Total Takes Stake in Four Deepwater Exploration Blocks Offshore Australia

Total has signed two agreements to participate in the exploration of four offshore blocks situated to the northwest of Australia.

Under the terms of one agreement with the Australian company BHP Billiton, Total takes a 25% interest in the WA-301-P exploration block. BHP Billiton is the operator with a 50% interest and is partnered with the Chinese company CNOOC, also holding a 25% stake.

Total has also signed an agreement with BHP Billiton (operator, 25%) and Kerr-McGee (25%) to take a 25% interest in the exploration blocks WA-303-P, WA-304-P and WA-305-P. CNOOC also holds a 25% stake in these permits.

These four blocks are situated between 300 and 400 kilometers from the shore in water depths ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 meters. Exploration activities are planned starting in 2007.

These new interests illustrate Total's commitment to continue strengthening its presence in Australia, where it is already conducting exploration operations in four deep offshore blocks.