Patrick Pouyanné was under pressure. The boss of TotalEnergies had announced in April that the rebate of 10 centimes per liter set up in three quarters of its stations (2,700 out of a total of 3,500) until May 15 would finally be relaunched from July 1 for the whole summer, until August 31. This time, only the motorway stations of the brand, either according to our estimates about 120 were concerned.
“Not enough”, retorted Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of the Economy, to Patrick Pouyanné, during a meeting on Monday morning, suggesting that he review his copy. “Bruno Le Maire actually asked him to extend the discount of 10 cents per liter of fuel, we explained to the minister’s office at the time. The group must also improve its offer, either with a larger, longer or extended discount to more stations. »
An increase of 20% compared to the initial proposal
According to our information, it will therefore be a slightly larger discount. TotalEnergies should indeed announce this Thursday, June 30 the establishment of a discount of 12 cents per liter, instead of 10 cents, from the first liter of fuel purchased, and without limit of amount. This therefore represents an increase of 20% compared to the initial proposal. What perhaps moderate a little bit the soaring prices at the pump. Even if a slight lull was felt at the end of June.
The average price of gasoline sold in French service stations eased slightly last week, but still exceeds 2 euros per litre, according to the latest official figures published on Monday by the Ministry of Energy Transition. Diesel remained stable, but there too, at still extremely high levels, at 2.1302 euros per litre. In such a context, government measures, and soon also those of TotalEnergies, will therefore only partially moderate the outbreak.
A sufficient measure in the eyes of the government?
Because these prices already take into account the government discount of 18 cents. By adding it to that of 12 cents that TotalEnergies will put in place on Friday, motorists who take a motorway and stop to refuel at a group station will therefore pay a total of 30 cents less on their liter of fuel, petrol (excluding Superethanol E85) or diesel (excluding GNR). This will amount to an average saving of 15 euros for a full 50 liters. Over the two months of summer alone, with the crossover of July and August, the motorway stations of TotalEnergies see some 17 million motorists pass by, out of a total of 50 million annually.
Will the measure satisfy Bruno Le Maire? Have. The government does not currently plan to tax the excess profits of energy companies. But the threat still hangs over their directions. Tuesday, during the G7 summit in Bavaria (Germany), Emmanuel Macron attacked “producers who make excess profits in oil and gas (…), today, there are people who make a lot of money on war, we call it war profiteers “. TotalEnergies may have felt targeted. The group has indeed made 4.6 billion euros in profits in the first quarter of 2022. Amounts that could increase further during the year.
However, its management does not rule out extending the rebate beyond the summer, in one form or another, and in consultation with the government. In an interview published in Les Échos this Wednesday, the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, has in fact made it known that the government could “consider an extension of the discount of 18 cents until the end of the year, if economic conditions so require”.