Energy major Total SA has been told by Occidental Petroleum Corp. that it cannot acquire oil and gas assets in Algeria that were part of an $8.8 billion deal reached by the companies on Anadarko Petroleum's assets in Africa.

"Occidental officially told us that we cannot acquire the Algeria assets," the French company's CEO Patrick Pouyanne told analysts during a conference call after its first-quarter 2020 results.

"It releases part of the acquisition budget," Pouyanne said.

As part of its cash-raising to fund its purchase of Anadarko, Occidental agreed that Total would take over some of Anadarko's assets in a $8.8 billion deal.

The Anadarko assets in are in Algeria, Ghana, Mozambique and South Africa. The deal in Mozambique, which includes a giant LNG project has been concluded.

Algerian authorities had moved to block Total's acquisition of the assets.

Pouyanne told analysts the decision was based on the objection of Algiers, and Occidental will remain as operator unless it can find a way to sell it to Total.

On the assets in Ghana, Pouyanne said things were moving on with the deal, but declined to comment further.