COMPANY NEWS: Apache, TotalFinaElf expand into uncommon areas

Two recent company transactions have taken two operators—one large US independent and another international major—into uncharted or uncommon areas of their operations.Apache Corp. inked an agreement in principle last week to purchase a 96.14% stake in North Sea Forties oil field as well as certain shallow-water assets in the Gulf of Mexico from BP PLC for a total $1.3 billion. The transaction takes the Houston-based firm into the North Sea for the first time.Separately, TotalFinaElf SA agreed to acquire a 43.5% interest in the Surmont oil sands project near Fort McMurray, Alta. The proposed Surmont project involves four adjacent licenses covering 548 sq km.In other recent comp...

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