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Total outlines post-oil strategy

 

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Total outlines post-oil strategy

By Peggy Hollinger

Published: June 3 2008 03:00 | Last updated: June 3 2008 03:00

The French oil group Total set out its plans to survive in an oil-free world yesterday as it warned that geopolitical problems would limit global production to fewer than 100m barrels a day by 2020.

“To get to 95m-100m barrels a day will require a lot of effort because it involves production that does not exist today for geopolitical reasons,” said Christophe de Margerie, Total chief executive.

Countries such as Nigeria were too unstable, while Saudi Arabia could “go faster” but had decided to hold back on at least 2m b/d of its potential for political reasons. The French group’s estimates fall short of the 103m barrels of oil equivalent per day forecast by the International Energy Agency for 2030.

Mr de Margerie said that though the group was confident about its future as an oil producer, “we must have the courage to say that there will be no more oil by the end of the century”. Total intended to develop activities in three key areas of renewable energy: solar and nuclear power and clean coal.

It would invest $100m to $150m in solar, while nuclear investment was likely to remain minimal in the near term. Total would act as a promoter and investor in nuclear power rather than an operator. Peggy Hollinger, Paris

 

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