CALGARY, Alberta Nov 28 The head of Total SA's
Canadian unit said on Wednesday he has accepted a new
position at the company's Paris headquarters and will leave the
country after building up the French oil major's oil sands
Jean-Michel Gires took over as president of Total E&P Canada
Ltd in September 2009 and reshaped the company's flagging oil
sands strategy, adding assets with the C$1.4 billion ($1.41
billion) acquisition of UTS Energy Corp and spurring the
development of its northern Alberta properties by forming a
massive mining and upgrading joint venture with Suncor Energy
Inc, the largest oil sands developer.
"We are trying to deliver (production of) 200,000 barrels
per day by 2020," Gires said in an interview. "We're going to
accumulate that with C$20 billion in investment ... This company
is going to grow significantly."
In late 2010, Total abandoned plans to build its oil sands
operations from the ground up. It walked away from plans to
build its own oil sands upgrading and threw its planned Joslyn
oil sands mine and the 20 percent stake in the planned Fort
Hills mine into the Suncor joint venture, which included an
interest in Suncor's long-delayed Voyageur upgrader.
Development of those projects has been delayed as the
partners look to squeeze out costs and avoid the
multibillion-dollar budget overruns that have plagued major oil
Gires said Total was working with Suncor on the two mining
projects and the upgrader and that final decisions on whether to
build the facilities could come in 2013 or 2014.
"I'm sure we'll see tangible results for potential sanctions
(of the three projects) next year or the following one," Gires
Gires' last day as president of the Canadian unit is Nov.
30. His successor has not yet been announced.