MOSCOW, October 21 (RIA Novosti) - The French oil and gas company Total S.A. is one of the world's largest oil-producing companies after Royal Dutch Shell, BP and ExxonMobil.
The company was founded in 1924 as Compagnie française des pétroles, literally the "French Petroleum Company" (CFP). The company renamed itself Total CFP in 1985. Later in 1991, the name was changed to Total. After Total's takeover of the Belgian company Petrofina in 1999, it became known as Total Fina. In 2000 the company was renamed TotalFinaElf following a merger with the French company Elf Aquitaine, and in 2003 it was renamed back to Total.
Christophe de Margerie who was the company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer died on October 21, 2014 in a Falcon 50 plane crash at Moscow's Vnukovo airport.
The company's operations include three areas: Upstream (oil and natural gas exploration and production, coal mining, alternative energy projects), Downstream (crude oil refining, delivery and sales; production and marketing of oil and petrochemical products) and Chemicals (petrochemicals and fertilizers).
The company operates in over 130 countries, implementing oil and gas exploration and production projects in over 50 countries.
Total produces almost 2.6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (about 130 million metric tons a year), while the company's reserves are estimated at 11.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent (around 1.5 billion metric tons).
In addition to oil and gas production, the company refines oil and owns a network of petrol-filling stations, as well as a number of chemical plants.
The company employs approximately 100,000 people, as of December 31, 2013.
French shareholders own 28.3 percent of the company's assets while 30.9 percent of the shares are owned by North American shareholders.
Total's sales in 2013 reached 189 billion euros ($242 billion).