Total in Cameroon


Entrance of Petrofina in Logo-Baba Petroleum Studies and Research Syndicate


Creation of La Compagnie Française des dépots pétroliers du Cameroun (French company of Cameroon oil deposit)


Creation of Air Total Cameroon (first foreign subsidiary compagny of Air Total)


Production launch of the Kolé oilfield. Cameroon become officially an oil-producing country


Inauguration of the Douala refinery by the SONARA Company (Total 11% and ELF 5% of the shares)


Total stops upstream in 1993 to re-enter in 2006


Start of the program "Total Access to solar"

The presence of the Group in this country dates back to 1925 with Petrofina. This first search for hydrocarbons was unsuccessful. However, at that time, when clues had been raised by German societies before the War, was launched under the aegis of the ONCL a geological reconnaissance mission by Hubert de Vries. This work was resumed by the BRP after the Second World War, a mission being granted to Léon Migaux.

1925 - 1963

  • 1925, Petrofina enters the capital of the newly created Logo-Baba Oil Research and Studies Syndicate. The researches are not successfull
  • 1929, the French Petrofina obtains a research permit without success, but nevertheless creates a research syndicate at Ruanda Urundi.
  • 1947, the CFP, through the CFDPA, takes a concrete interest in this part of Africa; in December it creates the French Oil Deposits Company of Cameroon and in 1948 it sells products in the country.
  • 1951, the CFP builds a first deposit in Douala. But the distribution is growing rapidly and the Group is expanding this deposit since 1954; it puts into operation additional deposits in Yaoundé and M'Balmayo.
Oil depot of Douala
Oil depot of Douala. ©Prunet Georges - Total


  • 1952, the BRP, which created SEREPCA the previous year, receives a large research permit.
Hydrocarbons researches map
Hydrocarbons researches map - DR Total


  • 1953, clues are raised in Bomono, Souellaba, Logo-Baba.
  • 1955, a gas eruption takes place and requires the intervention of Mylon Kinley at the Petrofina site of Logo-Baba 1 (who came to help the SNPA after the gas eruption in Lacq in 1951). The same year Total creates one of its first foreign subsidiaries of Air Total, Air Total Cameroon.
  • 1959, the BRP stalles on its research in Cameroon, but Serepca – which became Elf-Serepca – begins negotiating a permit on the continental shelf, which it obtains; exploration work begins in 1963.

1964 - 1980

  • 1972, Cameroon asks Total to prepare the construction of a 1.5 MT refinery. The State will have 51% and the refinery will be located in Victoria (currently Limbé). For this purpose the SONARA is constituted (Total has 11% and Elf 5%). The work progresses slowly.
  • 1973, Elf discovers the offshore oil deposits Betika Marine 1 and Asouna Marine 1 on the Rio del Rey license.
Exploratory drilling of ELF SEREPCA
Exploratory drilling of ELF SEREPCA. ©Huneau André - Total


  • 1974, Elf discovers deposits in Kolé and Biboundi.
  • 1977, Kolé is gone into production, Cameroon becomes an oil producer.
Platform of the offshore field of Kole
Platform of the offshore field of Kole. ©Huneau André - Total


  • 1978, Total enters on the Victoria permit and discovers what the Group includes as a large oil deposit in 1979.
  • 1979, Elf discovers a deposit in a new permit, the Rio del Rey, and develops a platform in Ekoundou.
  • 1980, Elf finds the first oil index in Kribi.

1981 - 1999

  • 1981, the refinery in Douala is inaugurated. Elf discovers gas on permits H33 and H24. Total starts production of the Moudi field (new name of Victoria), but gives back some permits.
  • 1982, Elf discovers oil on the Mvia 1 site.
  • 1986, Elf agrees with Pecten for the distribution of interest on the Rio del Rey. Total is trying to set up "remote energy units" from local resources, but in 1987 the country is experiencing considerable instability.
  • 1987, Elf continues its upstream activity, discovering Itindi3 and ABM7, launching the development of Biboundi the same year, increasing its interests in the country thanks to the recovery of those of Coparex (1990).
  • 1988, Elf obtains the renewal of permits H44 Douala II and H45 Nord Cameroon and put into production the Bidoundi field.
  • 1989, Elf obtains the renewal of permits H37, H52, H56, H57 (Rio del Rey Basin), and H54 on the Douala Basin.
  • 1990, Elf restarts exploration in the Rio del Rey Basin where it receives new permits.
  • 1991, Petrofina re-enters in a license.
  • 1993, Total comes out of the upstream.
  • 1995, Elf relaunches the development of the Kolé field while Petrofina decides to withdraw from the country where the research have been disappointing.
  • 1999, Elf develops the fields of Akono and Erong Nord.

2000 - 2019

  • 2004-2005, the Bakingili field (25.5%, operator), discovered in October 2004, comes into production in August 2005.
  • In April 2005, a production sharing agreement issigned between TOTAL E&P Cameroon (50%, operator) and the Republic of Cameroon on the Dissoni offshore block.
  • 2006, TOTAL is awarded 100% of the Bomana exploration block in the Rio Del Rey offshore basin by the Government of Cameroon.
  • In July 2009, the Group obtains a new exploration block, Lungahe (100%), located close to its concessions and permits.
  • 2010, in November, TOTAL finalizes an agreement in principle with Perenco to sell its stake (75.8%) in its subsidiary of Exploration & Production in Cameroon.
  • 2011, the project «Total Access to Solar» is developed in Cameroon. Latest-generation LED lamps combined with a small solar photovoltaic panel allow to charge a battery during the day and to return light at night, or to charge a mobile phone. The products are stored in Total’s network of gasstations and distributed in villages that are not easily accessible by solar resellers.
Solar lamp with a phone charger
Solar lamp with a phone charger.©ZAMORA PHILIPPE - TOTAL


  • In April 2011, TOTAL finalises the sale of its stake in its subsidiary Amont Total E&P Cameroon, a Cameroonian company in which the Group held 75.8%. Since then, the Group no longer holds any exploration or production assets in the country.