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Total will become the first major oil company to become involved in fracking in an expected new deal.
The controversial project will be a big boost for Government efforts to create a US-style shale gas boom in Britain, according to the Financial Times (£).
It said a deal would be announced on Monday that would see the French company join a shale gas exploration licence in the Midlands currently operated by eCORP of the US. The other partners in the project are Dart Energy and UK-listed Igas and Egdon Resources.