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Patrick Pouyanné is the chairman and CEO of Total
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Total's new MENA adventures

The company is set to benefit from shale in the Middle East despite having shunned it elsewhere

Remember the days of buccaneering Big Oil? Total's boss Patrick Pouyanne certainly does. The company's chief executive has plunged the French major into a series of eye-catching deals in the Middle East and North Africa. Having turned its back on newer developments with the US shale sector, Total has jumped into Iran, Libya and two feuding Gulf states is a return to the high-risk-high-return of oil companies of old. But the burly Pouyanne, a former rugby player who describes the oil business as "an adventure", insists his investments make sense. "Stop speaking about shale as if it's the new bible, it's not true," he told Bloomberg in January. "It's not true that it's the lowest (cost) barr

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