UK Small Caps Report

Total to cut its capital spend this year by 10 pct-FT

PARIS, Jan 20 (Reuters) - French oil and gas group Total plans to reduce capital spending by 10 per cent this year, its new chief executive Patrick Pouyanne told the Financial Times.

Pouyanne was quoted as saying that there would be cuts to exploration and development in the UK region of the North Sea, in Canada’s oil sands, and in mature fields in west African states such as Gabon and Congo.

Capital spending is now expected to fall by between $2 billion to $3 billion from last year’s total of $26 billion. Total is also looking at imposing a group-wide hiring freeze for 2015.

The FT also reported Pouyanne as saying Total would press ahead with a restucturing of lossmaking refineries in Europe, including its plant in the UK and others in France.

While a restructuring plan will be presented in the spring for the French refineries the FT said Pouyanne confirmed that it would include “capacity reductions”.

Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Greg Mahlich