November 9, 2011 / 5:06 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Total says looking for more shale in the U.S.

* Says liquids make sense

* Currently targeting certain basins

Nov 9 (Reuters) - Total is eager to increase its position in U.S. shale basins, particularly those that have crude oil or natural gas with a high liquids content, a top executive at the French oil major said on Wednesday.

“We’re very clearly on the lookout,” John Bannerman, chief executive officer of Total E&P USA, told the World Shale Gas conference in Houston.

The company, which has a joint venture with Chesapeake Energy in the Barnett Shale in Texas, will examine all of its options for a deal, Bannerman said.

“All doors are open,” the executive said.

Crude oil and natural gas liquids currently fetch much higher prices than dry gas, so Total is focusing its efforts on basins that produce those resources.

“In this current climate, liquids have an added advantage,” Bannerman told reporters.

Earlier this month, Chesapeake announced a joint venture deal with an undisclosed international major energy company on some of its prospective acreage in the Utica Shale in Ohio.

Bannerman declined to say whether Total is Chesapeake’s partner in the Utica, which is thought to hold large amounts of liquids-rich gas and oil.

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