Pursuing Oil and Gas Production
Oil will continue to drive global growth in the coming decades. Given the growing complexity of oil and gas production, we are leveraging advanced technology and growing our exploration and production operations to maintain our position as one of the world’s leading international oil companies. In 2011, our efforts led to new discoveries offshore French Guiana and in Azerbaijan.
Natural gas is a key resource for the future. Strengthening our position as a global leader in gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) — a market that is growing at a rate of around 7% per year — is a strategic development challenge for Total.
Investing in New Energies
We are expanding our operations in photovoltaic solar energy and biomass, the two renewable energy segments most likely to secure our energy future:
- We began to take an interest in photovoltaic solar energy 25 years ago. In 2007, we took our involvement to a new level by forging R&D partnerships in this area. Our goal is to become a leader in the solar industry.
- In the biomass segment, we have teamed up with U.S.-based Amyris to explore biochemical conversion pathways, in which microorganisms are used to produce biodiesel via the fermentation of sugar. The first commercial-scale unit for producing biofuels from sugarcane will be commissioned in early 2013, in Brazil.
In the BioTfueL project, the focus is on thermochemical conversion pathways. At one of our refineries, we are testing a method that involves the co-gasification of coal and biomass (wood) followed by Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. The aim is to produce biodiesel and bio-jet fuel.
Chemicals, An Innovation-Driven Business
At Total, chemicals are a center of excellence. Through our extensive R&D operations, we help our customers stand out in their markets with products that are better suited to their needs, more reliable and more cost-competitive.
Our Major Projects
Two of our biggest current projects are being developed in the Middle East:
- The first, in Qatar, is being carried out with our partner Qatar Petroleum and consists of producing plastic from ethane. Its final component, the Ras Laffan ethane cracker, was inaugurated on May 4, 2010.
- The second is located in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, where we are building a world-class refinery in partnership with Saudi Aramco. Starting in 2013, it will process crude oil extracted nearby into refined products meeting the strictest standards, for local and export markets.