TotalFinaElf in big profit jump

The world's fourth biggest oil company, TotalFinaElf, has recorded a first-quarter profit of $US1.

95 billion, an increase of 33 per cent in the same period last year. The company's chairman, Mr Thierry Desmarest said the organisation had benefitted from a "favourable environment", which included a crude oil price averaging at $US26 a barrel.

He added profits were also helped by margins of $US15 a tonne on oil refining in Europe and the strength of the dollar against the Euro. The result from Total comes on the heels of other big profit announcements from ExxonMobil, Shell and BP in recent weeks.

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