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Total Won’t Invest In Shale After BP’s Acquisition Of BHP Assets

France’s oil and gas major Total—one of the few majors without exposure to shale assets—is not thinking of investing in the U.S. shale patch, even after BP moved in to buy assets from BHP in one of the largest deals in its history.

“It’s first quite expensive, second we don’t have the human resources,” Total’s chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said on the sidelines of an oil industry event in Stavanger, Norway.

“BP had the human resources, BP had already a position, so I can understand their move but it’s not my case,” said Pouyanne, as quoted by Reuters, when asked whether the BP-BHP deal in the shale patch made the U.S. shale industry more attractive.

Earlier this year, Pouyanne said at another conference, CERAWeek in Houston, that he thinks that the Permian is not the best allocation of capital to create value for the French company and its shareholders.

Unlike its competitors, Total doesn’t have a position in the Permian, and it would be quite costly to try to gain one at this point in the game. For this reason, the Permian is not a priority for the French company, its chief executive said at CERAWeek in March this year. Total’s current priority areas are the Middle East, Africa, the North Sea, deepwater, and liquefied natural gas (LNG), Pouyanne said back then.

Meanwhile, BP said last month that it would buy world-class unconventional assets from BHP in the Permian, the Eagle Ford, and the Haynesville basins for US$10.5 billion, which will add 190,000 boe/d of production and 4.6 billion boe of discovered resources to BP’s portfolio.

The US$10.5 billion acquisition is the biggest for BP since buying Arco in 1999, the UK-based major said.

The deal gives BP “secure access to new projects that can contribute on a large scale to growing its production,” analysts at Rystad Energy said.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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