Permian Basin shale 'not a priority' for Total to thrive, CEO says

|By:, SA News Editor

Total (TOT +1.3%) CEO Patrick Pouyanne believes his company does not need U.S. shale to survive and thrive, telling the CERAWeek conference that "I don't think it is the best allocation of capital," referring to the Permian Basin. "It is not a priority. I prefer to play into my strengths."

Pouyanne says TOT will remain focused on five core areas: Africa, the Middle East, the North Sea, deepwater development and liquefied natural gas.

As an example of playing into the company's strengths, Pouyanne spoke of TOT's recent acquisition a 16.33% non-operated stake in Libya's Waha concessions from Marathon Oil for $450M, calling the deal "one of the best I've ever done."

Pouyanne says the deal takes advantage of the current situation in the country, giving TOT access to reserves and resources in excess of 500M boe, which at that price translates to less than $1/boe.

The CEO also says TOT's South Pars natural gas project in Iran is progressing on schedule despite Pres. Trumps' threats to re-impose sanctions on Iran's crude exports.

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