In an interview with Time magazine, Christophe de Margerie, CEO of the French oil giant Total, has commented that "what will happen very soon is that oil supplies will not cover demand. That won’t mean there is no oil. There are oil reserves, but you will need to invest billions and billions to get it."

In 2007, Mr de Margerie, told a London conference of oil executives that the industry would be unlikely to be able to produce more than 100 million barrels of oil a day and would not be able to produce the 120 million barrels a day which the International Energy Agency says will be needed by 2030.  Mr de Margerie now says that producing even 90 millioin barrels a day is "optimistic".

Even present levels of production require the company to operate in difficult conditioins. For example, Total’s operations in Burma and on the Canadian tar sands and its plans to begin gas production in Iran have sparked strong protest. Last year the company opened a gas pipeline in Yemen. Total employees in Yemen can’t leave the capital and travel with armed escorts.