Monday, February 05, 2007

New Total CEO: Nuclear in Company's Future

The incoming CEO of French energy giant Total has told the Financial Times that he's determined to add nuclear to his company's portfolio:

Christophe de Margerie, who will take over as Total's chief executive this month, will continue to focus on the hunt for hydrocarbons - gas and oil - something he his well known for in the industry.

But in an interview he revealed his nuclear ambitions. "Being in the energy business, [which] we consider not only as our business but also as a responsibility vis √° vis the consumers, we will certainly one day have to be part of this [nuclear] adventure," he said.

Although it was not an immediate concern, he said, as access to hydrocarbons became more difficult, Total was branching out into other forms of energy. Renewables would only ever satisfy a small portion of the world's overall energy needs, even though they would be important sources in certain countries that lacked oil and gas. So for Total, "if it is not hydrocarbons, if it is not renewables, if it is not nuclear, what is it"?
Though it isn't widely discussed any longer, the American oil industry was once a major investor in nuclear power plants. Thanks to the Peak Oil News and Message Boards for the pointer.

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