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Total sells Nigeria offshore oil stake for $2.5 billion

By The Associated Press

This article was published November 19, 2012 at 8:12 a.m.

— French oil company Total SA said Monday that 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.

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. That facility has a storage capacity of 2 million barrels, the company has said.

A barrel equals 42 gallons.

The field is about 62 miles from the West African nation’s southeastern coast.

Total said the sale matched its plans to raise cash for new ventures.

“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 Darricarrhre, president of upstream operations at Total, said in a statement.

Total said the deal, done for cash, must be approved by Nigerian authorities. Officials with Sinopec could not be immediately reached for comment.

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