Total’s profits hit by low oil price

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French oil and gas giant, Total, said Thursday that its profits were hit by the falling oil price and low refinery margins in the second quarter.

Total said in a statement that its net profit fell 26% to $2.8 billion in the period from April to June. Adjusted for one-off factors, the bottom-line profit tumbled 19%, the statement said.

“The markets remain volatile,” said chief executive Patrick Pouyanne.

The price of a barrel of Brent North Sea crude averaged only $68.90 in the second quarter of 2019, compared with $74.40 a year earlier. Natural gas prices were also down 17% year-on-year.

The market is currently battling a number of disparate factors, Total said.

On the one hand, the OPEC oil cartel and its ally Russia are cutting production to prop up the price of crude and uncertainties persist about the evolution of production in Libya, Venezuela and Iran.

On the other, “the environment remains volatile, with uncertainty about hydrocarbon demand growth related to the outlook for global economic growth,” Total said.

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