Patrick Pouyanne, Chief Executive Officer of Total, speaks during the 26th World Gas Conference in Paris, France, June 2, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
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As the world witnesses spectacular growth in oil and gas production from the U.S. shale deposits, the boss of French energy giant Total paradoxically says this is one area where he doesn't want to expand.Now Total, which is France's largest company, is cautiously returning to new projects.Pouyanne said he thought the oil market would take another 12-18 months to rebalance supply and demand, adding that he still believed prices would be high in the long term due to the lack of new project startups and cuts in investment in the last three years.Like many of his peers, Pouyanne aims to shift Total increasingly toward less polluting gas as the world seeks to reduce carbon emissions to near zero by the end of the century.However, Pouyanne says coal remains the main threat to gas and he supports a drive by some oil majors for more countries to impose punitive taxes on carbon emissions, which are much greater from burning coal than gas.
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