Total profits jump on strong refining margins

City A.M. Reporter
French oil company Total posted a 20 per cent rise in third quarter profit this morning to €3.3bn (£2.7bn), up from €2.8bn last year.

Europe’s third-largest oil company benefited from a temporary widening between the price of crude and the selling price of its fuels, thanks mainly to refinery closures in the US and Europe, but it struggled to keep production of oil and gas – the long term driver of industry profits – at year ago levels.

Profits from the refining and chemicals division was up 54 per cent to €564m, from €367m in the third quarter of last year.

Oil and gas output came in at 2.27bn barrels of oil a day over the three months to September, up from 2.31bn barrels last year, a decline of two per cent.