According to a story written by Eric Reguly and published in Toronto newspaper “The Globe and Mail,” Total has publicized its opinion that in 10 years global production will plateau at 95 MMb/d, about 10 MMb/d more then current production. The interesting point of the article is that the company believes conventional oil production will soon reach its maximum practical limit and that diversification will be key to success. Long-term diversification, the article says, will include nuclear energy and other sources outside the realm of hydrocarbons. In the short term, though, the focus will be on oil sands in Canada and heavy oil in Venezuela. Reguly quotes Yves-Louis Darricarrère, Total exploration and development president, as saying, “We believe that, because of plateau oil, the oil sands are necessary to supply demand growth.” According to the article, Total intends to spend US $20 billion developing its Alberta portfolio over the next decade. The more interesting element of Reguly’s article is the second component of Total’s program, which calls for developing heavy oil from Venezuela. Though it is true that Venezuela has considerable heavy oil reserves, it seems a bit optimistic to think that partnering with President Hugo Chavez is a good plan. A Dow Jones article published May 15, 2009, said Chavez announced that his government will continue to seize oil-company assets as part of its plan to expand the state’s control over a key industry. The article quotes Chavez, who declared in a televised press conference in Buenos Aires, “You ask me if we have our eye on other [oil] companies. Yes. Yes. Next Wednesday (May 20), we will continue to seize companies in eastern Venezuela…I don’t know how many, let’s say all of them.” This statement was made about a week after the Venezuelan congress passed a law that allows national oil company PdVSA to seize the assets of oil service firms. Unfortunately, this isn’t a surprising turn of events in Venezuela. It will be interesting to see how Total positions itself to make a success there.