Total to sell $15-20 billion in assets by yearend 2014

Total SA outlined plans to sell $15-20 billion worth of assets by yearend 2014, and the sales could include upstream assets, refineries, and pipelines, executives said.

Christophe de Margerie, chairman and chief executive officer, outlined Total’s plans to investors during a presentation in London on Sept. 24. Total will use income from the sales to reinvest in projects it already owns and to fund exploration, he said.

Most of the divestiture will come from the exploration and production division, de Margerie said, although he declined to name specific assets. Total’s plan to sell assets to help grow its profitability follows similar divestiture efforts by BP PLC and ConocoPhillips.

Total also plans to grow its production an average 3%/year during 2011-15, which is up from its earlier comments that it was seeking to grow production an average 2.5%/year during that time.

After 2015, Total hopes to accelerate production growth to reach 3 million boe/d in 2017.

Of the 3 million boe/d target, 70% of the projects are either in production or in development, executives noted.

On the downstream side, an ongoing restructuring of refining and chemical operations is expected to provide savings of $650 million/year for Total by 2015 through improved efficiencies.

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