By Max Clarke

Sustained global demand and rising oil prices have helped French oil giant Total (Euronext: FP) post a slight profit, despite facing serious supply constraints due to unrest in Libya.

“The combination of sustained global demand and geopolitical troubles increased tensions in the oil market during the second quarter. In this environment, Total continued to develop and rebalance its portfolio in accordance with its commitment to sustainable growth,” commented Chairman and CEO Christophe de Margerie.

“The net result for the quarter increased by 7% in dollars compared to the second quarter 2010, reflecting the benefit of a more favorable environment, which more than offset the negative impacts of portfolio changes, higher maintenance, shutdowns in Libya, and continued weak refining margins in Europe.

Total’s net income slid 12%, though will likely fare more positively in the future following a series of successful exploration ventures in the Caribbean and Persian Gulf, as well as the acquisition of Californian renewables company, SunPower.

Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSA, LSE: RDSB) meanwhile posted a staggering $5bn profit for the quarter. The Anglo-Dutch company faced fewer issues with supply as much of their extraction takes place in the lucrative Niger Delta. If performance continues, the company will post an annual profit of $20bn- roughly equal to the GDP of Bolivia or Estonia.


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