France-based oil firm Total has reduced its average annual hydrocarbon output growth target for the 2006 to 2010 period from the previous over 5% goal to just 4%, due to the effect that increased oil prices are having on some of its production sharing agreements and projects, Reuters has revealed.

<p>The publication reported Total&#0039;s chief executive, Christophe de Margerie, as saying: We have unfortunately not been able to keep up with this sustained rhythm. This is due for half to a rise in oil prices. <br /><br />Although 2007 production will be higher than last year&#0039;s, Mr de Margerie said that it was too early for the company to be able to reveal whether the increase over 2006 production would be around 1.5% to 2%. The company had set a previous goal of a less than 6% increase in oil and gas production for 2007, Reuters said.</p>