Perenco Files: the toxic world of a little-known European oil giant

Illustration of the Perenco Files investigation
Alexia Barakou

The multinational’s success has benefited its owners above all: the Perrodo family. The billionaires, who gave their name to their company (Perrodo Energy Company), have accumulated their fortune far from media spotlight and public scrutiny. 

One of the reasons behind their discreet ascent is that Perenco is not listed on the stock market. As a result, the group is free from transparency rules that affect other oil giants like Shell or Total who are facing massive public criticism for their activities. And with fewer than 10,000 employees worldwide, Perenco is also not subject to French laws requiring companies to list the risks associated with their activities abroad.

All this makes attempts to scrutinise the company’s operations particularly difficult. Yet, Perenco’s business is worth looking into: it specialises in buying up mature assets that other oil majors are trying to get rid of due to aging facilities and ebbing reserves. This series by Investigate Europe and its French collaboration partner Disclose, will shed light on the company’s footprint in the world, including alleged pollution, structures in tax havens and political ties.

 #PerencoFiles is an ongoing investigation supported by the IJ4EU Investigative Support Scheme.