Total to Produce More from Deepwater by 2015

Total to Produce More from Deepwater by 2015

HOUSTON - Total S.A. aims to produce more than 1 million barrels equivalent a day of oil and gas from deepwater fields by 2015, a top executive said Monday.

Yves-Louis Darricarrere, the head of the French oil giant's exploration and production unit, said that figure represents 11% of the total deepwater oil and gas volume extracted by the whole energy industry. "We are laying the groundwork for the future," Darricarrere said during a speech at the Offshore Technology Conference.

Darricarrere said Total, a major oil producer in West Africa's deepwater oilfields, is planning to deploy two systems designed to stop and contain spills from producing platforms in that continent by 2013. The company is also part of the Subsea Well Response Project, a collaboration of oil companies that will deploy spill containment systems to be used in exploration wells in four regions of the world, Darricarrere said. Darricarrere added that Total has a stash of oil dispersant in Europe that can be deployed to its global operations within 48 hours.

Total is still battling an offshore natural gas leak at the Elgin platform in the offshore U.K., and Darricarrere said the company is preparing to kill the runaway well soon. "I hope we'll be able to pump mud in the coming days," Darricarrere told reporters after his speech.

Darricarrere said Nigeria's Petroleum Industry Bill was fostering uncertainty among oil investors in the West African country. While "we don't know what the fiscal framework will be," there are early indications that it isn't moving "necessarily in the direction we wish," he said. The bill is expected to increase the government's share of Nigeria's oil revenue.


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