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Total takes $500 mln impairment on Barnett shale gas field

PARIS, Feb 12 (Reuters) - French oil major Total said it took a $500 million hit last year on the Barnett gas shale area in Texas relating to the drop in gas prices in North America, where it has a joint venture with Chesapeake Energy Corp.

"We passed a $500 million impairment on the Barnett shale gas field in 2013," Total investor relations head Martin Deffontaines said at a briefing with reporters on Wednesday. "That's much less than our competitors."