RIYADH: Oil prices remained broadly stable on Thursday as the prospect of higher fuel demand in China as curbs reopen after COVID was offset by fears that U.S. crude inventories, which are at their highest level in months, could signal weaker demand in the No. 1 global economy.
Brent crude futures rose 06 cents to $85.15 a barrel at 8:35 a.m. Saudi time, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 2 cents to $78.49 a barrel. Both benchmarks have gained more than 6 percent so far this week.
Total Energy’s net profits doubled to a record $36.2 billion in 2022.
French oil company Total Energies posted a record net profit of $36.2 billion in 2022, double the previous year, and joined the sector’s record profits thanks to higher oil and gas prices since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Total Energies’ adjusted net income was $7.6 billion in the fourth quarter, including an impairment charge of $4.1 billion related to the deconsolidation of its stake in Russian gas company Novatek.
Net income for the last three months of the year was in line with analyst estimates in a consensus of Refinitiv, compared to $6.8 billion a year ago and $9.9 billion in the third quarter of 2022.
The blockbuster profit follows similar reports from rivals BP, Shell, Exxon Mobil, and Chevron, prompting new calls to continue taxing the sector as households struggle to pay energy bills.
Patrick Pouyanne, CEO of Total Energies, told reporters that the global environment remains very favorable for energy companies as the easing of COVID-19 measures in China would boost demand.
Total Energies announced that it would propose a dividend of 2.81 euros per share, 6.4 percent more than in the previous year, in addition to a previously announced special distribution of 1 euro per share.
As previously announced, the Company recorded a provision of $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter for extraordinary windfall taxes levied in the EU and the UK. The company said it expects net investments of $16 billion to $18 billion in 2023, including $5 billion for low-carbon energy.
APA strikes oil off Suriname coast.
U.S. oil producer APA Corp. said Wednesday it found oil after drilling in Block 58 off the coast of Suriname in the Sapakara South-2 assessment well. Exploration off the coast of the South American country has been closely watched as it lies just beyond the border of massive oil discoveries by a consortium in Guyana led by Exxon Mobil Corp., which is estimated to own nearly 11 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
The well is located approximately 4.6 km south of the Sapakara South-1 Appraisal well, where APA found oil in 2021.
The Company had completed drilling at the Awari well in Block 58 in November as it was “deemed non-commercial.”
Total Energies operates Block 58 with a 50 percent labor shareholding, while APA holds the other half.