Total SA, Europe’s third-largest oil company, has received seven bids for its natural gas network in southwestern France, Chief Executive Officer Christophe de Margerie said.
“We want the sale to go quite quickly, but we have talks with unions. It’s in nobody’s interest to allow this to drag on,” de Margeris said at an investor conference in Paris.
TIGF, which owns pipelines spanning about 6,000 kilometers (3,728 miles) in southwestern France, may fetch about 2.5 billion euros ($3.2 billion), people familiar with the process have said. Total is selling TIGF as part of a plan to sell $15 billion to $20 billion of asset disposals from 2012 to 2014 in order to raise cash for oil and gas projects.
It would be “difficult” for the disposal to be completed by the end of the year, de Margerie said today.
The French explorer’s sale to China Petrochemical Corp. of a 20 percent stake in an offshore Nigerian field for about $2.5 billion is proof of Total’s seriousness in wanting to sell assets, according to the chief executive.