The command of Total E & P do Brasil will change hands after three years. Maxime Rabilloud will leave the oil company’s General Directorate in October, and will be replaced by Philippe Blanchard, a French executive with a 25-year career in the group.
Blanchard runs the Total E & P office in Papua New Guinea, headquartered in Port Moresby, and is also responsible for the E & P New Business area for North Africa. Throughout his 25+ year career in Total, the executive has held command positions in France, Nigeria and Angola, with extensive experience in deepwater.
Maxime Rabilloud will leave Brazil to return to Total’s headquarters in Paris. The executive had been running the oil firm’s office in Brazil since March 2015, when he was appointed to replace Denis Palluat de Besset.
Rumors about a possible change in Total’s command in Brazil came about a month ago. People close to the executive already confirmed the change, but there was still no confirmation as to the date of the replacement and the name of the new executive.
Although the exchange of command in foreign oil companies is a relatively common procedure, the perception of the market is that the replacement of Maxime Rabilloud was accelerated due to the problem in the environmental licensing of Foz do Amazonas Basin. In August 2017, Ibama rejected the company’s environmental impact study for drilling in blocks FZA-M-57, FZA-M-86, FZA-M-88, FZA-M-125 and FZA-M-127, of the 11th round of bidding in 2013, in partnership with BP and Petrobras.
At the time, the environmental agency listed ten points of pending and disapproval in the opinion that rejected the study of Total for drilling in Foz do Amazonas. Sources involved in the process pointed out gross failures in the study and poor quality of work.
Since then, the licensing process of the five areas has been trailing, with no sign of solution. If the difficulties with the environmental agency were not enough, in April of this year, the Federal Public Ministry in Amapá recommended the rejection of the license. Greenpeace has been campaigning strongly against the release of the license, claiming the existence of corals in the region.
The three oil companies disbursed R $ 621.4 million for the acquisition of the five blocks. The portion paid by Total, which in addition to operating the assets, holds a 40% stake, totaled R $ 248.5 million.
The portfolio of Total E & P do Brasil consists of 17 assets, which includes a 20% stake in Libra and the operation of the Lapa field, both located in the Santos cluster.
Source: Brazil Energy