According to Russian media, Total’s CEO Christophe de Margerie from France had died shortly after his private jet hit a snowplough during their take-off in the Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow.
According to Vnukovo Airport Spokeswoman Elena Kyrlova “Tonight a plane crashed when it collided with a snow-clearign machine.” Three crew members and a passenger died. I can confirm that the passenger was Total’s head De Margerie.”
A source from Total confirmed that De Margerie had boarded the plane shortly before the midnight accident. The aircraft was a Paris-bound Dassault Falcon business jet.
De Margerie was to attend a Russian Government meeting on Foreign Investment in Gorki, near Moscow, on Monday.
Christophe de Margerie took over total on February 2007 and became its chairman on May 2010 after he ran the exploration and production division. Philippe Boisseau, Total’s Energy Division Head and Patrick Pouyanne, a risk and expense reduction head, are seen as potential successors of the late de Margerie.
Total is one of the major oil companies in the world. Its output represents more than a tenth of its global portfolio by 2020. Despite the sanctions placed against Russia, Total said it wouldn’t stop working on the Yamal project, worth $27bn (£20bn), which would invest into tapping Russia’s vast natural gas reserves in Siberia.