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Total aims to cut assets by $10bn by 2017

Almost a year in the job, Total’s new CEO has made cost-cutting and disposals his priorities as oil prices give little encouragement

Total is having to make the best of a bad job: like its peers it is heavily invested in projects that rely on high oil prices, backed up by strong demand growth. So the French major is facing tough decisions about which projects to sell, which to retain, and which sectors to get out of altogether. So far this year it has sold $3.3bn of assets and hopes to bring this figure to $10bn by 2017. The consequences for its future growth are serious. Total has had problems with shale gas licenses in Denmark, where it was the only foreign investor to win a license; and in Poland. But there remain hopes for its activities upstream in the UK where it won licenses in the 14th onshore round last month an

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