Total Ups Its US Gulf of Mexico Game Through Buy-In to Anchor Discovery

Total just strengthened its presence in United States deepwater plays through an acquisition from Samson that gives the French company a 12.5% interest in blocks covering the Anchor discovery, one of the most significant recent finds in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Anchor discovery in the deepwater United States Gulf of Mexico was drilled for Chevron by Pacific Drilling’s Pacific Santa Ana drillship.
Source: Pacific Drilling.

Total has strengthened its position in the United States Gulf of Mexico (GOM) with an agreement announced on 24 January to acquire a subsidiary of Samson that holds a 12.5% interest in four blocks covering the deepwater Anchor discovery. Anchor is one of the most significant recent discoveries in the GOM.

The deal, in which Total acquired Samson Offshore Anchor, also includes a 12.5% interest in the nearby exploration block Green Canyon 761. Total already has a 25% interest in the block.

“The entry in the Anchor discovery further increases Total’s footprint in deepwater Gulf of Mexico,” said Arnaud Breuillac, president of exploration & production (E&P) at Total. “It follows our entry in seven exploration prospects located in the promising Wilcox (central GOM) and Norphlet (eastern GOM) plays, thanks to an agreement signed with Chevron last September, and in the Jack field where the Group will acquire a 25% interest as part of the Maersk Oil [acquisition] deal.”

Discovered in the Wilcox play in 2014, Anchor is located approximately 140 miles off the coast of Louisiana in more than 4,921 ft of water. Additional prospective resources have been identified in the Anchor vicinity, strengthening the potential of the asset.

Anchor is operated by Chevron, which has a 55% interest in the project, with Cobalt (20%) and Venari (12.5%) also holding stakes.

Total in the US

Total has been active in US E&P since 1957. In the GOM, the company focuses on the deepwater domain with a 17% participation in the Chevron-operated Tahiti field and a 33.33% interest in the Petrobras-operated Chinook field.

Also in the GOM, Total has a 40% stake in the Cobalt-operated North Platte discovery and will become a 25% partner in the Chevron-operated Jack field when the Maersk acquisition is completed later this quarter. Total holds participation in more than 160 exploration leases.

Onshore, Total operates about 100,000 BOE/D of shale gas production in the Barnett play and has a 25% interest in a Chesapeake-operated joint venture in the Utica Shale.