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Type Public Limited Company
Traded as Euronext:FP NYSE:TOT
Founded 1924
Headquarters Courbevoie, France
Key people Christophe De Margerie (CEO), Thierry Desmarest (Chairman)
Revenue €166.55 billion (approx. US $220.51 billion), 2011.[1]
Net Income €12.28 billion (approx. US $16.26 billion), 2011.[2]
% change on previous year +16.1%[3]
Total assets €164.05 billion (approx. US $217.24 billion), end 2011.[4]
Employees 96,104 (end 2011)[5]

Global Snapshot

In 2012 Total was the world's 13th largest oil company by production, with an average of 2.7 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) produced per day.[6] It had operations in more than 130 countries.[7]

The company has been through several name changes through its history. It was founded as the Compagnie Francaise des Pétroles in 1924 and in 1927 it made its first discovery at the Baba Gurgur oil field in northern Iraq. The company renamed itself Total CFP in 1985 and later in 1991 the name was changed to Total. At this time the French government owned over 30 percent of the company's stock, but reduced this to less than 1 percent by 1996. When Total took over Belgian Petrofina in 1999 it became known as Total Fina and after merging Elf Aquitane in 2000 it was temporarily named TotalFinaElf.[8]

At the end of 2011 the company had proven reserves of 11.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe).[9]

Company Report Highlights

Total’s Registration Document 2010[10] reveals that adjusted net income for 2010 was €10.3 billion, up 32% compared to 2009. This was claimed to reflect the 2010 oil market environment, which was marked by a 29% increase in average Brent price to $79.5/barrel. Production in the upstream segment grew more than 4% compared to 2009 and Total has continued to add to its acreage with new exploration focused on pre-salt projects and unconventional gas.

Official Accreditations and Global Perceptions

EITI Supporter Status

Total joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) on its creation in 2002, was elected to the EITI Board as an alternate member in September 2007 and later elected a permanent member in February 2009 in recognition of their commitment to the initiative. Their representative on the 20-member Board in 2011 was Jean-François Lassalle. As part of their commitment, Total publish detailed reports on a number of host countries, accounting for 59% of production in 2010.[11]

UN Global Compact

As of December 2011, Total was a member of the UN Global Compact, having joined in 2002.

CSR Review

Total's 2010 Society and Environment Report,[12] In Other Words, which aimed to continue the dialogue with stakeholders initiated in the previous issue, outlined the three action plans the company had set itself to meet the challenge of partnering civil society and achieving environmental sustainability:

1. Meeting energy needs while responding to Climate Change and Natural Resource Challenges (minimizing energy use; 15% target by 2015 for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; Total Ecosolutions program; providing affordable, sustainable energy for low-income communities.

2. Reducing Impact of Operations on People and the Environment (in accordance with their Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Charter; assessing environmental and health risks in advance; protecting biodiversity)

3. Helping to Spur Local Social and Economic Development: Transparency of financial contributions in compliance with local legislation; education and training; socioeconomic programs.

External Coverage

  • In 2010, Total was placed under formal investigation after an eight year investigation into bribery charges related to oil deliveries from Iraq under Saddam Hussein’s rule. The case was based on claims that politicians received vouchers for oil in exchange for lobbying for sanctions to be loosened on Hussein’s regime, and that employees of Total purchased the oil. Three years after CEO Christophe de Margerie was placed under investigation, the prosecutor’s office recommended dismissing the case against employees. This included De Margerie, who occupied the post of Head of Middle East Operations in the 1990s, the period during which the Oil For Food program was set up. This program allowed Iraq to sell a certain amount of crude oil under the understanding that they use the proceeds for humanitarian goods.[13]
  • As of 2010 Total was the biggest Western firm with operations in Burma, running the Yadana offshore gas field alongside Chevron. The company has faced lawsuits accusing it of condoning human rights abuses in the country.[14]

Global Operations by Country


Main article: Total Operations in Azerbaijan


Main article: Total Operations in Iraq


Main article: Total Operations in Libya


Main article: Total Operations in Syria


Main article: Total Operations in Uganda


  1. Form 20F 2011”. Total.
  2. Form 20F 2011”. Total.
  3. Form 20F 2011”. Total.
  4. Form 20F 2011”. Total.
  5. Group Presentation”. Total, retrieved 19 December 2012.
  6. The World's 25 Biggest Oil Companies”. Forbes, retrieved 19 December 2012.
  7. Group Presentation”. Total, retrieved 19 December 2012.
  8. An illustrated history of Total”. Total, retrieved 19 December 2012.
  9. Group Presentation”. Total, retrieved 19 December 2012.
  10. Registration Document 2010”. Total, retrieved 04 October 2011.
  11. The Extractive Industries Transparency Inititative”. Total, retrieved 06 October 2011.
  12. In Other Words: Ten Questions You Asked Us”. Total, retrieved 06 October 2011.
  13. Total under investigation over Iraq oil-for-food”. Bloomberg Business Week, 06 April 2010.
  14. Turning a profit in Burma”. Bloomberg Business Week, 1 November 2010.