Total launches biggest exploration drive in years

Total launches biggest exploration drive in years

Total is set to launch its biggest oil exploration campaign for several years in 2019, as part of its plan to shift focus to areas known to contain commercial levels of oil or gas.

The French oil giant has announced plans to drill 23 wells this year off the coast of Mauritania, Senegal, Namibia, South Africa, Guyana and Brazil.

Although the company declined to disclose how many wells were drilled in 2018, Total’s senior vice president for exploration, Kevin McLachlan, said 2019 would be Total’s biggest programme in a number of years – and treble levels of 2016 and 2017.

This comes as part of the company’s plan to concentrate efforts in emerging and mature basins, which offer greater exploration success at lower rewards.

Previously, Total had been concentrated on targeting “frontier” areas in a high risk, high reward strategy but resulted in lower rewards and saw the French firm fall behind competitors.

The majority of wells Total hope to drill this year are aimed at known giant fields.

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