Page last updated at 09:35 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 10:35 UK

Lower oil price hits Total profit

Forecourt at at Total petrol station
Total is producing fewer barrels of oil than in 2008

Energy giant Total has reported a 35% drop in profits for the January to March quarter when compared with 2008.

The company made a net profit of 2.11bn euros ($2.83bn, £1.86bn), down from 3.2bn euros in the same period in 2008.

The results are being put down to falls in the cost of crude oil over the last 12 months and cuts in levels of oil and gas production.

Rivals BP and Shell have also seen their profits slide recently, citing similar reasons.

In July 2008 the cost of a barrel of oil reached a record high of $147 per barrel.

Since then it has come down in price to about $50 per barrel.

Total said it produced 2.32 million barrels between January and March, down 4.3% when compared with the same period last year.

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