Algeria to seek 'good compromise' over Total's Anadarko deal: minister

FILE PHOTO: The logo of French oil giant Total is seen at La Defense business and financial district in Courbevoie, near Paris, France. May 16, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

TINDOUF, Algeria (Reuters) - Algeria’s energy minister said on Monday he would seek a “good compromise” when asked about his earlier comments that Algiers would block a plan by France’s Total to buy Anadarko’s Algerian assets.

Occidental Petroleum agreed to sell Anadarko Petroleum Corporation’s assets in Algeria, Ghana, Mozambique and South Africa to Total for $8.8 billion if the U.S. oil company succeeds in completing its plan to take over of Anadarko.

Algerian Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab said on Sunday that Algiers would block Total’s acquisition. Algeria remains wary of investments by firms from it former colonial occupier, although Total signed energy deals with the country in 2018.

“Sonatrach needs to maintain good ties with foreign partners to develop its programs,” Arkab told reporters, adding that state-owned Sonatrach would “preserve its interests.”

“Sonatrach will seek a good compromise,” he said about the acquisition, speaking during a visit to Tindouf gas field, 1,700 km south west of Algiers. He did not elaborate.

Anadarko holdings in Algeria represent about 260,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil, more than 25% of the country’s crude production estimated at 1 million bpd.

Reporting by Lamine Chikhi; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Edmund Blair