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Integrated oil and gas company TOTAL S.A. (TOT - Analyst Report) and Qatar Petroleum International (QPI) signed an agreement to develop oil projects in Congo. Per the agreement Qatar Petroleum International will acquire a 15% share of Total E&P Congo.

In the first quarter 2013 TOTAL S.A. along with its partners launched the Moho Nord project in the Republic of Congo. 53.5% of this project is owned by TOTAL, 31.5% by Chevron’s (CVX - Analyst Report) Congo unit and the rest by the state owned oil company of Congo.

The Moho Nord project is expected to begin commercial operation from 2015 and has the potential to produce 140,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) in 2017. The full development will require an investment of $10 billion and capital infusion by QPI will help TOTAL to carry on with its development activities in the oil field.

In fact, the African oil projects have a huge reserve potential and global oil and gas giants are working together to explore these resources. TOTAL’s African operation is the largest contributor to its portfolio, contributing nearly 30% of the total production in first quarter 2013. TOTAL has plans to further expand its operation in Africa through drilling in Gabon and Kenya.    

TOTAL’s technological expertise in handling large complex projects and its financial strength enable it to carry out aggressive drilling across the globe. Oil and gas projects are capital intensive and the company at times enters into strategic alliances like the one in Congo to explore and develop the resources.

TOTAL S.A. retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other oil and companies which are performing well and worth having a look are Braskem S.A. (BAK - Snapshot Report) and Sasol Ltd. (SSL - Snapshot Report). Both these companies carry a Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy).

France-based TOTAL is one of the largest publicly traded, globally integrated oil and gas companies based on production volumes, proved reserves and market capitalization. The company has exploration and production operations across five continents.

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