Total was created by two successive mergers - first of Total and Belgium’s PetroFina to create Totalfina, then of Totalfina and Elf Aquitaine to create TotalFinaElf. As such, the Group, renamed Total in May 2003, is the proud heir to a prestigious oil and gas legacy dating back to the 1920s. The new Total is a vibrant blend of the cultures and expertise of all three companies, whose vast technological and human capital is being leveraged to maintain its position as a top-tier global energy supplier. Total is one of France’s largest corporations and the world's fourth largest publicly-traded integrated international oil and gas company,
Total engages in all aspects of the petroleum industry, including upstream operations (oil and gas exploration, development and production, LNG) and Downstream operations (refining, marketing and the trading and shipping of crude oil and petroleum products). Total also produces base chemicals (petrochemicals and fertilizers) and specialty chemicals for the industrial and consumer markets. In addition, Total has interests in the coal mining and power generation sectors, as well as a financial interest in Sanofi-Aventis.