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Total Gambles on Mideast Oil

Total Gambles on Mideast OilTotal Gambles on Mideast Oil

Patrick Pouyanne, the head of Total SA, sees risks differently. The French oil giant, which became the first western major to sign a deal with Iran following the end of sanctions, has added projects in Abu Dhabi and Qatar. Pouyanne said last week’s $450 million acquisition in Libya is one of his “best deals ever”. He is expanding in the region even as some of his biggest rivals focus on politically safer US shale. “We are ready to take risks,” Pouyanne said in a Bloomberg TV interview on Monday in Houston. The Total chief is chasing some of the lowest cost barrels in the Middle East and Africa, and picking up assets as other western companies exit from countries that have been torn by war and strife for years, but it is also a gamble. “There is a risk in Libya. We are not naive,” he said. “Having access to this concession, which has plenty of resources, is a good bet for the future.”

 

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