Total’s quarterly profit flat, LNG sales jump
French energy giant and LNG player Total reported an adjusted net income of $3.17 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The company noted that the net income remained stable despite a lower price environment. For the year 2019, Total reported an adjusted net income of $11.83 billion, 13 percent below the $13.56 billion reported in 2018.
Commenting on the results, Total’s chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné said, “in 2019, the group generated cash flow of $28.5 billion, strong growth of $2.4 billion compared to 2018, thanks to a positive contribution from all segments. This performance was achieved despite the drop in oil prices of 10 percent and European gas prices of 38 percent, or a price environment down on average by about 20 percent.”
He further noted that net investments rose to $17.4 billion and reflect in particular the strategy to strengthen LNG and deep offshore, as shown by the acquisition of Mozambique LNG and the launching of Arctic LNG 2 in Russia and Mero 2 in Brazil.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, LNG sales increased by 35 percent year-on-year thanks to the ramp-up of Yamal LNG and Ichthys plus the start-up of the first Cameron LNG train in the US. LNG sales reached 10.6 Mt during the quarter under reviews, which compares to 7.9 Mt in the corresponding quarter last year.
In 2019, LNG sales increased by 57 percent compared to 2018 for the same reasons and also due to the acquisition of the Engie portfolio of LNG contracts in the third quarter of 2018.
For the full year, LNG sales reached 34.3 Mt which compares to 21.8 Mt in 2018.
Total’s production was 3.11 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe/d) in the fourth quarter of 2019, an increase of 8 percent compared to last year. Production for the year was at 3.01 boe/d for the, an increase of 9 percent compared to 2018.
Production growth over the year was essentially linked to the start-up of Ichthys in Australia in the third quarter of 2018 and the successive start-ups of Yamal LNG trains in Russia.
Total added that the environment remains volatile, given the uncertainty about hydrocarbon demand related to the outlook for global economic growth and the context of geopolitical instability.
LNG sales are expected to benefit notably in 2020 from the start-ups of Yamal LNG train 4 as well as Cameron LNG train 3 and be more than 30 Mt/y.