Total commits to transparency of contracts at EITI Paris conference

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Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of Total

Patrick Pouyanne, CEO of French multinational oil corporation Total, gave a commitment to supporting transparency and openness of contracts in its operations around the world.

Pouyanne was speaking on Thursday at the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Global Conference in Paris, France.

“Total is committed to transparency in many areas particularly to the EITI Standard. We are a founding member of EITI in 2002,” he said.

Pouyanne made the point that corporate leaders must strengthen transparency not only as best practice but because it fits the basic interests of companies and their shareholders. “In this 21st century where social media is so important and where society expects corporations to be active in the society itself, transparency [helps] the extractive industries by increasing understanding of all stakeholders…it reinforces the credibility of both the state and investors,” he said.

He said that Total has met and exceeded all of EITI’s expectations and he encouraged other companies to do the same.

“In terms of publication of contracts we support the EITI 2016 Standards and the publication of extractive investments and contracts,” said Pouyanne. He noted that in February 2018 this commitment was elevated to inclusion in the company’s corporate policy. He said that where countries have passed laws requiring the publication of contracts and agreements, Total will obey such laws requiring publication of contracts in these countries. He cited Senegal, Congo and Myanmar as some of the countries where their contracts have been made public.

Further, Pouyanne said that since 2016 the company has disclosed its payments to governments.

“As business leaders we have a duty to lead by example and promote a culture of integrity and dialogue by public statements and concrete actions,” he said.

Guyana just months ago in April 2019 submitted its first EITI annual report detailing the revenues paid by extractive companies to government and the revenues received by government from the extractive companies. A number of oil companies including ExxonMobil and Repsol, both of whom sit on the Guyana EITI Multi-stakeholder Group, have committed to the EITI process. The petroleum agreements for these two companies, among several others such as CGX Energy, Ratio Petroleum, Eco-Atlantic Oil and Gas and Nabi Oil, have been released to the public.

Total has a 25 percent stake in the Orinduik Block offshore Guyana along with the operator Tullow which has 60 percent and Eco Atlantic whose share has been reduced to 15 percent as a result of the Total farm in.