TotalFinaElf downgrades India operations

Vol 6, PW 3 (10 Apr 02) News in Brief

French major TotalFinaElf is downgrading its oil and gas business in India.

On 7th April its chief India representative Jean Claude Breton returned to Paris after spending seven years in India trying to move forward the group's plans for the domestic oil and gas sector. Discouraged by slack and inadequate reforms, Total decided not to bid for IBP Petroleum or for Enron's distressed Dabhol Power Company or ONGC's deepwater drilling programme.

"We have waited too long," Breton tells PETROWATCH. "The (slow) pace of reforms and unfair investment conditions have disappointed our management.

None of the major foreign oil and gas companies are doing well in India." Total has no plans to replace Breton and will focus on its nascent LPG and chemicals and lubricants business.