsider” its French investments in the wake of the union-led labor protests that have forced Total to shut down several refineries. This, after Pouyanne’s May 18 statement that it was interested in French shale production. “I am ready to finance exploration because I think the debate has started on uncertain grounds. If I’m allowed to do so, it would be either to recognize a lack of potential so we can stop fighting for nothing; or on the contrary, if we find the right amount of resources the country will decide what to do with it,” Pouyanne said during a hearing of the economic commission of the French. Related: Key Pipeline Could Unleash Alberta’s Oil […]

French labour dispute: Strike hits all eight oil refineries

24 May 2016   France

Image caption Police removed a blockade outside the Fos-sur-Mer refinery in Marseille early on Tuesday A strike over new labour laws has spread to all of France’s eight oil refineries, the CGT union says, in an escalating dispute with the government. An estimated 20% of petrol stations have either run dry or are low on supplies. Clashes broke out at one refinery early on Tuesday when police broke up a picket at Fos-sur-Mer in Marseille. Prime Minister Manuel Valls insisted the labour laws would stand, and that further pickets would be broken up. “That’s enough. It’s unbearable to see this sort of thing,” he told French radio. “The CGT will come up against an extremely firm response from the government. We’ll carry on clearing sites blocked by this organisation.” The union is aiming to cut output by half at the refineries and wants strikes to take place on train […]

France Discusses Ban Of Imported U.S. Shale Gas

11 May 2016   France, Shale Gas

LNG Imports After French media accuses government of hypocrisy, French Energy Minister Segolene Royal is discussing with French parliament a potential ban on the import of U.S. shale gas. The issue arose out of concerns expressed by some members of French parliament that American LNG exports to Europe have contained natural gas that is 40 percent shale gas—which environmentalists and some lawmakers argue contradicts France’s own ban on shale gas exploitation using hydraulic fracturing. Two French companies, Electricite de France (EDF) and gas utility Engie, have previously signed contracts to buy U.S. LNG from, while the French state has a large interest in both, and a 75-percent ownership stake in EDF. Related: Petrobras Offloads $1.4B In Assets Amidst Political Turmoil France’s Socialist government has been under pressure from environmentalists not only to ensure that fracking never takes place on French territory, but also to ensure that no fracked gas […]

Gazprom weighing its European options

31 Mar 2016   France, Russia

Paris hosted a delegation of Russian energy officials to review French natural gas needs and prospects for pipeline development, Gazprom said. Gazprom Chairman Alexei Miller led the delegation to meet with French Economic Minister Emmanuel Macron and top administration officials to review cooperation in the natural gas sector. Miller in a statement said “since the beginning of the year Russian gas exports to France have grown by almost 2.8 million cubic feet, which is more than one and a half times higher compared to the previous year.” Gazprom has in the past worked closely with French energy company ENGIE, formerly known as GDF Suez . Both companies are partners in the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline running through the Baltic Sea to European shores. […]

Total, Eni Bet On New Finds As Rivals Cut Costs In Oil Downturn

8 Mar 2016   France, Italy

As oil firms slash billions of dollars of investment to survive the market crash, France’s Total and Italy’s Eni are making some of the smallest cuts, gambling in the hope of big-ticket discoveries that will reward them when prices recover. Both approaches carry risks. Intensive exploration programmes mean higher costs and lower profits in the short term, with no guarantee of finding new fields. But firms that scale back too far may damage future growth prospects, forcing them to splash out on acquisitions. Wood Mackenzie analysts expect this year’s exploration spending to fall to just half of a peak of $95 billion reached in 2014. Against that background, Total’s 21 percent cut is among the smallest. The French company, which pursued a “high risk-high reward” strategy under late chief executive Christophe de Margerie, will still spend $1.5 billion on exploration this year, including off Myanmar, Argentina and Nigeria. “Our […]

Total Trims Loss, To Further Cut Capital Spending

12 Feb 2016   France

French oil giant Total SA reported a $1.63 billion fourth-quarter loss on Thursday and said it would cut billions more in spending, rocked by low oil prices that forced it to devalue projects. Total joined other big international peers like BP PLC and Chevron Corp. in turning in fourth-quarter losses. Exxon Mobil Corp. said its net income for the quarter was the lowest in more than a decade, as oil prices fell 70% in 20 months.

Total signs agreement with Iran

30 Jan 2016   France, Iran

French energy company Total said it signed a framework agreement to purchase crude oil from Iran during the Iranian president’s trade visit to Paris. Total Chairman Patrick Pouyanne met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani , whose trade mission to Europe marks the first for an Iranian president in more than a decade. “The meeting was followed by the signature of a memorandum of understanding between Total and the National Iranian Oil Company as well as framework agreement for the purchase of crude oil, in particular for French and European refineries,” the French company said in a statement. “Following the MOU, NIOC will provide the technical […]

France bows to Obama and backs down on climate ‘treaty’

28 Nov 2015   Climate, France

France has offered a key concession to the US on the eve of historic climate talks in Paris, saying a new global climate accord will not be called a “treaty” and might not contain legally binding emissions reduction targets.  In a significant climbdown, Laurent Fabius, French foreign minister, said signatories to the planned deal would still be legally required to meet many of its terms but most likely not the carbon-cutting goals underpinning the agreement.  “The accord needs to be legally binding. It’s not just literature,” Mr Fabius told the Financial Times. “But it will probably have a dual nature. Some of the clauses will be legally binding.”  Mr Fabius, who is to chair the UN climate conference, added: “Another question is whether the Paris accord as a whole will be called a treaty. If that’s the case, then it poses a big problem for President Barack Obama because a treaty has to pass through Congress.”

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France secures more LNG from United States

29 Oct 2015   France

French energy company ENGIE, formerly GDF Suez , said it signed a deal to secure liquefied natural gas from proposed export facilities in the United States. “ENGIE is committed to guarantee the supply of its European customers with clean and reliable energy,” Pierre Chareyre, the company’s executive vice president in charge of LNG, said in a statement. “Importing U.S. LNG will participate to strengthen the security of supply of Europe.” ENGIE said it signed a five-year sales and purchase agreement with Cheniere Marketing International to secure LNG from the planned Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi export terminals in the United States . A special permit is needed to send natural gas to companies without a U.S. free […]

French day-ahead power prices up on lower nuclear output, higher demand

29 Oct 2015   France

French day-ahead power prices climbed Wednesday as nuclear generation fell and domestic demand was forecast to rise during peak times Thursday, sources said. Baseload power for Thursday delivery was last heard before midday local time at Eur50/MWh, up Eur2.75 from Tuesday’s close of Wednesday baseload. Thursday peakload gained Eur2.50 day on day at Eur57.50/MWh. Epex Spot settled the auction for day-ahead baseload above the OTC at Eur50.71/MWh and for peakload power at Eur58.87/MWh. Article continues below… European Power Daily’s uniquely comprehensive package of news and pricing information, provides you with daily updates on new policies, projects, power deals, acquisitions, solicitations, alliances, regulatory decisions and evolving trading markets in Europe. It also produces market assessments from the UK, Germany, Switzerland, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and the Czech Republic. Temperatures Wednesday were forecast 2 degrees Celsius above the seasonal high/low of 14/7 C and seen steady Thursday, according to CustomWeather. […]

Total CEO sees very strong global oil demand in 2015

7 Oct 2015   France

Total Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said he saw global oil demand growing by a very strong 1.7 million barrels per day (bpd) or even more this year. “World oil demand is expected to grow 1.7 million bpd in 2015. My traders told me more than that,” he told the Oil & Money conference in London on Wednesday. (Writing by Dmitry Zhdannikov, editing by Louise Heavens)