Subscribe to FDD

Total SA

France

 

 

 

 

Total has a subsidiary in Tehran called BEH Total Company, which sells a variety of oil products in Iran, according to its website (Total in Iran Website, accessed July 26, 2010).

According to the Financial Times, Total claimed in April 2010 that it would stop selling petroleum to Iran if the United States enacted sanctions, and traders confirmed that the company stopped supplying Iran in May (Financial Times, June 28, 2010).

In May 2013, Total agreed to pay $398.2 million to settle U.S. criminal and civil allegations that it paid bribes to win oil and gas contracts in Iran, according to Reuters (Reuters, May 30, 2013).

Date: July 1995 – 2001

Deal: According to APS Review Oil Market Trends, in July 1995, Total struck a deal with Iran to develop fields A and E of the Sirri oil field in a $600 million buyback deal. Total signed the deal despite pressure from the U.S. government. In 1996, Petronas subsidiary Petronas Carigali reportedly joined the project, taking a 30 percent stake through a $180 million investment (APS Review Oil Market Trends, November 30, 1998).

According to a company presentation, Total handed the project over to the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) before June 2001 (Total SA Website, June 21, 2001).

Date: 1997 – 2004

Deal: According to Reuters, Iran awarded Total a contract to develop phases 2 and 3 of the South Pars oil field in 1997 (Reuters, April 3, 2007). According to APS Review Oil Market Trends, the buyback contract was worth $2 billion (APS Review Oil Market Trends, November 30, 1998).

As operator, Total held a 40 percent stake in the project, while Malaysia's Petronas and Russia's Gazprom had 30 percent each, according to Total's website (Total SA Website, September 11, 2004).

According to Total's 2004 Annual Report, the development of phases 2 and 3 of South Pars was completed, and NIOC had assumed operation of the facilities (Total SA 2004 Annual Report).

However, Total's 2009 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission states that the company still has not received all of the payments for its work (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Form 20F: Total S.A., Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2009).

Date: March 1999 – Ongoing

Deal: According to Total's website, Elf Petroleum Iran, a subsidiary of Elf Aquitaine of France, and Italy's Agip Dorood BV, a subsidiary of ENI, signed a buyback contract with NIOC in March 1999 to develop the Doroud oil field, off the coast of Kharg Island. Elf Petroleum is the operator of the project, with a 55 percent stake, while Agip has a 45 percent stake. The project aimed to increase reserves from the Doroud field from 600 million barrels a day to 1.5 billion barrels at a cost of $998 million. The investors will be repaid with crude oil over 10 years (Total SA Website, March 1, 1999).

Total merged with Elf Aquitaine in 1999 (http://www.total.com/en/press/press-releases/consultation-200524.html&idActu=82">Total SA Website, October 26, 1999).

Total's 2004 Annual Report noted that the project was nearing completion and the company was preparing for the "start-up of the onshore facilities" (Total SA 2004 Annual Report).

According to Iran's Fars News Agency, in April 2009, Total SA signed a €32 million deal with Iran to provide "technical support [and operational services] in developing Kharg's Doroud oil field," which was producing 120,000 barrels of crude oil per day (Fars News Agency (Iran), April 30, 2009).

Total's 2009 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission states that the company still has not received all of the payments for its work (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Form 20F: Total S.A., Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2009).

Date: April 1999 – Ongoing

Deal: According to Total's website, in April 1999, a consortium consisting of Canada's Bow Valley and Elf Petroleum Iran signed a buyback contract with NIOC to develop the Balal oil field in Iran. Elf Petroleum Iran was named the operator of the $300 million project, holding an 85 percent stake (Total SA Website, April 4, 1999).

According to its company website, the Italian firm ENI joined the consortium in February 2001, with a 38.25 percent stake, making Total's stake 46.75 percent and Bow Valley's 15 percent, respectively. Under the buyback contract, ENI is entitled to 9,000 barrels of oil per day (ENI Press Release, February 6, 2001).

According to Total's 2004 Annual Report, development of the Balal field was completed and NIOC assumed operation of the facilities in 2004 (Total SA 2004 Annual Report).

Total still receives crude oil from Iran as payment for its work on the Balal field and other projects in Iran, according to Businessweek (Businessweek, April 6, 2010).

Total's 2009 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission states that the company still has not received all of the payments for its work (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Form 20F: Total S.A., Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2009).

Date: February 2004 – Unclear
Deal: According to Total's 2004 Annual Report, Total entered a joint venture with NIOC and Petronas to create Pars LNG. The joint venture aimed to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) from gas from phase 11 of the South Pars gas field. NIOC owns 50 percent of the joint venture, while Total and Petronas own 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively (Total SA 2004 Annual Report).

In October 2009, the Dow Jones Newswire reported that Total and Iran had failed to reach an agreement on the project due to the company's concern over the possibility of U.S. sanctions (Dow Jones Newswire, October 12, 2009).

A few months later, in December 2009, Dow Jones reported that NIOC had cut Total out of the project (Dow Jones Newswire, December 5, 2009).

U.S. Business Ties: Total has 18 subsidiaries in the United States, operating in 29 states, with a total of 7,500 employees (Total Petrochemical USA Website, February 12, 2008).

Total also owns subsidiary Total Lubricants USA, a manufacturer of lubrication products based in Linden, New Jersey, which has other offices and plants in North Carolina and Tennessee (Total Lubricants USA Website, accessed June 24, 2010).

According to Reuters, Total Exploration and Production USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Total, owns production facilities in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico (Reuters, March 19, 2008).

Total Petrochemicals USA produces various plastics, base chemicals, and transportation fuels, and employs more than 1,600 people in the U.S. (Total Petrochemicals USA Website, accessed June 24, 2010).

In LaPorte, Texas, Total owns the largest polypropylene manufacturing plant in the world (Total Petrochemicals USA Website, accessed June 24, 2010).

According to USASpending.gov, Total SA has handled over 1600 U.S. government contracts valued at $1,591,679,768 (USASpending.gov, accessed August 20, 2014)

According to Reuters Total SA was preparing to pay a settlement to the U.S. government in July 2012 over an investigation into Total’s corruption in Iran. The investigation into Total’s 1990s gas contracts began in 2003. In 2011, Total rejected a settlement proposal made by the SEC (Reuters, July 27, 2012).

According to Reuters, Total SA paid $398.2 million to settle U.S. allegations of bribes paid by Total for contracts in Iran in May 2013 (Reuters, May 29, 2013).

 

 

Last Updated: August 20, 2014