Whenever a business takes on a higher-risk project, it is always hoping for higher rewards. Based on the riskier projects that Total (NYSE:TTE) has taken on recently, the company must be expecting big rewards. Not only is it trying to navigate the murky political waters of shale drilling in Europe, but it is also trying to explore some parts of the world where estimates for oil and gas are few and far between. 

Also, Total has shown it to be one of the more innovative thinkers compared to its other integrated major peers. It owns 66% of U.S. solar panel manufacturer SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) and is partnering with several major European airline companies to develop next-generation jet fuels. Tune in to the video conversation below where Fool.com contributors Tyler Crowe and Aimee Duffy take a look at more of Total's risky bets. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.