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Total sells Nigeria offshore oil stake for $2.5B

Monday - 11/19/2012, 12:44pm  ET

A petrol attendant fills a car at a Total petrol station in Lagos, Nigeria, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. French oil company Total SA said Monday it had sold its stake in an offshore oil field near Nigeria for $2.5 billion to the Chinese state-run firm Sinopec Corp., a sign of the China's growing stakes in the West African nation's oil production. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

JON GAMBRELL
Associated Press

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) -- French oil company Total SA said Monday it had sold its stake in an offshore oil field near Nigeria for $2.5 billion to the Chinese state-run firm Sinopec Corp., a sign of China's growing stakes in the West African nation's oil production.

The field includes Total's deep-water Usan production operation, which opened earlier this year and has a production capacity of 180,000 barrels a day. Production had been ramping up and is currently at around 130,000 barrels a day, Total spokesman Charles-Etienne Lebatard said.

The Usan facility has a storage capacity of 2 million barrels, the company has said. The field is about 62 miles (100 kilometers) from the West African nation's southeastern coast.

Total said the sale matched its plans to raise cash for new ventures. In September, the company issued a statement saying it planned to sell $15 billion to $20 billion worth of its assets from now through 2014.

"This sale of an asset operated from a minority position will allow us to focus our resources on the material growth opportunities in Total's portfolio," Yves-Louis Darricarr
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