Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

Total Oil Company in Africa: an unparalleled giant

Article from AFRIC Editorial
In Africa, there has been a steady increase in oil production, and an increase in the number of promising fields. The most significant volumes of oil production on the continent are located in marine areas and are associated with significant technical difficulties and high environmental safety requirements. African companies today do not have the necessary experience and expertise in this direction. Among the foreign companies leading oil production and oil refining on the continent, the French company Total has held leadership positions for many years.

Total in Africa

Africa is a key continent for Total. Africa represents the fourth part of the company’s product.

Total is a leading producer in terms of oil and gas production, density of retail networks and supplies of electricity from renewable sources. Total’s strong positions in Africa have traditionally been explained by the close relations of French business with African countries. The company has built partnerships with consumers, thanks to a network of service stations, which is the largest in Africa.

The Total network has 4500 fuel distribution and maintenance stations, which have 3,000 stores. These outlets are also the largest retail chain on the continent, ahead of the South African Shoprite.

Total’s last successful step in strengthening its position in Africa was an agreement allowing it to control Anadarko’s assets in Africa. Thus, Total leaves far behind its global competitors in the fight for the deposits and markets of Africa (Chevron and Exxon Mobile above all).

There is a strengthening of the already large African portfolio Total. “If realized, Occidental’s acquisition of Anadarko provides us with the opportunity to acquire a world-class portfolio of assets in Africa, which would strengthen our leadership position among international private companies on the continent”, said Patrick Puianne, CEO Total. “We could thus leverage our expertise in liquefied natural gas (LNG) by operating a major project in Mozambique and in the deep offshore in Ghana. And we would become operators of major oil assets in Algeria in which we are already partners “, He said in the same document.

The leaders

The leaders of the African continent by the amount of crude oil produced per day are represented by the following countries:

In all these countries, Total is present, either as a retailer or as an operator of oil production platforms and refineries.

In all these countries, Total is present, either as a retailer or as an operator of oil production platforms and refineries. In a number of countries, it occupies key positions. Of particular importance are the recently launched offshore oil production platforms – Moho Nord (Congo) and Kaombo (Angola).

DRC Congo

Moho Nord is a deep-sea oil project located 75 kilometers off the Congolese coast. It was commissioned in March 2017 and is the largest oil project ever carried out in the Republic of the Congo. The Moho Nord project, which demonstrates deep experience in the offshore environment and the center of modern technologies, strengthens our leadership position in Africa.

Production type: Oil

Project type: Ultra-deep offshore

Operator: Total (53.5%)

Partners: Chevron (31.5%), Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo (15%)

Starting dates: 2017

Production volumes: 140,000 barrels per day

This project alone covers 60% of Congo’s production, which joined OPEC on June 22, and is now the third largest producer in sub-Saharan Africa, ahead of Chad and Equatorial Guinea, but far behind Angola and Nigeria.


Launched in April 2014, Kaombo is the first project at the ultra-deep sea unit 32 located off the Angolan coast. Camombo, with 658 million barrels of estimated oil reserves located at depths of up to 1950 meters and located on an area of 800 square kilometers, is one of Total’s greatest technical achievements.


Production type: Oil

Project type: Ultra-deep offshore

Operator: Total (30%)

Partners: Sonangol P & P, Sonangol Sinopec International, Esso, Galp

Start date: July 2018

Production volumes: 230,000 barrels per day

In addition, in May 2018, Total also signed a partnership with Sonangol, which is expected to establish a joint venture to develop a network of service stations, including logistics and supply of petroleum products.



Located about 130 kilometers off the coast of Nigeria at a depth of over 1,500 meters, the Aegina oil field is one of Total’s most ambitious ultra-deep sea projects. Originally developed to accelerate industrial production in Nigeria and transfer technology, the project will produce 200,000 barrels of oil per day, or about 10% of the country’s total oil production.

Production Type: Oil

Project type: Ultra-deep offshore

Operator: Total (24%)

Partners: CNOOC, Petrobras, Sapetro, NNPC

Start date: December 2018

Production volumes: 200,000 barrels per day

South Africa

In South Africa, the company has been working for 50 years. Total has been selected to build and operate one of the largest terrestrial photovoltaic solar power plants in South Africa. The plant became operational in 2016 and supplies clean and sustainable energy.

The South African government chose Total SunPower for the construction of a ground-based photovoltaic solar power plant in Priscus, in the province of Northern Cape. A 75 MW power plant will supply electricity to approximately 75,000 homes in South Africa.

Partners: Mulilo Renewable Energy, Calulo Renewable Energy, IDC, Futuregrowth Asset Management (Pty) Ltd, Total

Design and construction: SunPower, Total subsidiary

Installed power: 75 MW of alternating current (or 86 MW of direct current)

Total expansion plan

Total production in sub-Saharan Africa is currently concentrated in the “four sisters” of the Gulf of Guinea (Angola, Nigeria, Congo and Gabon). The Gulf of Guinea is a key region and the main asset of Total. There are eleven offshore platforms, production and storage units. In the near future, the company is developing oil on Lake Albert in Uganda and building an oil pipeline. This will be one of the new sources of economic growth on the continent. In addition to its exploration and production shares in the Gulf of Guinea, Total is present in two other strategic areas in sub-Saharan Africa: in West Africa – mainly through shares in several exploration blocks in Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire – and Namibia, South Africa at the southern tip of the continent.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

illustrations images from: google image

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