Total now 'comfortably' second largest oil firm in LNG market, Woodmac say

French oil giant Total is now “comfortably” the world’s second largest seller of liquified natural gas (LNG), according to Wood Mackenzie (Woodmac).

Total yesterday agreed a £6.7 deal to acquire the LNG stakes in Algeria, Ghana, Mozambique and  South Africa.

But the deal rests upon the successful completion of Occidental’s ongoing bid for Anadarko.

According to Woodmac research director Nicholas Browne, Total now only trails Shell as the top oil and gas LNG seller, and the fourth largest dedicated LNG seller after Qatargas, Shell and Petronas.

Mr Brown said: “The potential acquisition of Anadarko’s stake in Mozambique LNG is representative of Total’s ambitious and aggressive expansion of its LNG position.

“It acquired Engie’s LNG business in 2018 and has a plethora of pre-FID opportunities which it is aiming to sanction within the next two years.

“Total also has stakes in Russia’s Arctic LNG-2, Papua LNG, Nigeria’s NLNG 7, the Cameron LNG expansion and Tellurian, which is developing the Driftwood project in the US.

“It is seeking to participate in the Qatari megatrain expansion.”

The assets represent around 1.2 billion boe of 2P reserves, of which 70% is gas, plus 2 billion boe of long term natural gas resources in Mozambique.

Total recently signed a preliminary contract for LNG from Costa Azul in Mexico, in addition to an additional offtake contract from Tellurian.

Mr Browne added: “The company is entering a phase of strong cash flow growth.

“As such, we still expect Total to keep strict investment criteria in terms of deciding which LNG project goes ahead.

“Its focus on LNG investment is part of a wider company shift to ‘cleaner fuels’. The group views its LNG portfolio as long term in nature, as a facilitator for monetising its own molecules, but has also become more active as an LNG trader in recent years.”

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