If you were to read the recent headlines, you would think that Total's (NYSE: TOT) decision to explore shale gas in the United Kingdom was a monumental occasion that needs to be shouted from the mountain tops. In reality, though, this is an extremely low risk move by the company that will barely garner a mention in an earnings release. There are two reasons for this. One of them is that the regulatory environment in the UK is much more favorable than in many other countries in Europe when it comes to oil and gas in general.

The other reason: this is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to the amount of money Total spends on a yearly basis. Tune into the video below to find out why this isn't a big deal for Total and what it can gain by exploring shale gas in the UK.

Meanwhile, this company is taking on OPEC's stranglehold of the oil markets
Imagine a company that rents a very specific and valuable piece of machinery for $41,000... per hour (that's almost as much as the average American makes in a year!), and it's only one of the many things that this behind-the-scenes energy giant excels at. The technology this company is providing the energy industry is redrawing the borders of power, and OPEC is getting scared. In our exclusive, brand-new Motley Fool report, we reveal the company we're calling OPEC's Worst Nightmare. Simply click here give you free access to uncover the name of this industry-leading stock!

 

Fool contributor Aimee Duffy has no position in any stocks mentioned. Fool contributor Tyler Crowe has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow them on Twitter @TMFDuffy and @TylerCroweFool, respectively. 

The Motley Fool recommends Total SA. (ADR). Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.