What would you say have been Total’s recent key Upstream highlights?

Total reported excellent full-year 2018 results, with the highest production growth and the best profitability among Majors. They reflected our continued discipline on costs and investments, as well as a record level of 2.8 Million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d).

In the Upstream, I would like to mention the acquisition of Maersk Oil last year which consolidated our position in the North Sea in particular on growing low breakeven assets and of the LNG business of Engie after which we consolidated our position as the 2nd largest publicly-traded LNG player.

But a lot of things happened in Africa too! Over the past years, our E&P division has greatly benefited from the start-ups of major African deep offshore projects like Egina in Nigeria, Kaombo in Angola or Moho Nord in the Republic of the Congo. I could also mention Brulpadda, our significant gas discovery offshore South Africa, which opened a new petroleum province on the continent.

Last but not least, we announced in May the acquisition of Anadarko’s African assets in Algeria, Ghana, Mozambique and South Africa, the biggest deal of the company in nearly 20 years!

What can we expect to see from Total over the next 12-24 months?

In 2019, we expect more than 9% in production growth, thanks to the ramp-ups of large projects like Kaombo or Egina plus some start-ups in Brazil, UK and Norway.

But we can also expect a volatile Oil & Gas environment! This is why we will maintain financial discipline and pressure on cost reduction to further reduce our breakeven so as to remain profitable whatever the oil price and be able to invest in the company for the future.

Finally, determined to take advantage of the favorable cost environment, we also plan to launch major projects this year.

Why should attendees coming to the Assembly be excited about E&P in Africa?

Because Total is the n°1 integrated energy major in Africa! In 2018, the African continent represented 1/3 of our investments, 1/4 of our production, and 10,000 employees in 43 countries. As far as E&P in Africa is concerned, we have major projects on stream, others to be launched soon and promising exploration acreage for  example in Angola, Mauritania or Senegal.

But there is more! If completed, the acquisition of Anadarko by Occidental offers Total the opportunity to acquire a world class portfolio of assets in Africa, further enhancing our position as the leading IOC on the continent. We have said consistently that we should play to our strengths to grow our Oil & Gas business. Africa, deep offshore and liquefied natural gas are some of Total’s main areas of expertise.

With Anadarko’s African assets, we will leverage our expertise in LNG by operating a major LNG project in Mozambique and in Deepwater in Ghana. We would also become operator of major Algerian oil assets where we are already a partner. Overall, these assets represent over 3 billion boe of resources…and these are growth assets that are expected to increase their output from 100,000 boe/d in 2020 to 160,000 boe/d in 2025.

Finally, even if it’s not E&P, it’s worth mentioning that Total is by far the leader in terms of Marketing in Africa with a 20% market share. We have 2 million clients visiting our 4,600 service stations every day! May I also remind that Total and the Confederation of African Football signed a multi-year sponsorship deal in 2016, making Total THE partner of African football and the title sponsor of the prestigious Africa Cup of Nations tournament!

What would you say have been your top 3 career highlights so far?

I don't really think in terms of highlights when it comes to my career. However, I do remember the moment I became CEO of Total after the tragic death of my predecessor. At that time, I started to think about the responsibility I had just taken on. Rather than asking myself if I was ready to step up, I immediately thought about the crisis our company and everyone who worked there found themselves in. The only question I asked myself was: “How can I do my best to shoulder this responsibility?”

I then learnt that to be a good leader, it's not enough to believe in yourself, you also have to believe in the future and your values. And you have to be willing to go to the mat for them. I had the good fortune to be raised with good values like honesty, hard work, common sense, the pursuit of excellence and the greater good.

During my first months as CEO I thought: “Where do you want to take the company?” After a tremendous amount of work of all our employees, we collectively set a 20-year vision and committed to our common values: “safety, respect for each other, pioneer spirit, stand together and performance-minded”. With that in mind, we set ourselves the goal of becoming the “responsible energy major”. And I believe we are on track!

Why Attend The Africa Assembly?

The Oil & Gas Council’s Africa Assembly is recognised as the region’s most influential corporate development, strategy, finance and investment gathering. We bring together the African energy industry community with the financiers and investors backing innovative projects across the continent.

The Assembly will offer you valuable and efficient networking to:

  • Sharpen your business strategy
  • Solidify your competitive position in the African industry
  • Grow your regional senior network