Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Bold and the Beautiful; Total to plough about $2.1 billion into exploration in 2011!

Total plans to pursue a bolder exploration strategy for coming years to maintain and increase its reserves replacement ratio. About $2.1 billion will be invested into exploration activities-and about the same in 2012; 75 exploration wells to be drilled in 2011 with a focus more on the frontier areas.

  • Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie , during the Company’s 2010 financial results, said that the Company will increasingly focus on the upstream business, though “not at the expense” of its downstream unit, which is not performing well.
  • Few key wells would be drilled in French Guiana, Bolivia and Brazil in Latin America, in Libya, Nigeria and Angola in Africa and off Norway and the UK in Europe.

  • The Zaedyus wildcat in the Guyane Maritime, off French Guiana and Absheron probe in the Azerbaijaini sector of the Caspain Sea, which are currently being drilled, are the probes to be watched.

  • In the North Sea, five exploration wells will be drilled around the Alwyn complex in 2011 and one exploration on the Corfe prospect in Block 29/3b close to the Elgin-Franklin complex in 2012.
  • On  unconventional shale gas, De Margerie commented that Total’s focus would be more on the plays in the US, Eastern Europe and China. In France, where it has Montelimar license, it has no immediate plans to carry out drilling activities.
  • Through exploration and asset deals, Total aims to maintain a reserve replacement ratio of 124%-which it achieved in 2010-with a nominal 50% of this to come from exploring and remainder from acquisitions , possibly in the North Sea.

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