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The company was founded after World War I, when the then French Prime Minister Raymond Poincaré rejected the idea of forming a partnership with Royal Dutch Shell in favour of creating an entirely French oil company.

At Poincaré’s behest, Col. Ernest Mercier with the support of ninety banks and companies founded Total on 28 March 1924, as the Compagnie française des pétroles (CFP), literally the “French Petroleum Company”. Petroleum was seen as vital in the case of a new war with Germany.

Total logo
This is a logo for Total S.A..