Total expects to resume South Sudan exploration soon

CAPE TOWN Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:34am EDT

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - French oil major Total (TOTF.PA) said it was confident of reaching an agreement soon with the South Sudanese government over exploration in a disputed block and was ready to resume work there with a new partner, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Last month the government said it would split Total's 120,000 square km concession into three parts to speed up exploration in South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan over a year ago.

"We are really confident that we will have an agreement with South Sudan government and with the introduction also of a new partner," Jacques Marraud des Grottes, Africa President of Total exploration and production unit told journalists.

(Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by Ed Stoddard)