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Total to aquire Chevron Oil Block

PARIS, July 15- French oil giant Total said on Thursday it will acquire the stake owned by US major Chevron in an offshore block in a joint development area belonging to Nigeria and tiny Sao Tome and Principe.

Chevron holds a 45.9-stake in the block in the Gulf of Guinea, with 40 percent owned by Addax, nine percent by Dangote Energy Equity Resources and 5.1 percent by South Africa\’s Sasol, a Total spokesman said.

The block is near others where Total operates, the spokesman said, adding that Africa is "one of the main growth areas" for the company.

Terms of the deal, which requires regulatory approval, were not given.

Sao Tome and Principe, home to 140,000 people, is one of the few countries in the Gulf of Guinea which has not yet developed an oil industry but earlier this year it invited tenders for drilling in 19 areas.

The West African island nation hoped to start oil production in 2011 but drilling in its waters in 2003 and 2007 did not produce the results hoped for.

Economic and diplomatic sources believe it may be 2014 before it produces its first oil.

In contrast, Nigeria is a major exporter and member of OPEC. The two countries agreed the offshore Joint Development Zone in 2000.

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