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Oil and gas sale

Total adds North Sea assets in $7.45bn Maersk deal

Total is buying Maersk’s oil and gas business in a $7.45 billion (£5.8bn) deal which includes the Culzean gas field.

The French energy major said the acquisition would strengthen its operations in the North Sea.

The world’s top oil companies have been back on the takeover trail over the last year, helped by signs of a recovery in the oil market.

Total expects its biggest oil deal since it acquired Elf in 2000 to generate financial synergies of more than $400 million per year, in particular by combining assets in the North Sea.

Total has been betting on new rather than mature fields in the North Sea and the acquisition gives it further economies of scale by making it the second largest player in the region.

The purchase signals some oil majors are prepared to invest to replenish reserves and boost production, anticipating an oil price recovery. With current prices of $50 per barrel most majors are struggling to balance their books.

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