Total’s acquisition of Anadarko’s African assets ‘perfectly fitting’, says CEO

Total SA’s chief executive Patrick Pouyanne has said his company’s planned acquisition of US oil firm Anadarko’s African assets is ‘perfectly fitting’ with its overall strategy.

The French energy giant agreed to buy all of Anadarko’s oil & gas assets outside the US for US$8.8 billion, although the deal is contingent on the $38 billion takeover of Anadarko by Occidental Petroleum being completed.

Speaking at an event in Washington, Pouyanne revealed that Total had been keeping tabs on Anadarko’s African assets, which stretch from Algeria to South Africa, for more than a year.

“What we tell to investors is we play to our strengths. What are the strengths of Total? It is the Middle East, Africa, North Sea, Deep Water. … It is just fitting exactly and perfectly with what we announced,” he said.

The package for Anadarko’s African assets resembles Total’s biggest acquisition since taking over Elf almost two decades ago, and includes a multi-billion dollar liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique.

Total has built up a strong balance sheet since the 2014 oil price crash, making acquisitions worth almost $20 billion in the past five years, under Pouyanne’s leadership.