How is TotalEnergies building its new global empire

Since the beginning of the year, ads have been raining, and the numbers make you dizzy. A partnership to create a global giant for renewable hydrogen in India, a pharaonic contract to develop the largest natural gas field in the world in Qatar, and to own several hundred billion dollars of solar energy in the United States … There is no shortage of superlatives to describe the giant market in which the company is located. French “major” TotalEnergies, in full offensive to diversify its activities.

It must be said that his iron health allows him to advance his pawns one by one and deploy a well-thought-out strategy for survival among the leaders in this sector. And with good reason, with record profits of $16 billion in 2021, the company has the means to establish itself in a world facing new challenges. Its CEO, Patrick Boyani, likes to repeat: It is already the company’s historic core business, the massive revenue generated from the sale of hydrocarbons, that allows the group to invest heavily in the energies of tomorrow. Especially in these times of rising gas and oil prices, ensuring very comfortable profit margins.

Target: third in the world in LNG

Enough to weave his web outside of Russia, while his predecessor, Christophe de Margerie, relied heavily on the state led by Vladimir Putin to exploit its subsoil. Indeed, last Sunday’s announcement of a massive partnership with Qatar on liquefied natural gas (LNG) allows the tri-color group to turn its back on Moscow a bit more, even if it remains there, particularly at Yamal LNG, in Siberia. And through its shares in the gas giant Novatek.

Despite the criticism and the lackluster carbon footprint of LNG, the bet appears to be a winner for the company, which only ” to accompany “The strategy put in place by the European Union itself, regularly defending Patrick Boyani, between buying Russian gas” as usual “in spite of the war in Ukraine, and the desire for a gradual withdrawal. And for good reason, the main regime ends up “taking advantage” of the situation because despite the explosion At its price, the demand for LNG is not weakening, but quite the contrary.

According to forecasts, this should increase by 5 to 7% annually between now and 2025, after posting a 9% increase from 2015 to 2021. TotalEnergies intends to capitalize on this, aiming for 30% annual growth. LNG production in 2025 compared to 2020, to reach a 50% share of gas in the sales mix by the end of the decade, and “ Consolidating its position in the top 3 countries in the world for LNG The French group has thus become the main exporter of American LNG, the production of which is increasing, especially in the Cameron LNG plants, which have reached full capacity and are being expanded, and in Freeport LNG. Five days ago, the pioneer also announced, in a press release Another, about strengthening its alliance with the US Sembra Group, to develop, among other things, the LNG liquefaction plant on the west coast of Mexico, Vista Pacifico, intended for export to Asia and South America.

The United States is central to the strategy

TotalEnergies also relies heavily on its transatlantic partnerships, including offshore LNG, to bolster its game. At the end of May, the company acquired 50% of US Clearway, the country’s fifth-largest renewable energy company. ” Additional proof of [ses] Shareholders “that group” He does what he says strategy ”, then argued in a press release, a few hours before a general assembly was held under heavy pressure.

A month earlier, the group also acquired Texas-based Solar Core, which specializes in prospecting for sites that can accommodate large PV farms, with a pipeline of at least 4 gigawatts of opportunity. Finally, in February, TotalEnergies announced that it had acquired the industrial and commercial solar activities of US company SunPower, of which it is the majority shareholder, for $250 million.

Overall, the French giant aims worldwide to reach an installed capacity to produce electricity from renewable sources of 35 gigawatts by 2025, and 100 gigawatts by the end of the decade. In February, while presenting its record earnings for 2021, TotalEnergies identified, in 2022, 25% of its net investment ($3.5 billion) in renewable energies and electricity. This has already resulted in projects all over the world.

Especially in Asia since then, on April 13, the group announced that it is collaborating with Japanese oil company ENEOS to develop solar energy production for its B2B customers in several Asian countries, with a goal of 2 gigawatts of capacity over the next five years. Above all, at the beginning of 2021, TotalEnergies acquired 20% of the share capital of AGEL, a subsidiary of Adani, India’s largest private energy group and the world’s leading developer of solar energy. In India, the tricolor group also harbors big hydrogen ambitions: at the beginning of the week, it announced an alliance with Adani, this time to create “ green hydrogen giant Concretely, this aims, as a first step, to produce at least one million tons of hydrogen per year by 2030, more than the current annual global production!

Oil remains at the heart of the activity

However, TotalEnergies continues to invest heavily in oil, despite climate change. Last November, for example, the company signed various agreements with the Libyan authorities, in order to “ Development of solar energy projects But also and above all investing in projects to reduce gas flaring in oil fields, as well as to contribute to the restoration of oil production in the country, so that it reaches two million barrels per day and there. – Up to supply world markets.

Above all, the giant EACOP project to build an oil pipeline heated to 50°C in Uganda and Tanzania continues to draw the ire of environmentalists, as the site promises to contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions, and will impact biodiversity and local residents. In this regard, I’m not sure his questionable connection about “ low carbon density of oil and liquefied natural gas, given the technologies for storing and capturing carbon dioxide that have not yet been proven effective, is enough to reassure them.