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Total expands pre-salt footprint with new deep offshore exploration license

Total, operator, and its co-venturers Qatar Petroleum and Petronas have won the C-M-541 deep offshore block in the 16th Bidding Round held by Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency (ANP). The acreage is located in the pre-salt Campos Basin in a water depth of about 3,000 m.

“Total is pleased to expand its footprint in the Campos Basin with this new operated exploration block, alongside two strategic partners,” Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total, said. “It is another demonstration of our ability to seize high-quality exploration acreage in a key growth area for the group. This is in line with our strategy to continue building our operator positions in Brazil’s deep offshore, where we can add value thanks to our deepwater competencies. It follows on from our acquisition in 2016, through successful direct negotiations with Petrobras, of operatorship of the Lapa field and an interest in the Iara concession. We have also launched development phases 1 and 2 of the giant Mero field. In this context, Total confirms that it will not participate in the upcoming Transfer-of-Rights (TOR) Surplus Round, as the competitive tender is only offering non-operated interests.”

Total will operate the block with a 40% interest, alongside Qatar Petroleum (40%) and Petronas (20%). The consortium plans to drill a first exploration well in 2021.

This entry into a new block follows the FID made by Total and its partners in June 2019 for the second FPSO of the Mero project (Libra Block), which is expected to start up in 2022. Currently under construction, the first FPSO of the Mero project is progressing according to schedule, with start-up planned in 2021. The first FPSO of the Iara project is expected to start up later this year and the second one in 2020.

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