PARIS, Sept. 12 -- Total SA plans to increase its refining investments to an average €800 million/year during 2005-10, announced Chairman and Chief Executive Thierry Desmarest.
Projects include increasing diesel production over the next 3 years by 3 million tonnes/year. A distillate hydrocracker at the company's 342,000 b/d Gonfreville plant in Normandy is due on stream in mid-2006 as is a hydrocracker project at the 100,000 b/d Huelva refinery in Spain, which is being implemented by the Spanish integrated CEPSA Group (Compañía Española de Petróleos SA) in which Total holds a 45% stake.
Total will continue to upgrade its refineries to 2009 specifications and is conducting an energy reduction program at its sites. There are plans to process more high-sulfur crude at the 225,500 b/d Lindsey oil refinery in South Humberside in the UK as well as at the 213,000 b/d Donges refinery in France
Total has earmarked $11 billion in investments for this year and $11-12 billion/year for 2006-10, to be applied mainly to upstream efforts. During 2010-30, cumulative production will rest heavily on the Surmont and Joslyn heavy oil projects in the Athabasca oil sands area of Alberta; the Yemen LNG project, where development has begun; Kashagan field in the Caspian Sea off Kazakhstan; Pars LNG in Iran; and the Dolphin and Qatargas Train II projects in Qatar.
Desmarest pointed to a total of 20 prospects currently being assessed, noting "the good visibility" of "substantial" discoveries made recently.
Total has settled a contractual dispute with the Russian Federation concerning the Kharyaga field production-sharing contract, which had interrupted Phase II development. Desmarest said he would not be discouraged from trying for other projects in Russia, a country too important to be ignored despite a difficult political environment.
However, he indicated disappointment that Total had to withdraw from its project to acquire 25% of Russia's largest gas producer Novatek because of delays since September 2004 when it filed its application.