Total confirms talks on selling French assets

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French oil group Total said Friday it is in talks on selling some of its oil wells in France, a spokeswoman confirmed Friday.

"Total confirms its intention to cede certain of its exploration and production assets in France. Discussions are underway, but today it is premature to provide any further details," a company spokeswoman told AFP.

The French oil major's statement was in reaction to a report in a French-language oil trade journal that Total was on the point of selling off all of its French oil wells.

According to the Bulletin de l'Industrie Petroliere, the Canadian company Vermilion was to buy Total oil wells in the Paris-area plus a portion in the southwest. The French company Geopetrol would buy the remaining southwestern France wells.

The sale of its French production sites would be highly symbolic for Total, at 5,000 barrels per day of oil they made up just 0.4 percent of its 2010 output, according to the company.

Total declined to comment on reports in business daily Les Echos that it would restructure to bring its refining and petrochemicals activities together and separate its filling station business.

Two union sources told AFP that the presentation of such a plan was expected in October.

© 2011 AFP

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