Total buys into British shale gas explorations

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French oil giant Total has become the first major company to buy licences for British shale gas explorations, a process banned in France.

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France’s Total SA said Monday it had bought a 40% stake in two shale-gas exploration licenses in the U.K., marking the first time one of the world’s major oil companies has turned its attention to Britain’s unconventional gas reserves, reports The Wall Street Journal.