Iran’s association of oil-industry contractors and suppliers is seeking assurances it won’t lose business should foreign energy companies return to Iran.
Total SA’s board of directors has proposed a change that would enable Christophe de Margerie to remain chairman and chief executive officer of France’s biggest explorer beyond next year.
Total SA, Europe’s third-largest oil producer, reported a 19 percent decline in fourth-quarter profit as refining margins in the region narrowed and output dropped. The company raised its dividend.
Total SA Chief Executive Officer Christophe de Margerie defended a visit by a French trade delegation last week to Iran as a way for companies to gain a competitive edge should sanctions be lifted.
Total SA began life as Cie Francaise des Petroles, or CFP, almost a century ago. Thirty years since changing its name, the French oil giant is fighting to prevent its “Can’t Find Petroleum” moniker from coming back.
The prospect of access to Iran’s $500 billion economy is tempting executives from countries including France and the Netherlands as negotiators resume their slog toward a nuclear deal.
Iran plans to offer oil companies improved terms to develop oil and natural gas fields once a trade embargo against the country is lifted, Total SA Chief Executive Officer Christophe de Margerie said.
Refiners in France lost 700 million euros ($946 million) last year as oil-processing margins shrank and the country imported more than half the diesel it used.
Jean-Philippe Bucher has put the French government on notice.
Total SA, Europe’s third-largest oil company, called on peers to revise projects that require tens of billions of dollars of investment as costs escalate.
"It's not with two wells that we will know."
- De Margerie on Oct 12, 2012