Total says LNG growth will be ‘particularly high’

Wednesday, 07 November 2007

The French company also said its agreement with Russian natural gas company Gazprom to study the development of Phase1 of the planned Shtokman gas and LNG project was a commercial highlight of the past three months.

 

Total gave its LNG forecasts as it  posted net profit of 3.12 billion euros ($4.5Bln) compared with 2.42Bln euros in the year-ago period. 

“While the Brent oil price increased by 7 percent to nearly $75/barrel, the dollar fell by 7 percent relative to the euro,” said Total Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie.

“The average natural gas price was weaker, primarily as a result of lower UK spot prices. European refining margins fell by 17 percent to a more moderate level,” he added. 

Net investments were $3.4Bln in the third quarter of 2007 compared with $3.2Bln in the same three months of 2006, Total said in its earnings statement. Total confirmed its 4 percent production growth target through 2010.

“The growth will be particularly high in the LNG business, where sales are expected to grow by 13 percent on average over the period,” Total said. The LNG figure was based on Total’s share of offtake and did not include trading profits.

Total, in addition to being a minority partner along with StatoilHydro in Europe’s biggest planned liquefaction venture, the Shtokman project in the Barents Sea being developed by Gazprom, is building on its already substantial presence across the LNG chain.

Recently it joined a Croatian import venture called Adria LNG, along with Germany’s  E.ON Ruhrgas and RWE and  Austria’s OMV.

Total currently holds interests in four other regasification terminals: Altamira in Mexico, Fos Cavaou in Marseilles, France, Hazira in India, and the South Hook terminal being built in in the UK.

The French group has also reserved capacity at Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass terminal in the US Gulf of Mexico that opens early next year.

Among Total's liquefaction shareholdings are a controlling stake in Yemen LNG, a share in the Brass LNG project in Nigeria, in the Ichthys LNG project in Australia and in the Qatargas II venture in Qatar.

During 2008, Total should also see profits from its deliveries of LNG from its stake in the StatoilHydro run Snohvit LNG project in the Barents Sea.

 

Total has also ceased investing in Iran, and is now a net cash extractor from the country. It has no current plans to increase its exposure in Iran, and its previous plans to participate in one of the three planned LNG projects there have been shelved.