The oil company has initiated arbitration proceedings against the country in which he accused retroactively changed the sharing of profits from oil and gas in the 2000s he hopes to recover a few hundred million euros.
Total tackles Algeria in the field of justice. The oil company confirmed on Saturday a report in Le Monde that he had launched an arbitration procedure last spring at the International Court of Arbitration in Geneva. His goal: to challenge the way Algiers has changed the rules of sharing of profits from oil and gas in the 2000s “We tried to reach an amicable agreement, we can not do it, then we go to arbitration, “said Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of french oil on the sidelines of the Rencontres Economiques d’Aix-en-Provence.
the story goes back to the mid-2000s during the light of oil increase, Algeria operates tightening its oil taxes. His goal: capture a greater portion of the profits made by foreign companies operating on its soil. In 2006, the country established a “tax on windfall profits” generated by these groups. This additional tax, activated when the barrel exceeds $ 30, varies from 5 to 50% of the value of production.
If more companies decide to flee the country, others, including the US Anadarko or the Danish Maersk, choosing to attack the Algeria before arbitral tribunals. They contest the unilateral and retroactive change in their contract induced by the introduction of this new tax, and require reimbursement of the amounts paid. In 2012, Algeria agrees to pay them more than $ 4 billion.
“When we do not agree, there are clauses arbitration and activates it “
Total and its Spanish partner Repsol prefer to opt for the amicable negotiation with the Algerian state and the national company Sonatrach. In vain. Hence the decision last May to begin the arbitration process. “When we do not agree, there are arbitration clauses and the active one. Do not see anything more than the relationship between a company and a stakeholder who is Sonatrach, “said Patrick Pouyanné Saturday. “It is not exceptional, I have more of across-offs, it’s business life, nothing more,” he tempered. According to Le Monde, Total and Repsol could recover several hundred million euros, “more than 500 million can be.”
Patrick Pouyanné ensures in any case that this judicial episode does not affect the activity of the group in Algeria. “You have to make sense of things, we have other licenses, we have other operations in Algeria that continue,” he said. Total, which employs just over 200 people in the country, takes full production license Tin Fouyé Tabankort (TFT) in which it holds 35%. “TFT is a gas and condensate field located 300 km west of the Libyan border,” the company said on its website. The group is also involved in gas development Timimoun, in which it holds a 37.75%.