Launch of a public offer to acquire UTS - Total consolidates its oil sands portfolio in Canada



    PARIS, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - Total announces that its subsidiary Total E&P
Canada Ltd is launching a public offer to acquire all the issued and
outstanding shares of UTS Energy Corporation (UTS), a company listed on the
Toronto Stock Exchange, at a price of Can$ 1.3 per share, or a total amount of
close to Can$ 617 million (about 380 million (euro)). This offer is a 100%
cash offer and represents a premium of approximately 57% over the closing
price of UTS's shares on January 27, 2009 and approximately 51% over the
weighted average trading price for the last 30 days.
    The take-over bid circular will be published in the coming days, and the
offer is expected to be open for acceptance from that date for a period of at
least 60 days, subject to the date of receipt of the regulatory approval
required from the Canadian authorities and to the acceptance of the offer by
UTS's shareholders representing at least 66.67% of the shares on a
fully-diluted basis.
    UTS's main asset is a 20% stake in the Fort Hills Project, located in the
Athabasca region, in Alberta, at approximately 100 kilometres northeast of
Fort McMurray. Petro-Canada, a Canadian company, is the operator of this
project with a 60% stake, the remaining 20% stake being held by Teck Cominco.
    The latest estimate of the Fort Hills Project's resources is about 4
billion barrels of bitumen; these resources will be recovered using mining
technologies. This project is expected to be developed in two phases of about
160,000 barrels of bitumen each, and the first phase has received the main
approvals needed for its launch. The project is being re-evaluated by the
partners since October 2008, in order to optimize its costs and timing.
Depending on the results of the technical studies, the final investment
decision for Phase One should be made by 2010 and production could start in
2013.
    This asset will strengthen Total's portfolio in the Athabasca region,
comprising principally of the Joslyn Project and the Northern Lights Project,
that are both located in the immediate vicinity of the Fort Hills project,
owned by Total 74% and 60% respectively. These projects will also be developed
by mining techniques.
    At the same time, Total is currently re-analyzing the costs, technology
choices, structure of the Joslyn mine project and also defining a new
schedule. Engineering studies for the Upgrader project situated in Edmonton
and which is designed to process the bitumen from the various oil sands
projects that Total is involved in are continuing as planned.
    This acquisition is in line with Total's strategy of optimizing its heavy
oil operations in the Athabasca region, an industry segment with significant
long term development potential.

    Total Exploration and Production in Canada

    Total is the operator of the Joslyn Project with a 74% interest. The
project will be mainly developed using surface mining technologies. The
production potential of the project is currently estimated at 230,000 barrels
per day.
    Total also holds a 50% interest in the Surmont lease, located about 60
kilometres southeast of Fort McMurray. Phase One which started in 2007, has a
capacity of 27,000 barrels per day at plateau production and is currently
producing 18,000 barrels per day. It will be followed by Phase Two which will
bring total production to approximately 110,000 barrels per day. Future phases
at Surmont are also under study.
    Total also holds a 60% share in the Northern Lights project since it
acquired Synenco Energy in 2008.

    Total is one of the world's major oil and gas groups, with activities in
more than 130 countries. Its 96,000 employees put their expertise to work in
every part of the industry - exploration and production of oil and natural
gas, refining and marketing, gas & power and trading. Total is working to keep
the world supplied with energy, both today and tomorrow. The Group is also a
first rank player in chemicals. www.total.com

    
    To see map, please see URL:
    http://files.newswire.ca/781/Total-E&P-Canada-Map.pdf
    





For further information:

For further information: Contact in Canada: Total E&P Canada Ltd:
Elizabeth CORDEAU-CHATELAIN - Tel.: (403) 537-2354

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TOTAL E&P CANADA LTD.

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