TotalEnergies to boost renewables spend. plans $1.5B share buyback

TotalEnergies plans to buy back $1.5 billion of its shares in the fourth quarter and boost its investment in renewable energy with the help of high oil prices, the French energy major said on Tuesday.

“TotalEnergies is confident in its ability to combine energy transition and shareholder return, thus creating long-term shareholder value,” the Paris-based group said.

It added that sustainable cash flow growth would support dividend growth over the next years, helping lift its shares by around 2%.

TotalEnergies told its annual investor day that its oil production would peak during this decade before declining, in line with its forecast on Monday that global oil demand was set to plateau before 2030.

It said that during 2022-2026 exploration and production activities would generate more than $5 billion in net cash flow per year if oil was $50 a barrel, with a further $3.2 billion for an additional $10 in the oil price.

Like its rivals, TotalEnergies has come under pressure from climate campaigners and some shareholders to speed up the shift from fossil fuels to cleaner sources of energy. It has argued, however, that fossil fuels will be needed during that transition period.

It said on Tuesday that it aims to be one of the world’s top five renewable power producers, with 35 gigawatts (GW) of capacity by 2025 and more than 10 GW in operation by the end of 2021. Capacity was expected to grow 6 GW a year from 2022 to 2025.

“At the end of the decade our strategy is to fundamentally change the sales mix of TotalEnergies,” Chief executive Patrick Pouyanné said.

The company also said it plans to develop a significant integrated position in deregulated markets while growing production in regulated markets.

It added that it was targeting more than 50 terawatt-hours (TWh) of net production by 2025, generating $3.5 billion in earnings before interest, tax, debt and amortization (EBITDA).

Pouyanné said TotalEnergies targets a positive net cash flow in its electrical business by 2030.

The group wants to accelerate the growth of its investments in renewables and electricity, bringing them to $3 billion per year, or nearly 25% of its investments over the period 2021-2025.

It added that by 2030, its sales mix would evolve to a 30% share for oil, 50% gas, 15% electricity and 5% biomass and hydrogen. Petroleum product sales will decrease by at least 30% over the period 2020-30. 

(Reporting by Benjamin Mallet and Sudip Kar-Gupta, 

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