Total has obtained the Montelimar Permit in France by ministerial decree dated as of March 1st, 2010. This exploration permit, granted for a five-year period, covers a surface of 4,327 square kilometers that spans from the south of Valence to the region of Montpellier, in the south of France.
This permit, which will be operated by Total, has been jointly attributed to Total and to a subsidiary of the American group Devon. Devon having decided at the end of 2009 to focus its activities in North America, Total also announced having acquired Devon's French affiliate. Through this transaction, which is subject to ministerial approval, Total will hold a 100% stake in the license.
Yves-Louis Darricarrère, president Exploration & Production, declared, "Total has committed to a program of work that is aimed at confirming the presence of shale gas in the region, and appraising the possibility of an economical development of these resources. Should the first geological activities be promising, exploration wells will be drilled in order to evaluate this potential."
With this new permit, and further to the acquisition of a 25% interest in Chesapeake's permit in the Barnett Shale play in the United States at the end of 2009, Total confirms its willingness to develop its activities in non-conventional gas.
In France, Total has operated fields since 1939, notably the Lacq and Meillon gas fields located in the southwest of France, of which Total holds a 100% interest. In 2009, the Group produced 24,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
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