Total: Sincor Conversion to be Finalized by Year-End

Total expects the conversion of Sincor into a JV controlled by Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA to wrap up by the end of 2007, Total CFO Robert Castaigne told investors and analysts during a presentation.

"This has gone as satisfactorily as possible, given the circumstances," Castaigne said.

Sincor, which has operations in the Orinoco heavy crude belt, was recently renamed Petro Cedeño by PDVSA.

Total held a 45% stake in the project before PDVSA mandated increased state participation in all projects operating in the region.

Upon finalization of the deal, PDVSA will hold 60% of the JV, Total 30% and Norway's Statoil (NYSE: STO) 10%.

Venezuela's unicameral pro-government national assembly is expected to review all contracts signed in the conversion process next week.

PDVSA will have an 80% share in all Orinoco projects upon final approval, according to the statement.

Sincor produces extra-heavy oil with a gravity of 8-8.5 degrees API and upgrades in to a light synthetic crude known as Zuata Sweet.


Total reported an adjusted net income of 6.09bn euros (US$8.39bn) in the first half of 2007, down 10% from the 6.74bn euro adjusted net income reported in 1H06, according to a Total statement.

Total's South American net production dropped 2% in 1H07 to 225,000boe/d from 230,000boe/d reported in 1H06.

The company's overall total daily production rose 1% to 2.4Mboe/d.

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