Total to rebrand as ‘Total Energies’ as French oil giant makes climate push

French oil giant Total plans to rebrand as “Total Energies”, in a move it said would underline its strategy to become a net zero emissions company.
CEO Patrick Pouyanne described the proposal to shareholders as “historic”, setting out plans to change the group’s profile by 2030.
Oil products are expected to fall from 55% to 30% of sales in that timeframe, while the growth of energy production will be based on the two “pillars” of LNG and Renewables and Electricity.
Shareholders will vote on the name change during the Total Annual General Meeting on May 28, following the likes of Norway’s Equinor which changed from Statoil in 2018.
Mr Pouyanne said Total has “always supported” the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Accords and that, because of its activities, “the men and women of Total stand at the heart of this issue”.
Total set out some details last year of its strategy to go net zero for its own operations by 2050, as well as a three-stage plan to reduce emissions for energy products used by customers by 60%.
The firm has been considered the fastest off the mark of the European oil majors, covering the most ground since announcing its low carbon goals.
It comes as the firm has bought a controlling stake in the massive Seagreen offshore windfarm off Scotland, and won seabed leases in the Crown Estate’s fourth round yesterday in England.
Total also made headlines last month when it pulled out of the powerful American Petroleum Institute over climate concerns.
It comes as the group took net losses (IFRS) of $7.2billion for 2020, down from profits of $11.2bn the prior year, as it dealt with the “two major crises” of the Covid pandemic and the oil price crash.
Total took impairments of $10bn, “notably”, on Canadian oil sands assets, as a result.
On an adjusted basis, net profits stood at $4.05bn, down 66% on $11.8bn in 2019.
Total made $1.5bn in asset sales in 2020, including the divestment of some non-core assets in the UK North Sea.
For 2021, the firm noted that oil prices have been above $50 since the year started however, the “environment remains uncertain and dependent on the recovery of global demand, still affected by the Covid-19 pandemic”.
Faced with these uncertainties, the company said net investments for the year are projected at $12bn.
The firm also intends to set the 2020 dividrnd at 2.64 euros per share.
Mr Pouyanne added: “2020 represents a pivoting year for the group’s strategy with the announcement of its ambition to get to Net Zero, together with society.
“The group affirms its plan to transform itself into a broad energy company to meet the dual challenge of the energy transition: more energy, less emissions.
“Thus the group’s profile will be transformed over the 2020-2030 decade.”

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