Total buys into British shale gas explorations

International — Link

French oil giant Total has become the first major company to buy licences for British shale gas explorations, a process banned in France.

French oil giant Total moves financial HQ to London

International — Link

Confirming Mediapart's exclusive report published earlier Monday, French oil group Total said it will move its treasury department to London.

Total loses appeal over Erika oil spill disaster

France — Link

Appeals court upholds conviction of oil giant Total over 1999 oil spill, that caused one of France’s worst-ever environmental disasters.

When Total paid the bill for the Elysée's secret emissary

International — Investigation

France-based businessman and arms dealer Ziad Takieddine is a key witness in an ongoing French judicial probe into suspected illegal party financing through commissions paid in a major French weapons sale to Pakistan. In a series of investigations that began in July, Mediapart has revealed how Takieddine has long served as a secret diplomatic and business emissary for the staff of Nicolas Sarkozy - before and after he became French president. Here, Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske unravel how Takieddine, backed by Sarkozy's Elysée Palace chief-of-staff, was paid almost 7 million euros by oil group Total in a gas field deal with the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Total to face oil-for-food corruption trial

International — Link

Oil giant Total and its CEO are to stand trial on charges that the company engaged in corruption during UN oil-for-food programme in Iraq.

How Total escaped tax on 10 bln euros in profit

France — Opinion

French oil giant Total paid zero euros in corporate tax in France in 2010 despite posting a profit of more than 10 billion euros. It is one among France’s five most profitable companies which enjoy a generous corporate tax break cutting millions of euros from their fiscal bills. The French government meanwhile appears to be in no hurry to close the loophole. Martine Orange reports.

Oil giant Total faces $170 billion damages claim

France — Investigation

A Paris court ruling has left French oil giant Total facing a claim for 170 billion dollars (131 billion euros) over a contract negotiated in Russia 20 years ago by a defunct subsidiary. No corporate entity has ever before faced a damages claim for such a huge and potentially devastating amount. Martine Orange reveals a Kafkaesque legal drama with a colourful cast that includes an entrepreneur and former F1 racing driver known as ‘Dédé the Sardine' and the late French novelist Françoise Sagan.