The Total SA company headquarters sits in the La Defense district of Paris, France. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi: French petroleum major Total, one of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company's (Adnoc) oldest exploration and production partners, has been witness to the UAE's spectacular rise on the global energy scene since the country's formation. Jean-Luc Guiziou, President of Total UAE takes Gulf News through the long journey.

"Forty years have passed since the UAE's formation and we are proud to say that Total has been part of that remarkable success story every step of the way. The partnership with the UAE has seen Total tirelessly bring to the Emirates a rich heritage of innovation and ingenuity, especially on the energy landscape. Besides, Total has the largest presence in the Middle East among all international oil companies.

"Total has been developing long-term partnerships in the Middle East region since 1924, and has been present in the UAE since 1939. Since our modest beginnings to manage an onshore oil concession in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, our activities have evolved across the UAE to include upstream oil and gas, liquid natural gas processing and shipping, power generation, fertilisers, renewable energy and extensive operations in retail and marketing.

"A symbolic long standing industrial partnership between Total and the emirate of Abu Dhabi is Total Abu Al Bukhoosh (Total ABK). The late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan granted the concession to Total in December 1972. President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the then Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, had formally inaugurated the production facilities in December 1974. Total holds a 75 per cent interest in the Abu Al Bukhoosh field (as an operator), 9.5 per cent in the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (Adco), which operates the five major onshore fields in the Emirate, and a 13.3 per cent interest in Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (Adma-Opco), which operates two major offshore fields while additional fields are being developed. Total also has a 15 per cent stake in Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Limited (Gasco), which produces LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and condensates from the associated gas produced by Adco, and a 5 per cent stake in Abu Dhabi Liquefaction Company Limited (Adgas), which produces LNG, LPG and condensates.

Total joined Mubadala in 2000 as a visionary partner to develop the Dolphin project, the first integrated gas project in the Middle East.

Top priority

The constructive partnership with national operating companies is an ever-evolving feat of utmost priority for Total. This consistently seeks to position Total as a long-term trusted partner of choice for the government of Abu Dhabi, in all aspects of its energy ventures and challenges. Guiziou said: "Total is laying the groundwork for the future of a diversified energy mix, to help meet growing demand and address climate change. We are now supporting the development of renewable energies such as solar through Shams 1 in partnership with Masdar. We joined the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (Adwea) in 2001 to develop power generation and desalinisation at Taweelah Plant, one of the biggest cogeneration plants in the world.

"In the long run, oil and gas resources will not be enough to meet global energy demand and the nuclear power remains an option which allows meeting the growing energy needs. Total sees nuclear energy as an integral part of the future energy mix, since the nuclear power is a low-CO2 emission energy.

"One of the top priorities of Total is to minimise its impact of operations on the host community and the environment.

"Total associated with Petroleum Institute formed in 2001 to facilitate imparting industrial expertise to Emiratis. Total ABK -VEDC Academy established with active support of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in association with the Abu Dhabi Vocational Education Training Institute (ADVETI) in 2008, is a capacity building programme exclusively for Emiratis. "Since 1999, we have collaborated with Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) in the Dugong Conservation programme. We also collaborated with National Geographic to publish a book, Abu Dhabi: Nature Preserved.

"Looking forward to the years ahead, Total is committed to leveraging on our historical presence and expertise in the region to continue to develop its activities."