* Norway's Statoil already sold 10 pct stake to BP, SOCAR
* Turkey's Botas in talks to take on Total's stake
* Lower Russian gas price makes new gas investments difficult
LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) - France's Total plans to sell its 10 percent stake in Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz II gas field development, making it the second energy major to reduce its exposure to a project promoted to help Europe diversify its supplies.
"Total's strategy is to divest from projects where it has a minority stake and favour those where it is the operator," a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday.
A spokesman for Total declined to comment.
Another source with knowledge of the matter said that Turkey's state pipeline firm Botas, which is already developing the pipeline section to pump Azeri gas into Turkey and onward towards the European Union, was in talks to buy Total's sake in the project.
Analysts said that Total's move was likely a result of lower Russian gas prices which made investments in expensive new gas sources less attractive.
"Facing weak demand and high (Russian) supply, prices have gone down 15 percent in the last two months. This will make alternative supplies more difficult to arrange when hub prices are below 60 pence per therm," said Thierry Bros, senior gas analyst at French Bank Societe General.
Total's sale would follow Norway's Statoil, which cut its stake in the project from 25.5 percent to 15.5 percent last December, selling to partners BP and Azeri state energy firm SOCAR for $1.45 billion.
From around 2019, the estimated $28 billion Shah Deniz II project plans to feed 16 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per year to Europe, with 10 bcm earmarked for Europe and 6 bcm for Turkey.