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Total reports profit in 1Q21

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Oilfield Technology,

As reported by Reuters, Total has posted 1Q21 earnings close to levels from before the coronavirus pandemic, as higher oil and gas prices boosted its trading business and it increased electricity production.

The company, which is branching into renewable energy and diversifying away from hydrocarbon-centred activities, benefited from this drive as areas like oil refining suffered.

Total reported an adjusted net income of US$3 billion for January-March, up 69% year-on-year, and 9% above 1Q19 levels.

This was despite a drop in hydrocarbon production of 7% from a year earlier, to 2.863 million boe/d.

Recovering prices are now boosting earnings at Total and peers like BP, as accelerating COVID-19 vaccination programmes also raise prospects for sustained demand, although lockdowns remain in place in some of Europe.

Total cautioned the oil environment remained "volatile and dependent on the global demand recovery."

It said it expected hydrocarbon production to remain stable this year compared to 2020 levels.

The group, which is set to rebrand itself as TotalEnergies, said it was eyeing US$12-US$13 billion in investments this year, with half of that going to maintaining activities and the rest for growth, including to further its push into renewable energy.

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Total said it expected to generate some US$24 billion in debt-adjusted cash flow in 2021, based on hydrocarbon prices remaining at first-quarter levels, with Brent crude at $60 a barrel, and European refining margins of US$10-US$15 per tonne.

The group maintained a stable interim dividend of €0.66 per share against first quarter earnings.

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