Oil & Gas

Total on track to start Bulgaria offshore drill in early 2016

French oil firm Total said on Monday it was on track to start drilling for oil and gas at an exploration site off Bulgaria's Black Sea coast early next year. Total, an operator of the offshore Han Asparuh 1-21 block along with OMV and Spain's Repsol, had postponed drilling there due to the fall in oil prices.

Health, Safety & Environment

Total fined £1.4million after worker killed in oil refinery explosion

Energy giant Total has been fined £1.4million after a worker was killed in an oil refinery explosion. Contractor Robert Greenacre, 24, was working under a distillation column containing hot crude oil, which was released and caught alight at the huge plant in North Killingholme, North Lincolnshire five years ago. A colleague was able to escape with minor burns but Mr Greenacre died at the scene.

Oil & Gas

Total to consult over three on, three off

Total is set to consult with staff over a potential move to an equal time rota. The decision to communicate with staff regarding a change to a three on, three off shift pattern comes after oil giant Shell confirmed it would be making the move earlier this week. Companies have been considering whether to adopt the shift pattern as they look to make cost savings following the decline in oil price.

Oil & Gas

BP joins Total in writing off oil assets amid Libya conflict

Libya has become a major headache for European oil companies as a four-year conflict forced BP Plc to join Total SA in writing off millions of dollars in investments in the North African country. BP on Tuesday said it had taken an impairment of almost $600 million in the second quarter as fighting forced it to suspend an oil exploration campaign. The unexpected charge was the main reason BP’s earnings fell short of analysts’ estimates. “It’s just hard for us to get something done there right now,” Chief executive officer Bob Dudley told reporters in London. BP is aware that other oil companies have written off their Libyan assets, while “some of them haven’t,” he said.

Oil & Gas

Total starts up production from Angolan block

Total has started production from a new development on its deep offshore operated Block 17 off the coast of Angola. Dalia Phase 1A is expected to develop additional reserves of 51Mb (million barrels) and will help contribute 30,000 barrels per day to the block’s production. Arnaud Breuillac, president of exploration and production, said: “The Dalia FPSO came on stream nearly nine years ago and with the addition of Phase 1A will still produce around 200,000 b/d. It is the latest milestone in the success story of Block 17, Total’s most prolific license with cumulative production reaching two billion barrels in May 2015.

Oil & Gas

Total oil strike fizzles as jobs worry dampens militancy

A labor union that orchestrated a complete shutdown of France’s refineries in 2010 failed to gain support for a nationwide strike at oil plants this week in a sign its influence is waning. The Confederation Generale du Travail had called for a walkout at refineries, oil depots and import terminals to protest against a plan by Total SA to halt crude processing at La Mede plant in southern France. There was no labor action Thursday at refineries other than La Mede, where a three-week strike has idled operations, Total said. “The CGT is losing ground in its traditional bastions of power like energy and chemicals,” Bernard Vivier, director of Paris-based researcher the Higher Institute of Labor, said in an interview. “France’s social climate isn’t one of revolt these days but rather of resignation.”

Oil & Gas

Total workers call for wider French strike after refinery halted

A labor union representing Total SA workers has called for a France-wide strike July 2 at refineries, oil depots and crude import terminals to protest a plan to stop processing the fuel at the La Mede plant in southern France. The La Mede refinery near Marseille has been idled since June 11 due to a strike by about 15 workers led by the CGT union, which called for the additional disruptions Thursday, according to a spokesman for Total. Talks with all unions on the plan for the site continue, he said.

Oil & Gas

Total union calls national strike against La Mede refinery halt

France's CGT union on Monday called on workers at all oil refineries, depots and port loading terminals to strike on July 2 to protest against Total's plans to end refining at its La Mede plant on the south coast. In a statement, the CGT also called for Total's service stations to be blocked every Thursday this summer until the oil company withdraws its proposals for La Mede.


Total sells its interest in the Schwedt refinery to Rosneft

France's Total has signed an agreement to sell its 16.67% stake in the Schwedt refinery in north-east Germany to Russian oil and gas giant Rosneft, which already holds indirectly an 18.75% interest in the facility. The deal is valued at $300million (£190million) excluding working capital and remains subject to customary approvals.

Oil & Gas

Total restarts La Mede refinery after strike

French oil major Total said on Monday it had begun procedures to restart its La Mede refinery near Marseille, which management had decided to halt after the CGT union called a strike against plans to stop crude processing.

Oil & Gas

Total begins production on Termokarstovoye field

Oil and gas giant Total has confirmed the start of gas and condensate production from the onshore Termokarstovoye field in Russia. The exploration firm said the field will produce around 233 million cubic feet of gas and 20,000 barrels of condensate per day alongside a combined production capacity of 65,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.


Total’s profit beats estimates on refining gains, output growth

Total SA’s first-quarter profit exceeded analysts’ estimates as refining gains and the fastest rate of production growth in more than a decade helped soften the blow of a 50 percent drop in oil prices. Net income excluding changes in inventories was $2.6 billion, beating the $2.17 billion average of nine estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Adjusted net operating income from its refining and chemicals unit, which benefits from lower oil prices, more than tripled to $1.1 billion, the Courbevoie, France-based company said in a statement on Tuesday. Europe’s third-biggest oil company is “demonstrating its resilience and profiting from its integrated model,” Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne said in the statement. Total plans to reduce spending, cut jobs and curtail exploration this year after the price of Brent crude, the benchmark for more than half the world’s oil, dropped amid a global supply glut. The average price Total sold its oil for during the first quarter fell 50 percent to $53.90 a barrel from $108.20 a year earlier.

Oil & Gas

Total sees deep offshore, LNG acquisition potential as oil falls

Total SA said it may take advantage of the slump in crude to make acquisitions that build on the strengths of Europe’s third-biggest oil company in deepwater offshore fields and liquefied natural gas. “When we are in a low price environment, it’s natural and not surprising that big oil companies are opportunistic,” Yves-Louis Darricarrere, president of upstream at Total, said at the CIS O&G conference in Paris on Wednesday. “We are second to none on deep offshore and LNG and we have a clear strategy to keep and reinforce these strong points.” Total’s appetite for acquiring reserves was illustrated this year by its renewal of an oil concession in Abu Dhabi, said Darricarrere, who declined to say whether the French oil company is considering any deals. Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s $70 billion move for BG Group Plc this month could trigger a wave of industry transactions after crude prices fell by half, analysts including Jean-Luc Romain of CM-CIC Securities have said.

Middle East

Second European firm pulls out of Yemen as violence continues

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, have announced a suspension of production in Yemen as violence continues to rock the Middle Eastern country. The news comes just a day after French giant Total evacuated all expatriate staff from Saana and Kharir in the country. The oil major said its operations on Yemen’s Block 10 have also been reduced , with gas production maintained only for local power generation and supply to nearby communities.


Total in Ugandan tax dispute

Total is seeking international arbitration regarding a tax disagreement with Uganda. The debate could delay oil production in the east African country further. In 2006 the country struck hydrocarbon deposits along its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. The country’s crude reserves are estimated to be around 6.5billion barrels by government geologists.

Oil & Gas

WGPSN wins major Total contract

French oil major Total has awarded Wood Group PSN (WGPSN) a major multi-million dollar contract for a number of its UK assets. The move will see the company deliver engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning services to four offshore assets and two onshore facilities. Dave Stewart, UK managing director of WGPSN said: "Our knowledge and in-depth understanding of this key client's needs, and our strong commitment to working safely, collaboratively, innovatively and efficiently to maximise productivity of these assets, helped us to secure this contract. We look forward to continuing our long-standing partnership with Total in the UKCS."