TOTAL SEEKS FOR RUSSIA
Total SA is seeking the equivalent of up to $15 billion in Chinese financing to fund its expansion in Russia, its chief executive said, as U.S. sanctions complicate the French oil giant's big bet there.
Total Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanné also told The Wall Street Journal that it expects oil-price volatility to continue through 2015 as oil supplies, driven partly by a rising tide of new production in the U.S., outstrip demand. "I think the price will not stabilize," he said. "The idea that you will stabilize something is wrong. Volatility is in the commodity business."
Mr. Pouyanné said Total is focusing on costs amid oil's price slump, though he sees little prospect for big oil-sector deals for the time being.
"Our anticipation is that the increase of supply will remain above the increase of demand in 2015," he said. "For me, I see this period as an opportunity to clean up the cost base of our company."
Low oil prices and U.S. sanctions on Russia are among many challenges facing Mr. Pouyanné. The 51-year-old former refining chief took over as CEO in October following the death of Christophe de Margerie in a Moscow plane crash.
Like Mr. de Margerie, Mr. Pouyanné is embracing investments in politically risky areas.
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