France's oil giant, Total, intends to slash spending on oil and gas exploration due to the low level of oil prices, Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne said in an interview Friday.
He told French daily "Le Monde" that the global company will cut exploration investment by 30 percent this year and overall investment will be trimmed by about 10 per cent, or between USD 2.0 billion to USD 3.0 billion from USD 26 billion in 2014.
Pouyanne, who took over as CEO from Christophe de Margerie, killed last year in a Moscow plane crash, said that "these past two years we spent USD 2.8 billion on exploration (and) we will reduce that by 30 percent in 2015." The Total Chief Executive also predicted cuts in operating costs to bring their level to USD 1.4 billion this year, but he excluded job cuts at the company.
Oil prices have fallen to around USD 50 dollars/bbl in recent weeks and Total produces around 2.4 million barrels a day of oil equivalent (bdoe) and is losing money also on refining operations.