French energy group Total SA (NYSE: TOT) is not looking at investing in the U.S. shale oil industry, the company's CEO said Aug. 27.
Patrick Pouyanne made the comment when asked whether the $10.5 billion acquisition of U.S. shale assets of its peer BP Plc (NYSE: BP) from BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) had made the sector more attractive.
"It's first quite expensive, second we don't have the human resources. BP had the human resources, BP had already a position, so I can understand their move but it's not my case,” Pouyanne said on the sidelines of an oil conference.
BP's acquisition of about 500,000 producing acres marked a turning point for the group since the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, for which the company is still paying off more than $65 billion in penalties and clean-up costs.
U.S. shale veteran Scott Sheffield, who is also chairman of Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (NYSE: PXD), rang an optimistic note when asked at the conference about European oil and gas companies investing in U.S. shale.
"Eventually I think more and more majors will get there, [because] it’s the fastest-growing region for the next 10 years in the world. And so if you’re not in the Permian ... then you'd better find growth somewhere else," Sheffield said in reference of the Permian, which stretches across West Texas into southeastern New Mexico.