Total’s income plunges in third quarter due to refining margins

Suzie Neuwirth
FRENCH oil major Total yesterday posted a 19 per cent decline in net income for the third quarter, hit by narrow refining margins in Europe and a larger exploration expenditure.

Income fell to €2.7bn (£2.3bn), with a $400m rise in its exploration bill compared to the same period a year ago weighing on profits.

“The group is improving its outlook for sustainable post-2017 production growth under terms consistent with its strict return criteria, while confirming its commitment to reduce near-term investment,” said financial officer Patrick de La Chevardiere in a statement.

Total said it would pay a quarterly dividend of €0.59 per share, unchanged from the previous quarter. In contrast, peer BP said earlier this week that it would be increasing its dividend by 5.6 per cent to 9.5 cents per share.

Total also said yesterday in separate statements that it has decided to invest in the Fort Hills mining project in Canada and that it has made a new oil and gas discovery in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.