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Total sticks to its guns on exploration and transition

The French oil and gas major refuses to be eclipsed by shale

Total's decision to launch its boldest exploration strategy in five years, in 2019, contrasts sharply with moves by other majors to largely prioritise US shale acreage over frontier markets. The French firm aims to drill treble the number of offshore and onshore wells drilled in the last two years, at 23 in 2019, even as the promise of more easily controllable costs and high productivity leads the likes of Chevron and ExxonMobil to ramp up Permian Basin activities. The exploration strategy sits well within an outward-looking tradition driven by France's comparative lack of domestic hydrocarbon resources. Since its inception in 1924 as the French Petroleum Company, Total has grown to operat

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