Credit: Alexia Barakou/Investigate Europe

The Franco-British oil and gas corporation Perenco is little-known but powerful. It styles itself as “Europe’s leading independent oil and gas group”. It operates in 14 countries worldwide, including the largest onshore European oil farm, in England, and several gas rigs in the North Sea.

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 the 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 sheds light on the company’s footprint in the world, including alleged pollution, structures in tax havens and political ties.

See the stories so far at Perenco Files.

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