Total looking to accelerate production

Total_productionTotal posted a 7 per cent increase in profit on higher crude prices and announced that its net income for 2011 was US$15.9 billion, a 17 per cent increase over 2010.

"We have a strong desire to develop a bolder company," Chief Executive Officer Christophe de Margerie said at a press conference today. Total has said it expects output to increase this year after a decline in 2011 and has pledged to take more risks in looking for oil and gas.

Organic investments

Total has set a budget for 'organic investments' this year of US$24 billion, 80 per cent of which will be dedicated to the upstream sector.

Output dropped 1.3 per cent in 2011. Production in the latest quarter was unchanged at 2.384mn bpd, according to a company statement.

Closer to 3 per cent in 2012

Output growth this year will rise 2 per cent to 3 per cent, depending on how production in Syria evolves, Yves-Louis Darricarrere, head of exploration and production, said at a press conference. "We should be closer to 3 per cent than 2 per cent."

Libyan and Syrian output

Total's Libyan output from three fields is at about two-thirds of the 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day that was the company's share before civil war broke out while Syrian output of 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day has been stopped as civil unrest spreads.

Looking to expand

Total is also looking to faster growing markets to expand its refining business and is in talks with Kuwait Petroleum Corp. to build a refinery in China, and is developing a crude-processing plant in Saudi Arabia.

"We are in preliminary discussions with Kuwait which has a project to invest in China," Patrick Pouyanne, head of the chemicals and refining, said at the press conference. "If we have an opportunity to invest in a big refining, chemicals platform we would be interested especially with a Middle Eastern producer."

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