Total has announced that the Boards of Total and A.P. Moller – Maersk have both approved the acquisition of 100% of the equity of the E&P company Maersk Oil & Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of A.P. Møller – Maersk, by Total in a share and debt transaction.
This transaction gives Total a stake in the Kenyan oil reserves in Turkana estimated at 750 million barrels where Maersk Oil has 25 percent ownership in the Kenyan blocks 10BA, 10BB and 13T alongside Tullow Oil and Africa Oil. The transaction also gives Total the first onshore acreage in Kenya to compliment its five offshore acreage in blocks L5, L7, L11A,L11B and L12 where it has 40 percent stake. Pre FEED work is underway for the South Lokichar license area, and an Early Oil Production Scheme is underway with first oil expected in 2017.
Other than Kenya Maersk Oil also has interest in two blocks in Ethiopia namely the South Omo (15% equity) and Rift Basin Blocks (25% equity) alongside Africa Oil, Delonex and Tullow Oil.
Overall the acquisition gives Total a say in two major oil regions in East Africa as the company also has an important stake in Uganda where another 6.5 billion barrels have been discovered in the Albertine Graben. The company was also instrumental in ensuring the East African crude oil pipeline went through Tanzania leaving Kenya to build its own pipeline. It will be thus interesting to see how Total’s new equity could change its perception towards Kenya.