French Giant Total Moving for Bigger Stake in Caribbean Oil Barrel


French multinational, Total, the fourth largest publicly-traded integrated oil and gas company is moving to expand its presence in the Caribbean pushing its market share in Puerto Rico to 12 per cent from 2.5 per cent and to 6.5 per cent in Jamaica from the current 2.1 per cent, spokesperson, Elisabeth de Réals, told Abeng News.

The company announced March 11 that it signed an agreement to acquire ExxonMobil’s marketing assets in Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The acquisition represents a marketing capacity of around one million tons per year through a network of approximately 200 service stations, a number of petroleum product depots, and an aviation fuel retailing business.

In Puerto Rico, Total currently sells 225,000 tons of products and has 90 service stations as well as interests in commercial vehicle fuel (retail) and lubricants.

With the acquisition the market will increase to 700,000 tons of products, 152 Mobil-branded service stations, and will also see expansion in automotive and aviation fuel with interests in two depots in Catano and Corco.

According to de Réals, in Jamaica the acquisition will mean 152,000 tons of products a year, 34 Esso-branded service stations, aviation fuel distribution at the Kingston and Montego Bay airports and a 33 per cent interest in the Montego Bay fuel depot.

“The agreement will make Total Puerto Rico the joint number one network, alongside Texaco, and gives us access to the aviation fuel market at one of the busiest airports in the Caribbean region, Luis Munoz,” de Réals said.

“In Jamaica, Total will be the number one service station operator, ahead of Texaco. The interest in the Montego Bay depot will optimize logistics on the island.”

“Total has been present in Puerto Rico since 2004, when we acquired GPR and Sunshine’s assets. (We have) been present in Jamaica since 2004, when we acquired National’s assets. The subsidiary has 19 employees, including three expatriates.”

The transaction, which is subject to approval by the relevant authorities, “is in line with Total’s development strategy and strengthens its position in the Caribbean,” the company said.

About Mark Lee

Editor, author and writer with career spanning print, radio, television and new media.

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