Oil and gas: Matching energy supply and demand

Total trading room in Geneva. Salle de trading Total de Genève.

Every day, billions of companies and individuals use oil and gas to commute, work, and heat homes and offices. We buy and sell this oil and gas around the world. Our teams work to maximize the value of our products, secure supply to our refineries and transport energy to consumer hubs, while managing the risks related to fluctuating prices and shipping.

Oil and gas: Complex markets

We aim to deliver the right amount of oil and gas to the right place, at the right time and at the right price.

Every day, our teams face two main challenges:

  • Markets: In an increasingly complex and fast-paced environment, our teams work in real time to manage risks stemming from market volatility, which reflects a number of economic, geopolitical and weather-related factors.
  • Logistics: Every day, our teams around the world meet the challenge of transporting oil and gas from producing regions to consumer hubs – often across long distances – under the best safety conditions, on time and at the best price.

We are pioneers in trading Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

Long controlled by State companies, the European gas industry was largely privatized during the 2000s. This development paved the way for the creation of a free market for LNG trading. At Total, we were one of the first companies to have seized the opportunities presented by this emerging market, as our first transactions took place in 2003. Today, we are among the top three companies in the market.
In line with our strategy, we work to prepare the launch of new products and to maximize the value of our LNG portfolio in every market. LNG trading relies on a broad range of skills including arbitrage, one of our primary areas of expertise. The purpose of arbitrage is to redirect shipments in response to opportunities created by local demand and prices while managing shipping, price, currency and interest rate risk.

We optimize and secure supply flows

Every day, our trading teams deal in oil and gas markets. Their main goal is to meet the Group’s needs by maximizing the value of our production, supplying our refineries under the best market conditions and importing/exporting products to match supply to demand in local markets. Our risk management experts support them by limiting our exposure to particularly sharp price swings.

Our shipping teams organize the transport of oil and gas from producing regions to major consumer hubs. They select and charter the safest vessels to ensure that cargos are transported under the best safety conditions.

oil charter agreements*
*The Gas Division / Trading-Shipping operations at Total in 2015
126 million metric tons 
of oil products transported*
LNG cargoes*

We operate around the world

Our operations employ over 2,000 professionals in 120 countries covering all time zones. To stay close to our customers, we have opened seven offices in Europe, the United States and Asia.

Over the years, we have forged solid relationships with an extensive global network of customers and suppliers with whom we work on a daily basis. These include national and international oil companies, refiners, traders and brokers, distributors, and consumers. As a result, we have access to diversified supply sources and substantial resources to supplement the Group’s equity production.

Our expertise and detailed knowledge of the oil and gas markets uniquely position us to analyze market events in real time and make proactive decisions.