The transaction has been approved by the Mauritanian Ministry of Oil and Mines. In January 2005, Total signed two production-sharing contracts with Mauritania for onshore Blocks Ta7 and Ta8 in the Taoudenni Basin, representing a combined total of 58,000sqkm.

Following an aerial survey to obtain magnetic and gravimetric data performed in 2005 and 2006, a 3,260km 2D seismic campaign was undertaken in 2006 and 2007.

Total said that, by ceding this stake, it is committed to establishing a strategic partnership with Sonatrach both inside and outside of Algeria.

Total is associated with Sonatrach on the Hamra and Tin Fouye Tabankort gas fields, the Timimoun exploration block and on the Rhourde El Krouf and Ourhoud oil fields through its interest in Cepsa. Total is also associated with Sonatrach in a major petrochemical project in Arzew, Algeria.