Christophe de Margerie, the CEO of French oil giant Total, said that he believes oil prices will remain on their upward slope, but that refining margins currently remain weak. Even without speculation, oil prices would still be rising, in part due to geopolitical concerns and demand, de Margerie said, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Total (TOT), Europe's third-largest oil company, also noted that is still looking to sell its Lindsey refinery in the U.K. and that a deal could be imminent. de Margerie said at a conference in the south of France that oil prices are not likely to fall over the long-term.
Prices for Brent crude have risen to $118 since the International Energy Agency's decision in June to release 60 million barrels of oil from emergency stocks to alleviate problems caused by the shutdown of Libyan crude exports due to the civil war, according to the Journal. Prior to that move by the IEA, Brent traded for $114 a barrel.
de Margerie said Total, France's largest company by market value, is ''flexible'' in its approach to acquisitions. The company has one of the largest war chests among the world's largest integrated oil companies. The CEO added his company will not sell assets just for the sake of selling them and that getting the long-term strategy right is what is most important, the Journal reported.