Total latest oil major to post jump in profits
French firm joins BP, Shell and others in seeing earnings boost as output reached an all-time high of 2.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2018
French energy major Total said its net adjusted profit rose 10 per cent in the final quarter of 2018, lifting its full year earnings by more than a quarter after record oil and gas production.
Total said on Thursday that output reached an all-time high of 2.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2018 thanks to the start-ups of various operations and increased production in Australia, Angola, Nigeria and Russia. It reported a 28 per cent rise in full-year profit to $13.6 billion, following on the heels of strong results from other oil majors.
"These excellent results reflect the strong growth of more than 8 per cent of the group's hydrocarbons production," said Total's chief executive Patrick Pouyanne.
On Tuesday, BP reported a doubling of profits, driven by strong growth in oil and gas output following a large US shale acquisition.
Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron also reported stronger-than-forecast earnings, driven by higher production in US shale basins where Oil Majors have invested billions in recent years
Total said its results would enable it to continue its shareholders' return policy announced last year. After increasing dividends by 3.2 per cent in 2018, it plans a 3.1 per cent rise in 2019.
It will also buy back $1.5bn of its shares in 2019 after buying back the same amount last year.
Total added it would eliminate its scrip dividend scheme from June 2019.
Last month The National reported that Saudi Aramco, Total of France and Daelim of South Korea signed a preliminary agreement to develop an 80,000-tonne petrochemical plant in the kingdom's industrial city of Jubail that will come on-stream in 2024.
The plant, whose cost was not disclosed, will produce for the first time in the kingdom polyisobutylene, which is used to make adhesives, lubricants and fuel additives, Aramco said in a statement on Thursday.
"The new petrochemicals facility will be using feedstock from the Amiral complex in Jubail, located on Saudi Arabia’s eastern coast," it said.
Separately, on Thursday, Mr Pouyanne said the Venezuelan company accounts of Total have been blocked as a result of US sanctions.
Updated: February 7, 2019 12:22 PM