Total has acquired a 40% interest in two shale gas exploration licenses in the UK. The interests are in petroleum exploration and development licenses 139 and 140 in the Gainsborough Trough area of the East Midlands region of the UK, which cover an area of 240 sq km (93 sq mi).
Patrice de Viviès, Total’s senior vice president for Northern Europe, said, “This opportunity is an important milestone for Total E&P UK and opens a new chapter for the subsidiary in a promising onshore play. The Group is already involved in shale gas projects in the US, Argentina, China, Australia, and in Europe (in Poland and in Denmark), and will leverage its expertise in this new venture in the UK.”
On completion of the transaction, Total’s partners in the project will be GP Energy Ltd. (a subsidiary of Dart Energy Europe) (17.5%), Egdon Resources UK Ltd. (14.5%), Island Gas Ltd. (IGas) (14.5%), and eCorp Oil & Gas UK Ltd. (13.5%). IGas will be the operator of the initial exploration program, with Total subsequently taking over operatorship as the project moves toward development.