Total invests in U.K. shale gas reserves, boosts U.K. energy policy

|By:, SA News Editor

Total (TOT) purchases a 40% stake in two shale gas exploration licenses for the U.K., the first sign of interest from an energy major in British reserves. (earlier)

The move is worth less than $50M, but the investment is a sign of confidence in prospects for shale gas in the U.K., which has seen some pilot projects disrupted by local and environmental protests.

French oil companies Total and GDF Suez (GDFZY, GDSZF) have hopped across the English Channel to explore for British gas, but both probably would be doing it at home had the country not banned fracking.