Total Said to Be in Talks to Sell U.K. Pipeline to ArcLight

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne
Patrick Pouyanne, Chief Executive Officer of Total SA, arrives to speak during the 2015 IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston on April 21. Photographer: F. Carter Smith/Bloomberg

Total SA, Europe’s second-biggest oil company, is in exclusive talks to sell its gas pipeline in the U.K.’s North Sea to ArcLight Capital Partners, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The French company’s Frigg network may be sold to the energy-focused U.S. buyout firm for an enterprise value of as much as $1 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. While discussions are at an advanced stage, a final agreement is yet to be reached and talks may still fall apart, the people said. ArcLight may make the investment through its affiliate, North Sea Midstream Partners, one of the people said.

Total unveiled a plan earlier this year to cut spending and sell assets following a plunge in the price of crude. It aims to sell $10 billion of assets through 2017, including $5 billion this year.

Boston-based ArcLight focuses mainly on investments in North American energy infrastructure assets. Since its establishment in 2001, the company has invested about $13 billion in 90 power, midstream and production assets, according to its website.

The Frigg U.K. System, which covers about 362 kilometers (225 miles), transports natural gas from fields across the North Sea to St. Fergus in Scotland. Completed in 1977, Frigg -- which shares its names with a Norse goddess renowned for her wisdom -- is 100 percent owned by Total’s E&P UK Ltd. unit.

Representatives for Total declined to comment. A spokeswoman for ArcLight didn’t respond to requests for comment.

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