Total is working hard to differentiate itself from its rivals. The French major is pursuing distinctive partnership policies, strategic technology choices and pushing exploration, both regionally and globally, in a bid to drive production from 2.3mn boe/d in 2012 to its targeted 3mn boe/d by 2017.

The group’s expected Middle East production of around 550,000 boe/d this year is slightly down on 2011’s 570,000 boe/d. Privately officials concede that the region’s operating environment is currently tough, but Total is deeply committed to the Middle East, where it has perhaps the widest investment footprint of all the majors. (CONTINUED - 1860 WORDS)