Total to Cut Fuel Prices at All French Service Stations

TotalEnergies plans to offer a discount on fuel sold at all of its retail stations in France, expanding on a price reduction programme already in place at its motorway service stations.

The company said it will cut fuel prices by €0.20/litre (17¢/l) in September-October, followed by a €0.10/l reduction from November until the end of the year. "These price reductions, which complement the government's own measures, will apply from the first litre purchased, with no limit on amounts, for all petroleum fuel sold in service stations," the firm said.

TotalEnergies is already offering a €0.12/l discount on most road fuels at its service stations on the French motorway network during July and August, while the French government introduced a €0.18/l discount in April.

Companies and governments across Europe are under mounting pressure to help consumers cope with soaring inflation, which is being driven by a steep rise in energy and food costs. The European Central Bank (ECB) on 21 July raised interest rates for the first time since 2011, in an attempt to tackle inflation that is running at more than four times its 2pc target.

TotalEnergies' decision to offer the company-wide discount comes after it flagged to investors last week that it expects its refining business to deliver "exceptional" results for the second quarter on the back of high gasoline and diesel margins. Today, chief executive Patrick Pouyanne sought to put this expected windfall into context.

"These refineries faced losses of more than €1bn during Covid in 2020 and 2021, for which TotalEnergies did not request any government support and which are more than offset by the current favourable environment," he said.

Pouyanne said the company prefers to make a direct contribution to its customers, "rather than an indirect tax which would penalise our refineries".

In the UK, the government has imposed a windfall tax on oil and gas company profits to help fund a £15bn ($17.9bn) package to ease the burden of soaring energy bills on households, although this is targeted at the upstream sector and not refiners.

(argusmedia, July 22, 2022)

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