The moves make TotalFinaElf, with $101 billion in sales, the No. 1 oil refiner and distributor in Europe. In terms of production, the company is tops in Africa and No. 2 in the strategic Middle East, where it is stirring controversy with plans for investing in Iran and Iraq. Indeed, if the sanctions against Iraq are eased, Total could be the biggest winner in that piece of the oil patch. Investors are cheering: The company's shares have soared by more than 300% since Desmarest took over. Be on the watch for more audacious moves from this empire builder.