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Total chief executive Patrick Pouyanné revealed a new company strategy in London on 23 September, which turns the screw even tighter on capital expenditure. Total is readjusting to relatively low oil prices now, while seeking sustainable operations in a market where it predicts a recovery to $60/B medium term.
“Strong discipline on organic capex” is the company’s mantra as it targets a reduction in capital expenditure to $23-24bn in 2015 from a peak of $28bn in 2013 and $26/B in 2014. For 2016 Total will cut capex further to $20-21bn, before “returning to a sustainable level of $17-19bn from 2017.”
Mr Pouyanné said that “in a commodity business like oil and gas, we have to be excellent at what we control. We cannot control the price of oil and gas, but we can control costs and allocation of capital. What we have to do is allocate our capital to the most profitable projects.”
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