Total’s 1Q profit down 22%

Total SA reported a first-quarter adjusted net income of $2.6 billion, down 22% from $3.3 billion during first-quarter 2014, citing a 50% decrease in Brent crude oil prices since last year.

Adjusted net operating income from the company’s upstream segment was $1.6 billion, down 56% compared with first-quarter 2014. Total says the losses, primarily due to lower crude prices, were partially offset by production growth and the initial positive results of the cost reduction program.

Hydrocarbon production totaled 2.4 million boe/d during the quarter, up 10% compared with first-quarter 2014 due to production startups including CLOV, Eldfisk II, Ofon Phase 2, and West Franklin Phase 2; lower prices, notably on production sharing contracts; and the Abu Dhabi Co. for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) concession in the UAE. All of that offset a 3% drop-off due to natural decline.

Total expects Termokarstovoye gas field to start up in the second quarter, followed by GLNG, Laggan-Tormore, Surmont 2, and Vega Pleyade in the second half. Second-quarter production will be impacted by heavy seasonal maintenance activity, mainly in Nigeria, the UK, and Norway.

Due to the deteriorating security conditions in Libya and Yemen, production was halted in February onshore Libya and in April in Yemen.

Adjusted net operating income from the refining and chemicals segment was $1.1 billion, up threefold compared with first-quarter 2014. Refinery throughputs increased 14% from first-quarter 2014, benefiting from lower levels of maintenance in France as well as the startup of Satorp at full capacity beginning in August, the company says.

“Downstream again generated excellent results due to its ongoing restructuring efforts and improved market conditions in refining and marketing,” said Patrick Pouyanne, Total chief executive officer. “All of our teams are mobilized to reduce costs, lower breakevens, and deliver new projects.”

The group’s net cash flow was $1.4 billion in the red, compared with a positive $1.3 billion in first-quarter 2014.

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