(TOT) TOTAL S.A. Transfers Oilfield Interest

Recently, TOTAL E&P Russie, a wholly owned subsidiary of TOTAL S.A. (TOT), transferred 10% of its interest in the Kharyaga oil field to state-owned Zarubezhneft of Russia. This new collaboration with Zarubezhneft is expected to further boost the company’s projects in Russia, strengthening its relations with the Russian oil companies.

TOTAL is the operator of phases 2 and 3 of the Kharyaga field located in the Nenets Autonomous District. The output of phase 3 is expected to increase to 30,000 barrels per day (b/d) in 2009 compared to 20,000 b/d in 2008. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in 1999 at the same time as the Kharyaga production sharing agreement (PSA) stipulated that a Russian partner would take a stake in the project.

Another partner in the field, Norway based Statoil (STO), is also transfering a 10% interest to Zarubezhneft. Under the agreement, TOTAL will continue to operate Kharyaga with a 40% interest, along with its partners Statoil (30%), Zarubezhneft (20%) and Nenets Oil Company (10%).

TOTAL has been present in Russia since 1989. It holds a 25% interest in the first phase of the Shtokman project, alongside Gazprom (51%) and Statoil (24%). In the first phase of development, the field is expected produce 23.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, of which approximately 50% (7.5 million metric tons per year) could be exported as liquefied natural gas.

In June 2009, TOTAL also signed heads of agreement with Novatek to acquire a 49% stake in its wholly-owned subsidiary Terneftegas, with Novatek retaining a 51% interest. The Russian Federal Antitrust Service had approved the deal in October 2009.

Zacks Investment Research

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