Total in Gabon


Creation of SERP-Gabon (Syndicate of studies and researches of AEF


Opening of the CFDPA (Compagnie Française de distribution de Pétroles en Afrique) in Gabon


Creation of the SER (Ecuadorian Company of Refining), by five countries: Gabon, Cameroon, Togo, Congo and the RCA of which Total and Elf hold 18,75 % of parts


Exit of the States of the SER, new namely SOGARA and held by the Gabon and Elf


Exit of the States of the SER, new namely SOGARA and held by the Gabon and Elf

As for other territories of the former French colonial empire, Gabon was targeted by research work supported by ONCL, which created in 1934 the AEF Research and Studies Union, known as SERP-Gabon.


Since 1934

  • 1934, SERP-Gabon launches a seismic survey campaign on Rembo N'Komi. Previously, as early as 1928, the local governor had entrusted V. Lebedeff with the task of analyzing certain seeps observed in the territory, but this yielded nothing. Nevertheless, credits were released to try to establish the first geological map of the whole area, which took about fifteen years.

  • In 1948, the CFDPA (French Company of Oil Distribution in Africa), created the year before, opens to the Gabonese market. Progress will be rather slow.

  • In 1949, the SERP-Gabon is replaced by the SPAEF (Petroleum Company in French Equatorial Africa), which installs its offices in Port-Gentil. The SPAEF discovers the deposits of Ozouri and Pointe-Clairette which it puts very quickly in development.

  • 1956, Other clues are found at Animba and M'Bega. The CFP "leaves" the SPAEF. Discoveries succeed each other year after year and the relationship between SPAEF and Gabon is strengthened: Tchengué in 1957, Gongoué in 1958, Rembo Kotto in 1959, ... and likewise put into production.

  • 1960-1964, the SPAEF becomes SPAFE (Society of Petroleum of Equatorial Africa). And the discoveries continue: Simany-Lopez and Pointe-Weze in 1961, Navy eel in 1962, Batanga and Gamba in 1964, etc. Production is growing rapidly, to the point that the idea of ​​building a small refinery is emerging:

  • 1965, the SER is created (Ecuadorian Refining Company), by five African States: Gabon, Cameroon, Togo, Congo and RCA to build a plant of 600 KT / year; each of them commits up to 5%, Elf and Total have 18.75% and the other internationals share the rest.

  • 1968, The refinery of Port-Gentil is inaugurated.

  • 1973, the states come out and the company, become SOGARA, is essentially owned by the Gabonese state and Elf.

  • 1968 Elf SPAFE, new name of the subsidiary, discovers Anguille Nord-Est, Ivanga, Torpille, ... As an operator she spends 100 kbj.

  • 1970, discovery of Grondin Marine 1, Lucine Marine 1

  • 1972, discovery of Pageau Marine and Dorée,

  • 1973, discovery of Barbier Marine 1, Girelle Marine 2, then will come Bremen, then Olende, ...

  • 1976-1988: The total production of Gabon reaches a first peak at 11.3 MT in 1976, then declines to stabilize at 8 MT between 1981 and 1988. During this period perhaps less ostentatious, on the one hand Elf continues its series of discoveries (Baudroie Marine, Moubengue Marine, Konzi Marine in 1981, Gonelle, Mandaros Torpille Nord Marine, Barbier Southwest Marine in 1982, Grand Anguille Marine in 1983, etc.); In addition, the Gabonese offshore is used to test the automatic piloting of production wells from 1976.

  • 1985-1989, Elf is associated with Shell's discovery of Rabi Kounga in 1985, whose reserves are estimated at more than 500 million barrels. Thanks to this deposit, put into production in 1989, and other discoveries put into production, the volumes produced are again rising. Elf-Gabon refocuses its onshore interests at the end of the decade, yielding some to SNEA. The discoveries continue: Coucal, Dianongo. Around 1987, Ogooué Mabora Libreville, Ogooue Nyembe, N'Komi and 1988, Avocette, Aiglon in 1989, among others. The Group receives other permits. Petrofina and Total also enter several licenses. Total will make a small discovery in Migoumbi. Elf puts in production most of his discoveries (Avocette, Pelican East, Hylia, Lapwing, Atora, ...). Nevertheless the trend is downward: in 2000 the Group produces 120 kbj in its own right.

  • Downstream, the Group remains invested in the Port-Gentil refinery. In marketing Total and Fina have come together through Total Fina Gabon. 1999: Elf joins Total and Fina in 1999 with the buyout of BP.