Updated: Total’s income dips during quarter marked by huge North Sea gas find

The Culzean installation in the North Sea
The Culzean installation in the North Sea

French oil giant Total suffered a dip in profits during a first quarter of highs and lows.

Total and partners announced the biggest UK gas find in more than a decade in January.

Glengorm, operated by Chinese firm Cnooc International and located 118 miles east of Aberdeen, could produce 250 million barrels of oil equivalent.

On the downside, workers employed by Petrofac and Aker Solutions went on strike on three of Total’s North Sea platforms in a dispute over rotas, though production continued.

Industrial action stopped after crew accepted new contracts.

Sales rose 3% to £40 billion during the period as production jumped 9% to 2.95 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day.

Total attributed the production increase to new projects and the contribution of assets acquired through the takeover of Maersk Oil.

That deal handed Total operatorship of the huge Culzean gas field, which will come on stream in the UK North Sea this year.

Adjusted net income sank 4% to £2.2bn due an increase in the cost of debt, brought on by higher US dollar interest rates.

And the oil market remained volatile, with Brent crude averaging $63 per barrel in Q1, down 6% year-on-year.

Total’s other North Sea interests include the producing Laggan-Tormore and Edradour-Glenlivet gas fields, the Glendronach discovery, all west of Shetland, and the Shetland Gas Plant.

Read more: Glengorm ‘reignites excitement’ in central North Sea prospects