Covering an area of around 750 square kilometers, the blocks are located around 40 kilometers off the northern coast of Alaska in an average water depth of 35 meters.
The exploration period will last 10 years. Total E&P USA is considering conducting a seismic survey to identify the main prospects and possible drilling locations for the exploration wells.
In recent years, Total has acquired extensive familiarity with this oil region, allowing it to identify a number of attractive exploration plays.
The acquisition of these blocks is in line with Total's strategy of focusing on prospects with high long-term potential.
Total has been present in exploration and production in the United States since 1956 and produced 15,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in equity share in 2006. Two deep offshore fields in the Gulf of Mexico—Virgo (64%, operator) and Matterhorn (100%, operator)—accounted for most of this output.
Total E&P USA also owns a 17% stake in the deep offshore Tahiti field in the Gulf of Mexico, which is scheduled to come on stream in 2008.
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