France’s Total is still basking in the glow of its Abu Dhabi onshore upstream win last week, when it secured a 10% stake in the highly contested concession. The French major paid a huge signature bonus for access to 2bn barrels of oil reserves in the UAE, one of the most stable countries in the Middle East. The same cannot be said of the company’s operations in Yemen and Libya however, where security conditions have deteriorated dramatically in the past year.

Stephane Michel, who heads Total’s Middle East and North Africa operations, tells MEES that the signature bonus paid to the Abu Dhabi government, reportedly in the hundreds of millions of dollars, was justified given the quality of the asset. (CONTINUED - 1698 WORDS)