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TotalEnergies Promises More Distributions, Buybacks As Oil Prices Soar

As oil prices soar and investors wait for signs that oil company stocks will start to catch up, French TotalEnergies has announced plans to boost production and shareholder distributions, lifting its stock price by almost a percentage point in morning trading. 

TotalEnergies said it planned to return some 44% of its operations cash flow to shareholders in 2023, as well as add another $1.5 billion to buybacks, which will hit $9 billion. Additionally, distribution guidance will be pushed to more than 40% of the company’s cash flow from operations after this year. 

The French giant’s new strategy will be to increase oil production by 2% and natural gas production by 3% per year, over the next five years. Its oil and gas business is expected to generate more than $3 billion of additional underlying cash flow in 2028, compared to 2023 (at constant prices), TotalEnergies said in a press release

The company plans to develop a series of LNG projects, including Qatar North Field Expansion, Papua LNG, ECA LNG and Rio Grande in US, Mozambique LNG, which it views as “leveraging its competitive advantage with leading positions in Europe regasification and in US exports”. 

The overall strategy is to “concentrate efforts to develop its portfolio of high-return oil projects (Brazil, Gulf of Mexico, Iraq, Uganda) recently enriched with exploration successes in Suriname and Namibia,” TotalEnergies said. Net investments of $16 billion to $18 billion annually are anticipated during 2024-2028. The guidance also sees the French giant increasing power generation to more than 100TWh by 2030, with $4 billion in annual investment and a doubling of cash flow from around $2 billion this year to over $4 billion by 2028. Year-to-date, TotalEnergies (NYSE:TTE) is up 7.45%, and up 15.44% in the past six months. 

By Tom Kool for Oilprice.com

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