Paris: French energy giant TotalEnergies has recovered from the COVID crisis yesterday with huge profits in 2021 as oil and gas prices soared. This is the performance that caused the political hackle in the French election year.
The company reported a net profit of $ 16 billion (€ 14 billion), following a historic $ 7.2 billion loss in 2020 when oil prices plummeted. This is the best in at least 15 years. Oil and gas companies fell into the red in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic drastically reduced energy demand and prices.
However, the market recovered last year as the global economy and demand recovered. At a press conference, CEO Patrick Pouyann said, “We have carefully entered 2021. We didn’t know we were heading towards the beginning of the year. And the environment is going to improve completely. I saw it. ” “We took full advantage of this favorable environment, especially in the second half of the year,” he said, saying the company’s liquefied natural gas business was particularly strong.
TotalEnergies’ adjusted net income increased more than four-fold to $ 18.1 billion, despite a 2% decline in oil production last year, excluding certain one-time costs. As the presidential election approaches in April, French left-wing politicians have criticized TotalEnergies’ surge in profits even before the announcement of its annual earnings announcement. Yannick Jadot, a candidate for the Green presidential election, opposes profits “behind French men and women” and “raises gas and petrol bills for the benefit of shareholders.”
“We should rob them of it,” said left-wing leader Jean-Luc Melenceon. Stella’s results at oil major BP and Shell prompted demand for a storm tax on British energy giants. Pouyanne said TotalEnergies has already made significant contributions to the government. “If more is taken, it will cost investment, workers or shareholders,” he said.
Investing in renewable energy
As the blockade spread in 2020, oil prices fell off the cliff with only a temporary negative turn. However, they soared above $ 70 per barrel in 2021 and reached a record high of over $ 90 this year for the first time in years. Meanwhile, natural gas prices have risen five-fold due to strong winter demand and geopolitical tensions between major suppliers Russia and Western countries over Ukraine. Oil prices could “keep high” this year, according to TotalEnergies.
The company said gas prices remained “very high” in Europe and Asia this year due to geopolitical uncertainties after reaching record highs in the last few months of 2021. As prices rise, TotalEnergies announced Wednesday a discount on pumps in rural France and a € 100 voucher for those struggling to pay for gas.
“It’s not small,” Puyanne said, following criticisms of the amount of offers. Formerly known as Total, the company changed its name last year to show that it is no longer just an oil and gas business due to its diversification into renewable energy. The company said yesterday that it would spend $ 3.5 billion on renewables and electricity, a quarter of its investment. — AFP
https://www.kuwaittimes.com/totalenergies-returns-to-profit-after-covid-crisis/ TotalEnergies regains profits after COVID crisis