Total’s $7.5bn acquisition of Denmark’s Maersk closed on 8 March, barely six months after the plan was announced (MEES, 25 August 2017). Maersk’s net output fell to around 160,000 boe/d for the second half of 2017 after the company handed over its largest asset, Qatar’s 300,000 b/d Al-Shaheen field, to Total in July (MEES, 28 July 2017). The firm’s portfolio was a mixture of oil and gas plays.

Total says the deal makes it the second largest North Sea producer,...