Total Refinery pipelines in Belgium Mark Renders, Getty Images

French Oil Giant Sells North Sea Gas Assets Worth $900 Million

The massive sale of a gas terminal and two pipelines represents about 10% of Total's planned $10 billion assets selloff over the next couple years.

PARIS — French oil company Total announced Thursday that it had agreed to sell a North Sea gas terminal and two pipelines in a deal worth more than $900 million in a move to help offset falling oil prices.

Total said Britain’s North Sea Midstream Partners had agreed to buy the FUKA and SIRGE gas pipelines and the St. Fergus Gas Terminal in Scotland for £585 million ($902.09 million). 

The sale is part of Total’s effort to sell $10 billion worth of assets between 2015 and 2017, along with reducing new investment and cutting production costs, to compensate for sagging income as oil prices have dropped to their lowest levels since 2009.

The deal announced Thursday follows on the heels of Total’s sale last month of stakes in three North Sea gas fields for $873 million, and brings total divestments for the year to $3.5 billion. 

“The sale of these midstream transportation assets is another example of Total’s strategy of active portfolio management and the strong potential to unlock value from a range of infrastructure assets,” Total’s CFO Patrick de La Chevardiere said in a statement. “Transferring ownership to an entity specializing in midstream U.K. assets creates value for us and ensures a long and bright future for the facilities.” 

In recent months, Total has also sold stakes in a refinery in Germany for $300 million and its South Africa coal affiliate for $372 million. Despite Thursday’s sale, Total stressed it remained committed to gas exploration and extraction, including North Sea fields. 

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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