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France's Total gets access to US shale oil project

France's Total gets access to US shale oil project

Total has acquired a 50 percent stake in a U.S. energy company operating in the West, giving the French oil giant access to a federal drilling lease.
Shale deposits in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah are thought to hold more than 1 trillion barrels of oil. About 800 billion barrels of that are believed to be recoverable.
Total did not say how much it paid for the stake in American Shale Oil, a subsidiary of IDT Corp., which has rights to the prospective shale oil development in western Colorado.
It is just the latest of several European energy companies getting involved in shale projects in the U.S.
In November, Norwegian energy company Statoil Hydro bought a one-third interest for $3.37 billion in Chesapeake Energy's stake to natural gas deposits in the massive Marcellus Shale area in Appalachia.
Chesapeake Energy, the largest natural gas producer in the U.S., also has sold a 25 percent working interest in its assets in the Fayetteville Shale assets to BP America, a unit of British oil company BP PLC, for $1.9 billion.
Under the latest deal, Total and IDT will jointly develop a research and demonstration program to produce and commercialize shale oil.
Total, the world's fifth largest integrated oil and gas company, will pay for most of the funding for the research, development and demonstration phase of the project along with providing technical assistance. It also will assume management responsibility during the subsequent commercial phase.
The deal is expected to close this quarter.
American Shale is one of several companies with 10-year leases granted by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to assess, test and demonstrate the potential for commercial shale oil production in western Colorado.
"Our investment in AMSO furthers our commitment to developing unconventional hydrocarbons," Yves-Louis Darricarrere, Total's E&P president said in a statement. "Given the magnitude of oil shale resources we believe that this project has an important long-term potential for global energy markets."


Updated : 2021-04-15 05:12 GMT+08:00