Total in Canada

1953-1955

CFP opens a branch in Calgary and acquires lands in Alberta

1964

The RAP creates AUXIRAP

1970

The CFP creates TOP

1975

Petrofina Canada Chemicals is created for the distribution of petrochemical products

1977

Discoveries of Gas in Alberta

2010

Strategic partnership with Suncor

The Group is present in Canada since 1951. 

1951 - 1968

  • 1951, Canadian Fina Oil obtains a 4,000 km² concession in front of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, where the deposits of Windfall (gas, 1955), Creek (gas, 1961) , Kay Bob, Fir, …. are discovered.
  • 1952, June the 9th, Fina Oil Ltd is created to explore and develop oil in Canada. It is atribvuted a concession, Redwater, where drilling are confirmed.
  • 1953, the CFP opens a branch in Calgary (Canada) headed by the geologist H. de Cizancourt. Petrofina creates the Canadian Petrofina Ltd, known as Canadianpetro, with the Lambert group and Société Générale de Belgique, to build a refinery in Montreal.
  • 1954, Canada Fina Oils (Petrofina subsidiary) finds gas in its Canadian deposits. Canadian Petrofina, originally formed for downstream developments, primarily around Montreal, decides to become an integrated upstream-downstream company; it enters into agreements to produce in Alberta, notably by acquiring interests in the Pembina deposit. It also takes ownership of pipelines.
Drilling mast of Pembina
Drilling mast of Pembina. ©Champin - Total
  • 1955, Since the opening of a branch in Calgary, the CFP has acquired lands in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. The subsidiary is transformed into a corporation and becomes the French Petroleum of Canada. Petrofina commissions La Pointe-aux-Trembles refinery near Montreal (initial capacity: 20 kbj), which supplies a network of selling points established by Canadianpetro in Quebec in 1954 (250 selling points).
Fina gas station network development
Development of Fina gas station network. DR - Total 
  • 1960, Canadian Fina acquires the assets of New Superior Oil of Canada. Canadianpetro absorbs Canadian Fina.
  • 1964, July 16th, the RAP creates Auxirap of Canada, (Auxirap 100%). SNPA takes 41% of the research and development company Banff Oil Company and creates the Aquitaine Company of Canada.
  • 1965, RAP explores in Canada with Auxirap . SNPA discovers the Rainbow Lake oil deposit via Banff Oil.
Banff office in Rainbow
Banff office in Rainbow lake. ©Mathieson - Total
  • 1966, the capacity of the Montreal refinery (Petrofina) is increased to 2.5 MT/year, with a petrochemical development objective: the manufacture of orthoxylene and aromatics.
Montreal refinery
Montreal refinery. DR - Total
  • 1967, Petrofina embarks on "tar sands" production trials in Canada.
  • 1968, Petrofina makes a major discovery of condensate gas at Fox Creek.

1969 - 1979

  • 1970, the CFP creates TOP (NA), a Canadian company regrouping the assets of French Petroleum of Canada, and Leonard Refineries, in which the CFP owns 43%. SNPA puts into the Strachan and Ricinus gas fields in Alberta.
  • 1972, Petrofina makes new oil discoveries in Whitecourt, Alberta. Petrofina Canada is an operator of a group interested in the development of Alberta’s asphalt sands, and launches a feasibility study.
  • 1973, Petrofina expands the Montreal refinery and discovers gas in Alberta at Coalspur.
  • 1975, Petrofina Canada Chemicals is created to market the petrochemical products of the Montreal refinery.
  • 1976, Elf consolidates its Canadian interests into the Aquitaine Company of Canada (ACC). The CFP conducts an exploration campaign in Labrador.
Drilling in Labrador
Drilling in Labrador. ©Languepin Jean-Jacques - Total
  • 1977, Total discovers significant gas reserves in Alberta, which remain to be assessed.
  • 1978, Petrofina takes 8% in an association studying an oil sands development project in Alberta.
  • 1979, Aquitaine Company of Canada acquires Universal Gas. Petrofina Canada takes a 5% stake in Syncrude, which doubles its oil reserves in Canada and 8% in Alsands, which starts to develop the asphalt sands.

1980 - 1997

  • 1981, Petrofina’s assets in Canada are taken over by the Crown corporation Petrocanada for CAD$1.4 billion.
  • 1985, Atochem and Liquid Air join forces with a Canadian law firm, Oxychem Canada Inc., to produce hydrogen peroxide. Total takes over Erikson Gold Mines, which operates two gold and silver mines.
Erikson Goldmine
Erikson Goldmine. ©Liesse Gabriel - Total
  • 1986, Total begins operations at Mount Skukum and the Erikson site benefits from a new post-fire treatment plant at the beginning of the year: the Total Group produces more than 1600 kg of gold of which more than 1000 are due to it. The Group becomes operator of a third site (Dome Mountain) of which it takes 50%.
Mount Skukum Goldmine
Mount Skukum Goldmine. ©Liesse Gabriel - Total 
  • 1987, Elf establishes a downstream subsidiary in Canada, Elf Petroleum Company of Canada Ltd and signs a technical cooperation agreement between Elf Canada and Ultramar Canada. Atochem starts oxygenated water units with liquid air. Total acquires 87% of Getty Resources' capital in Canada and 12.5% in an investment fund specializing in Venture Trident II gold mines.
  • 1988, Elf puts two Styrelf bitumen units into production (in Montreal and Oshawa Harbour). Oxychem Canada starts a production unit for hydrogen peroxide in Bécancour. Sanofi acquires King Inc Canada as part of its strategy to develop and expand into major global markets.
  • 1990, Total Group purchases assets from Amoco Canada (Alberta) and Bralorne Resources (Alberta and Saskatchewan). Total acquires full ownership of the Wolly field, which allows it to have 15,000 tonnes of reserves, not yet in production.
  • 1991, Petrofina returns to Canada where it was associated with a Canadian company to explore in Alberta and British Columbia.
  • 1992, Total divests its interest in Total Canada Oil & Gas.
  • 1993, Exploration, Total sells Canadian assets (Total Canada O&G and Ranchmen Resources).
  • 1997 Petrofina acquires 28% interest in Pan East Shell project in British Columbia.

1998 - 2019

  • 2000, the Group acquires holdings in two new offshore exploration licences located off Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia.
  • 2002, TotalFinaElf enters into an agreement to take a 43.5% interest in the Surmont licence in Athabasca, in the Canadian province of Alberta.Surmont is made up of four contiguous licences, covering a total area of 548 km². This licence has been the subject of a Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage pilot project since 1998.
  • 2003, January, the Group acquires 43.5% of Surmont’s licence in Athabasca, Alberta. In December, the first phase of the Surmont (oil sands) project is launched.
Surmont plant
Surmont plant - DR Total
  • 2004, in December, Total acquires 100% of licence of OSL 874, located approximately 40 km west of Surmont.
  • 2005, the Group acquires Deer Creek Energy Ltd (Surmont and Joslyn licence)
  • 2008, in August, the Group finalises the acquisition of Synenco, the two main assets of which are a 60% interest in the Northern Lights project and the McClelland licence, which is wholly owned. The Northern Lights Project is located approximately 50 kilometres north of Joslyn.
Wellhead on Joselyne site
Wellhead on Joselyne site. ©Thierry Cron - Total
  • 2009, December, Total markets lubricants and continues its development with the signing of an agreement for the acquisition of lubricating assets in the province of Quebec.
  • 2010, December, Total signs a strategic partnership with Suncor for the Fort Hills and Joslyn mining projects and Voyageur Upgrader. This partnership allows to reorganize around two major poles the portfolio of the various assets acquired by the Group in the oil sands in recent years: a mining pole and Upgrading that brings together the mining projects of Joslyn (38.25%) operated by Total, Fort Hills (39.2%) operated by Suncor and the Voyageur upgrader project (49%) operated by Suncor and a SAGD(1) hub focused on the further development of Surmont (50%). The Group also owns 50% of the Northern Lights mining project (operator) and several permits (Oil Sands leases) 100% acquired during successive auctions.
  • 2011, in March, Total E&P Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of Total, and Suncor Energy Inc. (Suncor) finalize a strategic partnership around the two Fort Hills oil sands projects, operated by Suncor, and Joslyn, operated by Total, as well as the upgrader Voyageur project, operated by Suncor. These three projects are located in Athabasca in the Canadian province of Alberta.
Map of the Group's projects in Alberta
Map of the Group's projects in Alberta - DR Total
  • 2013, March, Total signs an agreement to sell its 49% stake in the upgrader Voyageur project.
  • 2018, the Group’s production is up to 95 kbep/d compared to 59 kbep/d in 2017 and 34 kbep/d in 2016. Production of the Fort Hills oil sands mining project begins in January. In September, Total gives up its 38.25% stake in the Joslyn project, whose work has been suspended since 2014.
Fort Hills Mine
Fort Hills Mine. ©Dan Sorenson - Total