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OPEC is back in the game, Total CEO says

"OPEC is back in the game" after it reached an agreement to settle on output cuts at a meeting in Algiers last month -- despite some people wanting to have it "killed", Total chief executive Patrick Pouyanné told CNBC.

"I think they are serious…They weren't obliged to make this statement in Algiers….They have done it voluntarily and they have seen a positive impact from the market," he added.

Speaking to CNBC at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul, Pouyanné said the oil producing cartel had acted out of a belief that the price per barrel had fallen too low for them and they wished to "send a signal to the market".


OPEC's oil deal - what you need to know

Noting the 12 percent surge in the oil price over the past 10 days since OPEC announced a potential cut of only 1 percent-1.5 percent, the Total CEO spoke to the detrimental effect of volatility on financial and commodity markets alike.

According to Pouyanné, "Because of this huge volatility, we have seen a big decrease in investments".

Above all, he emphasized the need for markets to find a stable level which worked for both the supply and demand side.

"We have to be pragmatic. We have to find a level of price somewhere that makes these producing countries' life a little better and the consuming countries also acceptable."

Pouyanné pointed to the involvement of Russia's President Vladimir Putin as a sign of the new enthusiasm for commitment to a deal among producers.


"I'm optimistic. I trust these people and I saw even President Putin engaging himself, Russia, which is quite new."

While acknowledging there had been some conflicting statements out of producing nations, Pouyanné believes there is no inherent conflict between the Russian state's position and comments from Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin's comments to Reuters earlier on Tuesday that his company would not cut.

Pouyanné said he also did not intend to cut production at his company.

The Total CEO reaffirmed the company's commitment to investment, saying 5 percent of capital is to be allocated to new energy, saying this would be important to the future of the company.

He also warned of the risk of producers shying away from capital spending following the last few years of high inventory levels.

"This is a commodity business. When the price is high, you invest too much. When the price is low, you don't invest enough. So we are not sanctioning any new projects. In three or four years we will have a lack of supply."

Pouyanné refuted the idea that the energy markets are anything but cyclical, saying this is just another stage in an ongoing rotation of peaks and troughs for market participants.

"New normal, peak oil, peak demand, floor, ceiling, forget all that."


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