News summaries from company press releases and from unaffiliated news agencies are provided below. The summaries are sorted by month and are further categorized as upstream news, downstream news, and business/finance news.
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• Upstream news:
- Total announces that its subsidiary, Total E&P USA, Inc.(“Total”), has signed and completed on December 30, 2011 an agreement to enter into a Joint Venture with Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C.,a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK), (“Chesapeake”) and affiliates of its partner EnerVest Ltd. In the agreement, Total acquires a 25% share in Chesapeake’s and EnerVest’s liquids-rich area of the Utica shale play located across 10 counties on the eastern side of the state of Ohio, USA. The transaction is effective as of November 1, 2011. Total has paid Chesapeake and EnerVest about USD 700 million in cash for acquiring these assets. Total will also be committed to pay additional amounts up to USD 1.63 billion over a maximum period of 7 years in the form of a 60% carry of Chesapeake and EnerVest’s future capital expenditures on drilling and completion of wells within the Joint Venture. The Joint Venture covers approximately 619,000 net acres, of which 542,000 net acres are brought by Chesapeake and 77,000 net acres are brought by EnerVest. Total will acquire its 25% share from each of Chesapeake and EnerVest on identical terms, giving a total of 155,000 net acres. Chesapeake will operate the Joint Venture acreage. As a result of the transaction, Total will also acquire a 25% share in any new acreage which will be acquired by Chesapeake in the liquids-rich area of the Utica shale play. To date 13 wells have been drilled across the acreage with very promising results seen from each well in terms of productivity and liquid content. The Joint Venture plans to ramp up the drilling activities in the coming 3 years with 25 rigs planned to be mobilized by 2014 to fully appraise and develop the acreage. SEC production in Total’s share is expected to reach 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by the end of the decade.
- Total announced that it has signed two exploration licenses with the Mauritanian government that gives it, as operator, a 90% interest in the following blocks: Block C 9 in ultra deep offshore ; Block Ta 29 onshore in the Taoudeni basin. The National oil company SMH will hold the remaining 10%. The block C 9 is located approximately 140 kilometers offshore Western Mauritania, covering an area of more than 10,000 km², in water depths ranging from 2,500 to 3,000 metres. The Block Ta 29 is located in the Saharan desert, 1,000 kilometers east from Nouakchott and north of the Block Ta 7 in which Total is already conducting exploration activities. For both blocks, a seismic acquisition campaign is planned as the first phase of the exploration program.
- Total and its joint venture partner INPEX CORPORATION announced that they have taken the final investment decision for the Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Australia, representing an investment of US$34 billion dollars. Total holds a 24% interest in the project which will develop approximately 3 billion barrels oil equivalent of reserves, including around 500 million barrels of condensate. First production is expected at the end of 2016. The Ichthys project consists of the development of the Ichthys gas and condensate field offshore North West Australia (lying in 260 metres of water depth) and the construction of an 889 kilometres gas transmission pipeline together with an onshore LNG plant near Darwin in the Northern Territory. The offshore facilities will consist of a subsea well development connected to a central processing facility (CPF1) for gas treatment and a floating processing, storage and offloading (FPSO2) vessel for condensates. The CPF and the FPSO will both be one of the largest in the world. Onshore installations will consist of two LNG trains with a capacity of 4.2 million tons per year each and facilities for the extraction and the export of LPGs and condensate. In addition to its LNG production, the Ichthys project is expected to generate 1.6 million tons per year of LPGs and 100,000 barrels of condensate a day at peak.
• Downstream news:
- Momar Nguer has been appointed Senior Vice President, Africa/Middle East at Total Supply & Marketing.
- Total is consolidating its positions in petrochemicals in Asia with a new expansion and upgrading project for the Daesan complex in South Korea, which the Group owns with Samsung as part of the Samsung Total Petrochemicals 50/50 joint venture. With costs approaching $1.8 billion, the project calls for the construction of a second aromatics1 unit and an ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer unit at the Daesan petrochemical complex. The new aromatics unit will have a production capacity of around 1 million metric tons of paraxylene and 420,000 metric tons of benzene per year and will be completed by September 2014. Paraxylene is used to manufacture polyester, while benzene is used to produce petrochemical products such as styrene. With the completion of the aromatics unit in 2014 and the upgrade of existing paraxylene capacity in 2012, total paraxylene production capacity will be increased to 1.76 million metric tons. The new EVA unit will produce 240,000 metric tons per year of ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymers. This resin is used in products such as electrical cables, adhesives and solar panels. Environmentally friendly and versatile, EVA is expected to see continued growth in demand.
- Following the Total Group’s recent organization, the Management Committee of the newly created Supply-Marketing division, led by Philippe Boisseau, consists of: Odile de Damas-Nottin, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, François Dehodencq, Senior Vice President, Asia-Pacific , Miguel del Marmol, Senior Vice President, Supply Logistics, Francis Jan, Senior Vice President, Specialties, Latin America/Caribbean, Northern, Central and Eastern Europe, and the CIS, Benoît Luc, Senior Vice President, Europe, Momar Nguer, Senior Vice President, Africa/Middle East, Jérôme Paré, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Development, Research, Jérôme Schmitt, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs
• Business/Finance news:
- Humbert de Wendel Appointed Senior Vice President, Finance & Cash Management and Corporate Treasurer of Total.
Françoise Leroy Succeeds Mr. de Wendel as Head of Merger & Acquisitions
- At its meeting on January 12, 2012, the Board of Directors of Total accepted the resignation for personal reasons of Thierry de Rudder as a Director, effective the close of the meeting.
- Helle Kristoffersen has been appointed Senior Vice President, Strategy & Business Intelligence at Total. She is a member of the Management Committee and Secretary of the Executive Committee of Total.
• Upstream news:
- Total, operator of the Hild license, launches the development of this field located in the Norwegian North Sea. This development will represent an investment of US$4.2 billion (NOK 25.6 billion) and is subject to the approval of the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and Norwegian Parliament (Storting). Total holds a 51 % interest together with its partners Petoro (30 %) and Statoil (19 %). Hild’s reserves amount to approximately 190 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe). Production is expected to start end of 2016 and will reach 100,000 boe per day at peak. The stand-alone development, in a water depth of 115 meters, accesses separate gas/condensate and oil reservoirs. It includes the installation of an integrated wellhead, production and accommodation platform. Processed gas will be exported to St Fergus in the UK via a new link to the existing Frigg UK Pipeline (FUKA). Liquids will be sent to a dedicated storage vessel where water is separated for reinjection, and oil will be exported via shuttle tankers.
- Total announces that the second phase of the Ofon field development in offshore Nigeria (Ofon Phase 2) has begun. Construction and installation contracts have been awarded for Ofon Phase 2, which is scheduled to come on stream in 2014. The Ofon field is located in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 102, 65 kilometres off the Nigerian shores in a water depth of 40 metres. Ofon Phase 2 will unlock the field’s undeveloped reserves to increase production to 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from 30,000 barrels, by installing 4 new platforms: 2 production platforms, a processing platform and an accommodation platform. Most of the development is dedicated to recovering natural gas, which will be compressed and evacuated to shore. In line with Total’s environmental stewardship commitments, Ofon Phase 2 is a major step forward in the Group’s plan to reduce its flaring of associated gas and its greenhouse gas emissions.
- Total announces the signature of an agreement with Sinochem to sell TEPMA BV. This fully owned affiliate of Total holds a working interest in the Cusiana field as well as a participation in OAM and ODC pipelines in Colombia. Total share of production of Cusiana is around 7,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. This transaction is subject to approval by the relevant authorities. This sale follows a divestiture of a 5 % working interest in the Ocensa pipeline to Petrominerales and of another 5 % to Cepsa in July 2011. The combined value of the three transactions amounts to about US$ 1 billion. Total will continue its exploration activities in Colombia on the Niscota (50 %) and Mundo Nuevo (55 %) blocks. In 2009, a significant gas condensate discovery was made in the southern part of Niscota by the well Huron 1. The promising appreciation well Huron 2 is being drilled with a further appreciation well Huron 3 to be drilled later in 2012. Total still holds a 5.2 % share in the Ocensa pipeline
- Total announces the signature of production sharing agreements with the Côte d’Ivoire state and national oil company Petroci for three new ultra-deep offshore licenses. Total will operate the CI-514 license with a 54% interest, in partnership with Canadian Natural Ressources International (36%) and Petroci (10%). Total will also hold a 45% interest in the CI-515 and CI-516 licenses, alongside Anadarko (45%) and Petroci (10%). For each block Total will become the operator upon the first commercial discovery. The licenses are situated approximately 100 kilometres offshore Côte d’Ivoire and cover an area of 3,200 square kilometres with water depths ranging from 2,000 to 3,000 metres. The work program includes a 3D seismic survey of the whole acreage and one well to be drilled on each block during the initial three-year exploration period.
- Total announces the finalization of its farm-in with Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) for an interest of 33% 1/3, covering licences EA*-1, EA-2, the new Kanywataba license and the Kingfisher production licence. All these licences are located in the Lake Albert region where oil resources have already been discovered, with a remaining important potential to be explored. Total will be the operator of EA-1, while Tullow will operate EA-2 and CNOOC Ltd (CNOOC) will operate the Kanywataba license and the Kingfisher production licences (both of them being from the former EA-3A block). This last step in the acquisition follows the recent signing of new Production Sharing Agreements between Tullow and the Government of Uganda and the granting of the Kingfisher production licence, consolidating the mining rights in this transaction for a consideration close to $1.5 billion. Total and its partners Tullow and CNOOC are embarking on an ambitious exploration and appraisal program from 2012 onwards. First priority will be given to the exploration of Kanywataba and EA-1 licences west of the Nile.
- Total, operator of Block OML138, announces the start-up of production of the offshore Usan field in Nigeria, in line with the planned schedule. Usan is the second deep offshore development operated by Total in Nigeria, coming on stream less than three years after Akpo. Discovered in 2002, the Usan field lies around 100 kilometers off the South East Nigerian coast in water depths ranging from 750 to 850 meters. The Usan development comprises a spread moored Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel designed to process 180 000 barrels per day and with a crude storage capacity of 2 million barrels. Its size of 320 meters long and 61 meters wide makes it one of the largest vessels of this type in the world. Development involves 42 wells that are connected to the FPSO by a 70 kilometers long subsea network.
• Downstream news:
• Business/Finance news:
- Jacques de Boisséson has been appointed General Director of Total E&P Russie and General Representative of Total in Russia
- The Board of Directors of Total met on February 9, 2012 under the chairmanship of Christophe de Margerie, Chairman and CEO. It reviewed the Group’s accounts for the fourth quarter of 2011 and approved the 2011 consolidated financial statements, as well as the parent company financial statements and the proposed dividend of €2.28 per share, which will be submitted to the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting for approval. The ex-dividend date for the final dividend of €0.57 per share will be June 18, 2012*.
• Upstream news:
- Total announces that it has acquired from Oil Search a 40% interest in the Block 3 exploration license in Yemen, which it will operate. The license covers an area of 2,954 square kilometers in the eastern section of the Marib Basin. The acquisition is subject to the approval of Yemen’s Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources. Total’s partners will be the Austrian OMV, the Czech MND and state-owned Yemen General Corporation for Oil and Gas (YGC). Once the transaction has been completed, the joint-venture will resume exploration with a seismic survey which could be followed by a drilling of an exploration well. Total announces that it has acquired from Oil Search a 40% interest in the Block 3 exploration license in Yemen, which it will operate. The license covers an area of 2,954 square kilometers in the eastern section of the Marib Basin. The acquisition is subject to the approval of Yemen’s Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources. Total’s partners will be the Austrian OMV, the Czech MND and state-owned Yemen General Corporation for Oil and Gas (YGC). Once the transaction has been completed, the joint-venture will resume exploration with a seismic survey which could be followed by a drilling of an exploration well.- Following a gas leak on the Elgin field on March 25, 2012, the production on the Elgin, Franklin and West Franklin fields was stopped and the personnel of the site were evacuated.
- On 25 March, Total reported that a gas leak following a well operation occurred on the same day at the wellhead platform on the Elgin gas field which is located in the UK North Sea approximately 240 km east of Aberdeen. Total immediately launched internal emergency procedures and Crisis Management Teams have been mobilized in Aberdeen and Paris. The gas leak at the Elgin wellhead platform remains ongoing. 238 personnel have been evacuated onshore, and no injuries have been reported. Production on the Elgin, Franklin and West Franklin fields is fully stopped. All necessary measures are being taken to respond appropriately to the situation and to minimize its impact. Investigations are ongoing to analyze the causes and to determine the remediation of the gas leak. Total is actively monitoring the situation with standby vessels in the area. A surveillance aircraft flown over the area has confirmed a sheen on the water in the vicinity of the platform. This sheen is related to drilling muds and/or light condensate associated to the gas representing a volume estimated today at about 30 m3. Preliminary assessments indicate no significant impact to the environment and dispersants are not considered necessary at this stage. Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) has been alerted and is currently evaluating the situation.
- TOTAL has scheduled a conference call on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 15.00 Paris time, to provide an update on gas leak incident at Elgin platform in the UK North Sea. The call will be followed by a Q&A session with financial analysts. It will be also available online at www.total.com.
- Total hosted a press conference, attended by Rt Hon Charles Hendry, MP, Minister of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) at which it provided further details of the scale of its work to control the release of non-toxic gas from the G4 well on the Elgin field platform and confirmed that the situation remains stable.
- A major gas leak on an offshore platform in the North Sea forced crews to evacuate it and other equipment in the area on Tuesday because of the risk of explosion, and ships and aircraft were ordered to stay miles away. Total, the French energy company that operates the platform, said it might take as long as six months to stop the release of gas. The leak on the Elgin platform, about 150 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland, developed over the weekend in a well that workers were in the process of capping and abandoning. No one on the platform was injured, the company said, and there appeared to be no immediate danger to anyone on shore. But the volume of gas escaping from the well threatened to make the air poisonous and potentially explosive over a wide area around the platform, and posed a danger of significant environmental harm.
- After the risk of explosion forced the evacuation of a leaking offshore platform in the North Sea, the French oil company Total said that the situation was “stable” but that it was still examining how to stop the gas leak. Gas continued to escape from the Elgin platform, off the coast of Scotland, for a fourth day, while well-control experts in Aberdeen debated options on how to halt the leak, including killing the well with heavy liquids and creating a relief well, which could take up to six months.
• Downstream news:
- Total signed a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI)1 and Petrochemicals Industries Company (PIC)2, two wholly owned subsidiaries of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation. The MOU relates to a targeted participation in the Zhanjiang project in China. This project consists of a planned development of a large size (300,000 barrel per day), full-conversion refinery integrated with petrochemicals and marketing, in partnership with Sinopec. The proposed refining and petrochemicals platform will be designed to process Kuwaiti crude as feedstock and to produce high-quality refined and petrochemicals products.
- EDF and TOTAL, the CNRS (the French National Centre for Scientific Research) and the Ecole Polytechnique, associated with AIR LIQUIDE, HORIBA JOBIN YVON and RIBER have announced the creation of the Institut Photovoltaïque d’Ile-de-France (IPVF), a project selected by France’s Commission for Future Investments as an Institute for Excellence in Carbon-free Energy. The IPVF will be one of the five largest centres worldwide, conducting research into new generation photovoltaic solar systems. It will be based at the Paris Saclay campus, a French centre of excellence in scientific research, and will eventually bring together almost 180 researchers, lecturers and students. The IPVF will be a driver for national and European policies on the development of renewable energies.
- Total is partnering four of the R&D institute projects covered by the French government’s Investissements d’avenir (Investing in the Future) stimulus program. The projects are being implemented by public-private partnerships that combine academic and business resources in France to prepare the energy future.
- In the area of photovoltaic solar energy, Total will be one of the leaders of the IPVF project to create an R&D institute in the Paris region that will be one of the top five in the world for next-generation photovoltaic solar systems. In the area of low-carbon geotechnology, the Geodenergies project is designed to unlock additional value from mineral resource development and management via carbon storage, energy storage and geothermal energy processes. In the area of biofuels, the GreenStars project aims to develop next-generation biofuels and products from microalgae. In the area of energy efficiency, the PS2E project aims to set up a research, training and development institute in Saclay, outside Paris, to address the energy efficiency challenges of industrial infrastructure in urban areas.
• Business/Finance news:
- Subject to decisions by the Board of Directors and shareholders at the Annual Meeting to approve the financial statements and the final dividend, the ex-dividend dates of the quarterly interim dividends and the final dividend for 2013 will be: September 24, 2013, December 16, 2013, March 24, 2014, June 2, 2014.
• Upstream news:
- Total, the French oil company, said that a natural gas leak off the coast of Scotland was costing it $2.5 million a day and that it was too early to say when it could be stopped. Total said the leak, which started at its Elgin platform eight days ago, is losing the company $1.5 million a day in earnings and generating another $1 million a day in costs. The price of stopping the leak could reach $200 million if two relief wells are drilled, as is now planned. The company added that the costs were no threat to its finances, however.
- Total and the partners of the Bongkot Joint Venture announce the start of the production from the Greater Bongkot South (GBS) gas and condensate field in the Gulf of Thailand. The Joint Venture is operated by PTTEP (44.45%), alongside partners Total (33.33%) and BG Group (22.22%). The offshore GBS field is located in the Gulf of Thailand’s blocks B16 and B17, approximately 200 kilometres East of Songkhla. This new standalone development consists of a central processing platform, a living quarter platform and 13 wellhead platforms. The processing platform has a capacity of 350 million cubic feet of gas per day and 15,000 barrels of condensate per day. Gas is exported via a new build spur line to the PTT grid while condensate is exported to the existing Floating, Storage and Offloading (FSO) vessel at the Greater Bongkot North field, which is located 80 kilometres to the north.
- Total announces first production from its Islay gas field in the Northern North Sea, 440 kilometers north-east of Aberdeen. Total operates and fully owns the Islay field, which was discovered mid 2008 and is mainly located in Block 3/15 of the United Kingdom sector and partly in Blocks 29/6a and 29/6c of the Norwegian sector. Lying in a water depth of 120 meters, the field has estimated reserves of nearly 17 million barrels of oil equivalent and has already reached its expected production of 15 000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
• Downstream news:
• Business/Finance news: