In the battle that raged between the American giants Chevron and Occidental Petroleum to buy Anadarko, a major French winner: Total, which will take over the African assets of the acquired firm.
By announcing on Thursday, May 9 that it would not raise its offer of 33 billion for Anadarko, Chevron is leaving the field open for Total to significantly strengthen its portfolio of African assets. On the evening of May 5, the French major confirmed the existence of a conditional agreement with Occidental Petroleum (Oxy), which would allow it, if its US partner won the bid, to acquire Anadarko’s assets in Africa for $8.8 billion. In the press release announcing the conditional agreement with Oxy, Patrick Pouyanné, Total’s CEO, noted that « if completed, the acquisition of Anadarko by Occidental offers us the opportunity to acquire a portfolio of world-class assets in Africa, which would strengthen our position as the leading international private company on the continent ». As part of its takeover proposal, Occidental had in fact planned to sell up to $15 billion of Anadarko’s assets to finance the operation, including its African operations to its occasional French ally. This has now been done and Total is signing its largest acquisition since the acquisition of Elf in 1999.
The transaction between Occidental and Total is expected to be completed in 2020. Total’s total assets, 70% of which are gas, represent approximately 1.2 billion barrels of proven and probable reserves, to which should be added, in the longer term, two billion barrels of natural gas resources in Mozambique. This will significantly increase the French group’s already significant African portfolio: Total currently produces around 700,000 barrels per day in Africa (a quarter of its global production in 2018), but mainly in the form of liquid oil, not gas.