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Exclusive Interview—TOTAL Chairman and Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanné Speaks with IHS Markit Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin for New CERAWeek Conversations Video Series

Exclusive Interview—TOTAL Chairman and Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanné Speaks with IHS Markit Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin for New CERAWeek Conversations Video Series

Managing in the COVID-19 Era

April 09, 2020



The CERAWeek Conversations series features interviews and insights by senior executives, government officials and thought leaders on the energy future – available exclusively at www.ceraweek.com/conversations

Patrick Pouyanné, chairman and chief executive of TOTAL SA sits down for an exclusive interview with Daniel Yergin, IHS Markit vice chairman, available today at www.ceraweek.com/conversations.

The one-on-one interview is part of the new CERAWeek Conversations video series produced by the team responsible for the world’s preeminent energy conference, CERAWeek by IHS Markit.

CERAWeek Conversations features original interviews and discussion with energy industry leaders, government officials and policymakers, leaders from the technology, financial and industrial communities – and energy technology innovators.

New installments will be added weekly at www.ceraweek.com/conversations.

During his conversation with Daniel Yergin, Patrick Pouyanné talks about managing an international energy company through a global pandemic, including:

(Excerpts follow slightly edited for brevity only)

  • The lasting effect of the oil price shock and his longer-term views on balancing the market:

    “Inventories are continuing to grow. People think that we don’t have enough storage in the world. That will be the main effect for me. As we are growing inventories, this crisis in the oil price could last longer than Covid-19, because it will take time to empty storages and get the markets rebalanced.”

    "Between $35 per barrel as an average of the year, compared to $50-60 per barrel, it makes a difference of $9 billion. You come back to what you control. We control the delivery of the asset, which is why our priority today is to maintain as much as we can for as long as we can [with] the production of our assets around the world.”

    “We need to take action immediately in order to prepare the company to face a low price of oil for two years. In 2015-16 it took two and a half years for prices to come back to more acceptable prices by the middle of 2017.”
  • Whether present circumstances have impacted his thinking about TOTAL’s long-term goal of transition beyond an oil company to a broader energy company:

    “No. It even reinforced my conviction. We face another crisis: the climate challenge crisis. This is the reality. As a global society there are clear expectations. We need to take that into account. Our strategy is to extend to be a broad energy company – oil and gas but also low-carbon electricity and carbon neutrality solutions.”

    “The energy markets are changing because of climate change; because of technological evolution and innovation; and because of societal expectations. For a company like TOTAL it’s a matter of how energy markets are moving."

    “Our strategy is to anticipate these market trends and to be a major player in these new gases or new electrons. The energy transition is not just a transition, it’s adding new markets, new technologies. You don’t get rid of the past; you see an evolution in the markets.”

Watch the complete video at: www.ceraweek.com/conversations

Additional segments currently available include:

  • How COVID-19 Will Change Global Politics – featuring William Burns, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Carlos Pascual, senior vice president, global energy, IHS Markit.
  • Global Oil Markets in Turmoil – Featuring Dan Yergin, vice chairman, IHS Markit and Jim Burkhard, vice President, oil markets, IHS Markit. Moderated by Atul Arya, senior vice president, energy, IHS Markit.

About IHS Markit (www.ihsmarkit.com)

IHS Markit (NYSE: INFO) is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 business and government customers, including 80 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions. Headquartered in London, IHS Markit is committed to sustainable, profitable growth.

IHS Markit is a registered trademark of IHS Markit Ltd. and/or its affiliates. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners © 2020 IHS Markit Ltd. All rights reserved.

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