(Reuters) – TotalEnergies will expand plans to buy back its own shares, the French energy group said on Thursday after first-quarter earnings rose sharply on soaring oil and gas prices.

The oil and gas major, which is bolstering its renewables and electricity portfolios, is now planning $3 billion of share buybacks during the first half of the year, having said in February that it would buy back $2 billion in shares.

The company posted an adjusted net income up 32% quarter on quarter to $9 billion for the first three months of 2022, with a core profit up 22% at $17.4 billion.

The group’s net income, however, fell 15% to $4.9 billion after a $4.1 billion impairment partly related to Arctic LNG 2, a Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) development project that has been hit by sanctions.

The group said it would be mobilising additional investments to support short-term gas production in the North Sea.

Quarterly hydrocarbon production levels fell 1% year on year to 2.843 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

It maintained earlier plans to make net investments of about $15 billion this year, with a quarter of that directed to its renewable and electricity divisions.

TotalEnergies also confirmed a 5% increase to its interim dividend for this year and proposed a first payout of 0.69 euros per share.

(Reporting by Benjamin Mallet and Sarah Morland; Editing by David Goodman)