Total Posts Strong 3Q Results, Expects to Start-Up 5 Major Projects in '09

French oil major Total reported its quarter 2008 results, citing an adjusted net income of 4.1 billion Euros, a rise of 35% compared to the same time period last year and a 9% increase from the previous quarter. Expressed in US dollars, the adjusted net income increased by 48%.

"This quarter, the Upstream benefited from high oil and gas prices," said Total CEO Christophe de Margerie. "However, the contribution of new production from Jura in the North Sea and Moho Bilondo in Congo were unable to offset the price effect, the impacts of technical problems in Libya and in the North Sea, production outages related to additional security problems in Nigeria, and the normal decline on producing fields."

Net investments were US $4 billion in the third quarter of 2008. Investments, excluding acquisitions, for the quarter were 2.8 billion Euros (US $4.2 billion), compared to 2.5 billion Euros (US $3.4 billion) in the third quarter of 2007. Acquisitions reached 421 million Euros (US $600 million) for the purchases of Canadian Synenco and a 60% share of the Bemolanga permit in Madagascar.

Cash flow increased 107% in comparison to the third quarter of 2007 to 7.3 billion Euros for this quarter.

The third quarter 2008 operating income for Total's Upstream business segment was 2.9 billion Euros, an increase of 30% from the third quarter of 2007.

Production for this quarter decreased 5% from the same time last year to 2.2 MMboe/d. This is due to the growth of major projects commencing, such as Dolphin, Moho Bilondo and Jura; unscheduled shutdowns, such as the Al Jurf field in Libya since May 2008 and the Bruce and Alwyn fields in the North Sea; security disruptions in Nigeria; and the affect of the price of oil.

Looking forward, Total expects to start production on five major projects in 2009, including Akpo in Nigeria, Yemen LNG and Qatargas II.