TOTAL BECOMES LARGEST ENERGY PRODUCER
Looking to expand shale-based oil production outside of its home country of France, where the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing drilling is banned, Total SA announced it was purchasing a 40% stake in two U.K. oil exploration areas. Total's partner IGAS Energy PLC ), which holds 14.5% of the permits to explore in the area, will be the operator of the exploration project.
The $47 million payments for exploration rights to Dart Energy Ltd make Paris-based Total SA the largest oil company to enter the U.K. fracking business, according to a report by Bloomberg. Total's stock price fell by just over 1% on the news, while Dart climbed 18%.
The move by Total SA, the largest oil producer…
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