Total SA plans to lower its organic investments to $23-24 billion in 2015 from $26.4 billion in 2014 by reducing spending in brownfield developments and stopping certain projects that it says have become less profitable.
Due to lower oil prices, the French multinational firm intends to generate $8 billion in cash in 2015, thereby reducing its breakeven point by $40/bbl.
Total plans to accelerate its 2015-17 asset sale program of $10 billion by divesting $5 billion of assets in 2015 (OGJ Online, Sept. 22, 2014). The company will also take in about $4 billion of completed asset sales already signed and pending at the start of the year (OGJ Online, Sept. 23, 2014).
The company has expanded its reduction program for operating costs mainly in the upstream segment. The initial target of $800 million has been increased to $1.2 billion in 2015, a 50% rise. The exploration budget has been reduced by 30% to $1.9 billion in 2015.
Total also says refining overcapacity remains an issue in Europe, where the company is advancing its restructuring plans by launching a capacity reduction program at its 200,000 b/d Lindsey refinery in the UK. A new plan will be reported for its refining activities in France this spring.
“After delivering on its commitment to reduce expenditures in 2014, all of the group’s segments are expanding their cost-cutting programs to get through this period, with no compromise on the absolute priority to safety,” said Patrick Pouyanne, Total chief executive officer.
During 2014, the company generated $4.2 billion in net income and produced 2.146 million boe/d.
“After a long period of stability around $110/bbl, oil prices fell dramatically in the second half of 2014, ending the year at $55/bbl,” Pouyanne said. “In this context, Total generated adjusted net results of $12.8 billion, a decrease of 10% compared to the previous year.
“Given the current economic environment the company recognized aftertax impairments of about $6.5 billion at the end of the year, essentially related to Canadian oil sands, unconventional gas, notably in the United States, and refining in Europe. The upstream segment returned to growth with the start-up of its deep-offshore CLOV field in Angola in the second half of 2014 (OGJ Online, June 12, 2014).”