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Total’s trenchant new boss fits era of oil austerity

PARIS – Total’s boss is known as a fixer; a straight-talking cost cutter who has emerged as the right person to steer the French oil and gas company through one of the industry’s worst downturns in decades. The 52-year-old Patrick Pouyanne could not be more different from his predecessor, the flamboyant Christophe de Margerie, who died last October in a ...

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Shell, Total get first foreign gas stations in Iran

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s state TV is reporting that Royal Dutch Shell and France’s Total will be the first foreign companies to be allowed to operate gasoline stations inside Iran. The Press TV English-language channel quotes the head of Iran’s filling stations union, Bijan Haj Mohammadreza, as saying 100 new licenses have been issued to each company. Until now, the ...

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Uganda’s ‘oil rush’ town stuck in the slow lane

HOIMA, Uganda – Before the discovery of large amounts of oil in Lake Albert, Hoima was a forlorn and remote town in Western Uganda, whose main sources of income were farming and the trickle of tourists heading to nearby national parks. A decade later, an oil-fueled boom is transforming the town nearest the lake, with smart new office blocks and ...

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Refining helps BP and Total weather oil price storm

LONDON/PARIS – BP and Total reported higher than expected profits on Tuesday thanks to steep increases in profits from refining, showing the resilience of global oil firms in the face of slumping oil prices. Large oil companies have closed down dozens of refineries in the past few years due to over capacity and because refining, or downstream in industry jargon, ...

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Argentina shale a ‘good play,’ but state controls deter

PUNTA DEL ESTE, Uruguay – Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale formation is “a good play,” but government economic controls must be lifted and costs slashed if investments are to flow into the barely tapped field, said an executive at a subsidiary of France’s Total. President Cristina Fernandez’s interventionist policies have scared the most risk-hungry companies out of making anything but foothold ...

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