TotalEnergies expects to raise fossil fuel production by two to three percent over the next five years

Paris (AFP) - French oil and gas major TotalEnergies said Wednesday that it would boost fossil fuel production over the next five years, a reversal after years of reducing output.

The group’s oil and gas production had been dropping every year between 2019 and 2022.

The company had also never given a forecast for how much production would fall or increase, saying instead that it would remain stable by the end of the decade.

But in a statement before presenting its strategy to investors in New York on Wednesday, TotalEnergies announced it would increase output by two to three percent per year, mainly from liquefied natural gas.

“TotalEnergies reaffirms the relevance of its balanced multi-energy strategy considering the developments in the oil, gas and electricity markets,” the firm said.

It added that it was “in a very favourable position to take advantage of changing energy prices”.

The oil and gas business “is expected to generate more than $3 billion of additional underlying cash flow in 2028 compared to 2023 at constant prices”, TotalEnergies said.

Oil prices have increased in recent months on concerns about supply following cuts by major producers Saudi Arabia and Russia.

TotalEnergies said it was refocusing its oil and gas portfolio on assets and projects with “low greenhouse gas emissions” while also diversifying into renewable energy.

The company said it was “implementing its transition strategy while offering an attractive shareholder return”.

TotalEnergies also said it was “drastically lowering the emissions from its operations”.

Fossil fuel use is set to be the main bone of contention at key UN talks aimed at curbing climate change, starting on November 30 in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates.

Energy firms have come under fire from climate activists for not doing enough to turn away from oil and gas.

Oil and gas sector emission reduction pledges have stalled and in some cases gone backwards, the financial think-tank Carbon Tracker said in a report this month.

BP watered down a 2030 production cut target while fellow British major Shell has announced its “liquids” production (LNG and liquefied natural petroleum) will remain stable to the end of this decade, the report noted.