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I got into TOT about a year ago March on the drop following that news of a North Sea gas condensate leak (a shut-in well on the Elgin Franklin field). The stock price has not fully recovered from that. At the time there was speculation of potential $16B liability.

Also, doesn't TOT (along with ENI) have a lot of northern African exposure? Perhaps concerns about Libya risk?

As far as I gather, there's little chance of a $16 billion liability. Total has just resumed gas production at the Elgin-Franklin platform complex, about a year later. According to Total the Elgin-Franklin field is still "an elephant."

Total's diversification (its start-up refinery in Saudi Arabia, for example) is prompted, in part, by poor business prospects in Europe. Total aims to increase its oil and gas production by 2%-3% in 2013, hence new drilling ventures around the world. This is not without risk. In late 2012 floods in Nigeria and the situation in Syria an Yemen hurt production. How all this pans out is for the future.

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