In response to the recent fall in the oil price, TOTAL has launched an ambitious mitigation plan. The plan includes significant reductions to organic investments(1), operating costs and the exploration budget, as well as an acceleration of its asset sale program.
The Group plans to lower its organic investments by more than 10% from $26.4 billion in 2014 to $23-24 billion in 2015, by reducing investments in brownfield developments that have become less profitable. For operating costs, the 3-year program targeting savings of $2 billion in 2017 has been reinforced in the Upstream segment from 2015. The initial target of $800 million has been raised to $1.2 billion in 2015, an increase of 50%. The exploration budget has been reduced by about 30%, to $1.9 billion in 2015.
Having achieved its 2012-14 asset sale target of $15-20 billion, TOTAL plans to accelerate its 2015-17 asset sale program of $10 billion by selling $5 billion of assets in 2015, in addition to benefiting from the completion of about $4 billion of asset sales that were already signed and pending at the start of the year.
In the Upstream segment, the Group is focused on the execution and delivery of its major projects and plans eight start-ups this year, of which three already started production in January. These start-ups, plus the new ADCO volumes, will contribute to production growth for the Group of more than 8% in 2015.
In addition, refining overcapacity remains an issue in Europe, and the Group is progressing in its restructuring plans by launching a capacity reduction program at its Lindsey refinery in the United Kingdom and will announce a new plan for its refining activities in France in the spring of 2015.
With the decline in oil prices, the petroleum industry has entered a new cycle. In this context, TOTAL is implementing a strong and immediate response generating $8 billion in cash in 2015, thereby reducing its cash break-even point by 40 $ / b without compromising the priority to safety.
Finally, despite intensive investments made for future growth, the Group’s balance sheet remains strong, allowing it access to financial markets under very favorable conditions.
As it has demonstrated in the past, TOTAL will make the adjustments necessary to successfully adapt to this period of low prices, while at the same time being prepared to take advantage of a recovery, for the benefit of its shareholders.
(1) Investments excluding acquisitions and including changes in non-current loans.