Total Scales Back Investment in Utica Shale, Blames Low Oil Price

Total (pronounced “toe-tail”), is a French multinational integrated oil and gas company and one of the six “supermajor” oil companies in the world. Yesterday the relatively new CEO of Total, Patrick Pouyanne, announced that he’s scaling back in the North Sea fields and in U.S. shale plays. In 2012, Total plowed more than $2 billion into the Utica Shale, partnering with Chesapeake Energy (see Chesapeake Sells More of its Utica Leases to Total). In September 2014, Total sold off a smallish investment they had in Cardinal Midstream, a Utica midstream company, to South Korean investors for $400 million (see Total, EVEP Sell Interest in Cardinal Midstream to S Koreans for $612M). Patrick Pouyanne became CEO of Total last October after a freak runway accident killed Total’s colorful and long-time CEO Christophe de Margerie (see French Supermajor Total CEO Killed in Freak Runway Accident). Pouyanne is now making his mark on the company. He blames the plunge in oil prices for his action. Here’s what Pouyanne said at a conference in Davos, Switzerland earlier this morning…

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