Total Energies’ net income drops 36% in 2023

TotalEnergies reported net income of $23.2bn in 2023, a 36% drop on 2022.

But like fellow energy majors, it described its integrated LNG sales as ‘robust’, generating net income of $6.2bn, and recording 7% growth from the third to fourth quarter and 9% growth in the year.

CEO and Chairman Patrick Pouyanné said it delivered strong results “in an uncertain environment”. Integrated LNG generated $7.3bn in cashflow for the full year, which was lower than the “exceptional” results of 2022 but higher than 2021 on account of portfolio growth. LNG sales totalled 44 Mt last year and this year it is targeting 40 Mt.

Pouyanné said it has seen higher prices and lower growth but the market has continued to grow at 6% on average between 2015-2023.

“I’m convinced we’ll see a good year in 2024, and we have seen China grow its imports by 11% in 2023 compared with 2022. We see the Chinese buyers are quite aggressive, signing a number of long-term contracts … and I wouldn’t be surprised to see China come back to 80 million tonnes like they did in 2021. Europe has grown a lot, to 113 Mt, so that’s been a big shock which is being absorbed. The tension will remain as LNG capacity increase is limited, with not much coming on stream and if any plants have a problem then tension will come back in the market. It’s only by mid-2026/27 we see more supply coming on stream.”

Growth projects include Mozambique LNG (3 Mt/y), where it is relaunching detailed engineering and remobilising project financing, and Papua LNG (2 Mt/y), where it is progressing on project marketing, financing and EPC.

The company, celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2024, invested $16.8bn including 35% for low-carbon energies, predominantly in the power sector.

Production starts at Akpo West Field

Today TotalEnergies and its partners announced the start of production at the Akpo West field on the PML2 license in Nigeria. TotalEnergies is the operator of PML2 with a 24% interest, in partnership with CNOOC (45%), Sapetro (15%), Prime 130 (16%) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company as the concessionaire of the PSC.

Located 135km off the coast, Akpo West is tied back to the existing Akpo Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility, which started-up in 2009 and produced 124,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2023. By mid-2024, Akpo West will add 14,000 barrels of condensate production per day, to be followed by up to 4 million cbm of gas per day by 2028.

OMV deal strengthens Asia profile

At the end of January, TotalEnergies signed an agreement with OMV to acquire its 50% interest in Malaysian independent gas producer and operator SapuraOMV Upstream Sdn (SapuraOMV) for $903m (including the transfer of a $350m loan granted by OMV to SapuraOMV), which is expected to close by the end of the first half of 2024.

SapuraOMV’s main assets are its 40% operated interest in block SK408 and 30% operated interest in block SK310, both located offshore Sarawak in Malaysia.

In 2023, SapuraOMV’s operated production (100%) was about 500 Mcf/d of natural gas, feeding the Bintulu LNG plant operated by Petronas, as well as 7 kb/d of condensates. On block SK408, the development of the Jerun gas field is on track for startup in the second half of the year 2024.

SapuraOMV also holds interests in exploration licenses in Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico where a discovery has been made in 2023 on block 30.

“This transaction will anchor our future growth in the country and reinforce our partnership with Petronas,” added Pouyanné.

“With their low production costs and low GHG intensity, SapuraOMV’s assets will perfectly fit in TotalEnergies’ portfolio and participate in meeting the growing demand of gas in Asia.”

Safety lessons

The start of the results conference in London started on a tragic note, outlining operational details relating to Torsten, who died in the Netherlands when removing a spent catalyst from the walls inside a reactor, under nitrogen.

TotalEnergies stopped all similar operations in the company, reviewed alternative intervention modes with contractors, and banned human intervention for catalyst change operations – and will now use robotics, after first tests were performed in 2023. To date, 21 catalyst replacements have been performed and 14 more are planned in the first half of 2024.

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