Total SA, the second-biggest oil company in Europe, scaled back its production target for 2017 as it announced a further round of investment cuts and project delays to protect its dividend.
Total expects to produce 2.6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, compared with a previous forecast of 2.8 million barrels per day, the company said yesterday before holding an investors’ conference in London.
The measures are a sign that major oil players are extending their belt-tightening into next year and 2017 after companies from Chevron Corp to Royal Dutch Shell PLC announced large spending cuts for this year.
“We are preparing the group to face low oil prices for a long time,” Total chief financial officer Patrick de La Chevardiere told reporters in London.
Total said the new measures will allow it to fund dividends by 2017 from the cash it generates pumping, refining and selling oil, without the need to take on debt, even with crude prices at US$60 per barrel.
Morgan Stanley London-based analyst Martijn Rats said in a report before the announcement that “investors had increasingly become wary on whether the company’s dividend was sustainable” following oil’s slump.
The French group is to reduce investment for next year to between US$20 billion and US$21 billion from as much as US$24 billion this year and a peak of US$28 billion in 2013.
Total said it plans to spend US$17 billion to US$19 billion in 2017, down from a previous target of US$20 billion.
In addition, the company announced delayed projects in Australia, Norway and Italy and said that it would increase cost savings from operations by 50 percent by 2017 to US$3 billion, up from a previous target of US$2 billion.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range
STAYING AHEAD: TSMC expects its sales this year to grow 14 to 19 percent and could spend up to US$3.52 billion on research and development, leaving its rivals far behind Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) reported that the US last year approved 99 percent of its patent applications, which placed the tech giant among the top patent holders in the US. In its Corporate Social Responsibility Report, TSMC said it last year secured about 3,600 patents worldwide, including more than 2,300 in the US. As of the end of last year, TSMC owned more than 39,000 patents, the report said. The company last year filed almost 6,500 patent applications worldwide and ranked among the top 10 patent applicants in the US. In Taiwan, it was the largest patent applicant for the fourth