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Oil Major Total Reports Profit Decline, Leaves Dividends Untouched

French supermajor Total proved more resilient than some peers in the first quarter, remaining profitable despite a 35-percent decline in net income to $1.8 billion. The company said it would continue to distribute dividends, unchanged from last year’s first quarter.

Total also declared a goal of becoming net neutral in terms of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 despite the challenging oil price environment. Noting that this was in line with European Union emissions goals, the French supermajor said it is already working to reduce its carbon footprint by expanding its renewable energy operations. During the first quarter, Total said it accessed close to 6 GW in new renewable power generation capacity across the world.

At the same time, the company would continue to pursue lower breakeven prices, to which end, Total said, it acquired Tullow Oil’s interests in Uganda.

Total is betting big on renewables. The company eyes some 25 GW in renewable power generation capacity by 2025. To achieve this, Total has been expanding in the industry through acquisitions. It now has a presence along the supply chain and is further expanding it. Recently, Total joined the Erebus offshore wind project: a floating wind farm off the Welsh coast that will have a capacity of close to 100 MW.

During the first quarter of the year alone, Total bought a 50-percent stake in a solar farm portfolio in India, totaling 2 GW in installed capacity. To this, it added the purchase of Global Wind Power France, which has a portfolio of 1 GW in capacity and the launch of a 25-MW battery storage facility in France.

At the same time, Total boasted two significant discoveries during the first quarter in Surinam. The company also struck gas condensate in the North Sea. For the rest of the year, the company will cut its net investments by 25 percent to $14 billion.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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