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Last Updated : Feb 12, 2016 08:29 AM IST | Source: PTI

France's Total slashes investment amid oil price collapse

French oil company Total said today it had cut its investment target this year as it steps up efforts to drastically cut costs to counter a global collapse in oil prices.


French oil company Total said today it had cut its investment target this year as it steps up efforts to drastically cut costs to counter a global collapse in oil prices.

Total said it would invest up to two billion dollars less in 2016 than originally planned, as it, like other oil giants, grapples with weak oil prices that have slumped around 70 percent since mid-2014 due to chronic oversupply and today got close to 13-year lows.

It will now invest only USD 19 billion compared to its earlier plan for 20-21 billion, and down from the 23 billion it ploughed into investments in 2015, it said in a statement.

From 2017, the figure will then fall to 17-19 billion.

"We have to be good on what we can control, our expenses.

So we are going to continue to make efforts to control our expenses," chief executive Patrick Pouyanne told reporters.

Total shares closed 3.3 percent lower on the Paris stock exchange, but still outperformed the wider Paris stock market, which ended down 4.1 percent.

World oil prices tumbled once more today, nearing a 13-year low, with no end in sight to the global supply glut.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in March hit USD 26.32 a barrel, close to a 13-year low of under USD 26.

Total said it would also bolster operating cost reductions, which it planned this year would amount to USD 2.4 billion, up from USD 1.5 billion last year.

This would principally be in its upstream exploration activities, with the cut again rising to USD 3.0 billion in 2017, it added.

And its exploration budget, which was already slashed by around a third last year, will face further trimming by more than 20 percent to USD 1.5 billion, it said.

A hiring freeze will also continue, Pouyanne said without giving a figure.

Headline net profit jumped 20 percent to USD 5.1 billion in 2015 but Total said its adjusted net profit, excluding the impact of the company's own oil stocks, fell by 18 percent.



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First Published on Feb 12, 2016 08:10 am
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