Integrated oil and gas company
) continues to expand its operation in the Asia-Pacific region. The
latest addition to its portfolio in this region is the acquisition
of interest in the offshore exploration blocks in Papua New Guinea.
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The company entered into an agreement with Oil Search Limited for
the acquisition of 40% interest in offshore licences PPL 234 and
PPL 244, and a 50% interest in offshore licence PRL 10. The
agreement also has an option to acquire a 35% interest in the
onshore licences PPL 338 and PPL 339.
The offshore blocks are situated in the Gulf of Papua region in
water depth ranging up to 328 ft (100 meters). All these blocks
have possibility of high reserve of natural gas, with exploration
work expected to begin in the first half of 2013.
Although TOTAL did not divulge the financial consideration of the
deal, we expect the company to make full use of its strong
financial position. Cash and cash equivalents of TOTAL as of June
30, 2012, were $18.85 billion.
TOTAL also agreed to form a strategic partnership with Oil Search
to explore other opportunities in Papua New Guniea. Besides, the
last few months saw the company acquiring interest in the
Philippines, Australia and Thailand.
We believe these strategic acquisitions will enable the company to
comfortably meet its 3% yearly production growth target for the
TOTAL S.A. currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold
rating). Numbering among its competitors in the global arena is
France-based TOTAL is one of the largest publicly traded, globally
integrated oil and gas companies based on production volumes,
proved reserves and market capitalization. The company has
exploration and production operations spanning five continents.