Total in Senegal


Start of the activities of the group via the CFPDA


Creation of a subsidiary of the Algerian Company(Society) of Mory (held 50 % by the CFP) in Dakar


Creation of Air Total Afrique in Dakar


Creation of the COPETAO (Compagnie des pétroles Total en Afrique de l’Ouest)


Creation of the SAR (Société Africaine de raffinage)


Opening of the refinery of Dakar


The Group becomes the first distributor of oil in the country

The Group began its activities in Senegal in the distribution of petroleum products undertaken in 1947 by the newly formed CFDPA (French Oil Distribution Company in Africa).


1947 - 1960

  • 1947, Société algérienne des pétroles Mory, which CFP have 50%, created a subsidiary, based in Dakar, Société dakaroise des pétroles Mory.

  • 1948, The first CFP depot opens in Dakar.

  •  1955, The BRP, the Petroleum Research Bureau (the forerunner of Elf) which pursues a proactive oil exploration policy, launches a research campaign (Mission of Pre-Recognition of Petroleum, MPP-AOF) and creates an ad hoc company, the Société d'exploitation et de recherche de pétrole du Sénégal (SERPS), quickly renamed in 1956 the Société Africaine des Pétroles (SAP).

  • 1958-1960, SAP began drilling and found small quantities of gas and oil on the Diam-Niadé permit in 1959 and 1960. In 1958, the CFP applied for an exploration permit in Kholda, Casamance (now Kolda).

  • 1959, CFP creates Compagnie des pétroles Total en Afrique de l'Ouest (COPETAO) to conduct onshore exploration operations in Kolda, in the Casamance area.

Map of the COPETAO license
Map of the COPETAO license. DR TOTAL
  • 1960, discover of an oil well on the Diam-Niadio field.

1961 - 1977

  • 1961, As exploration efforts have not been successful, nor in the immediately neighbouring countries (BP and EXXON in the

  • Gambia and Guinea-Bissau), the research work is temporarily interrupted.

  • 1961, CFP opens in Dakar its african subsidiary for plane oil, Air Total Africa.

Fueling Air Total Africa
Fueling Air Total Africa. ©Prunet Georges - Total
  • 1962, Creation of SAR (Société Africaine de Raffinage) in which CFP and the future Elf Group have a participation. The aim is the construction of a refinery in Dakar of 600kjb which will be opened in October 1963.

Dakar Refinery
Dakar Refinery. ©Méheux Armand - Total
  • 1967, COPETAO discovers a small deposit in Kolda, which will not be exploited. After numerous offshore drilling, it also discovered in 1969 an accumulation of heavy and sulfur oil estimated at 100 million tons, Dome Flore, whose development is not justified in economic terms. Other drilling carried out in 1970 with Texas Gulf leads to insufficient indices. COPETAO is giving way to TCMS (Total Compagnie minière du Sénégal), which is moving towards mining exploration (sulphur, phosphates, uranium), very quickly abandoned.

Exploration Boat of Texas Gulf in Casamance
Exploration Boat of Texas Gulf in Casamance. ©Le Therisien - Total
  • 1968, CFP creates Compagnie Sénégalaise des Lubrifiants in Dakar in partnership with Shell and Mobil to produce lubricants for all the Group's affiliates in Africa

  • 1975, Total creates Compagnie Minière du Sénégal (TCMS) to mine uranium.

  • 1977, Compagnie française de distribution des pétroles en Afrique (CFDPA) becomes Total Africa.

1978 - 1984

  • 1978, The first Paris-Dakar rally is organized. Elf and Total are on hand to support the drivers in the desert from the very beginning.

  • 1979, Elf-Aquitaine received an exploration permit and joined forces with Wintershall for the work the Group launched in Casamance, where drilling was scheduled in 1982, but the permit was abandoned in 1984.

  • 1983, the capacity of the Dakar refinery is increased to 1.2 MT/year; a vacuum distillation is put into service as well as a Merox unit (patented by Total) to manufacture kerosene for the benefit of Air Total Africa subsidiaries in the area.

1985 - 2000

  • 1991, Total becomes the official partner of the Paris-Dakar rally.

Paris-Dakar calendar
Paris-Dakar calendar. DR Total
  • 1991,Total buy Exxon network, leaving Senegalese downstream.

  • 1992, Total opens a gas bottling plant in Mbao, near Dakar.

Workers in M'Bao  gas bottling plant
Workers in M'Bao gas bottling plant. ©Boudin Philippe - Total
  • 1992, Elf-Aquitaine buy BP downstream actives (650 service stations and three refineries), leaving Senegalese downstream. Thus, in 2000, after the merger, the Group is the first oil supplier in Senegal.

2001 - 2019

  • 2008, Total inaugurates the first service station with solar lighting in Ouakam (north of Dakar).

  • 2012, Total creates the Total Sénégal foundation to support and initiate public-interest programs in the areas of education, healthcare, road safety and culture.

  • 2015, Total Sénégal launches its initial public offering in Africa.

  • 2017, Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total, and Mamadou Faye, Chairman and CEO of Société nationale des pétroles du Sénégal (Petrosen), sign two agreements in Dakar covering the exploration and operation of deep offshore oil concessions off the coast of Senegal. The first concerns the Rufisque Offshore Profond block.

  • 2018, In March, Total Senegal celebrated 70 years of activity in the country. Discover here the space dedicated to this anniversary and the testimonials of many employees of Total Senegal