French oil group Total has completed the divestment of its 20% contractor interest in the OML 138 block offshore of Nigeria to Sinopec.

Under the transaction, Sinopec, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the China Petrochemical Corporation, has paid $2.5bn in cash to Total.

The OML 138 block, which contains the USAN field and started production in February 2012, is owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Other partners of the block include Chevron Petroleum Nigeria and Esso E&P Nigeria, which each hold a 30% stake, and Nexen Petroleum Nigeria with a 20% working interest.

The transaction is subject to post-closing adjustments and final consent from the Nigerian authorities.

Total Upstream president Yves-Louis Darricarrère said the Usan field forms less than ten percent of the company’s equity production in Nigeria.

"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," Darricarrère added.

Among the deepwater developments in Nigeria, Total operates the Akpo field in OML 130 lease and is on course to develop the Egina field within the same lease.

As part of a joint-venture with NNPC, the company participates in OMLs 99, 100 and 102 leases, which include the fields such as Amenam-Kpono, Edikan and Ofon.

Total also maintains equity production in Nigeria through its interests in non-operated ventures, such as a ten percent stake in the NNPC / SPDC joint venture and 12.5% in the SNEPCO-operated PSC, which includes the Bonga field.

The firm has completed 50 years in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. In 2011, the group recorded a total production of 287,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from the African nation.

Image: Total Group’s headquarters in Paris, France. Photo courtesy of Tangopaso.