Sensitivity to oil and gas prices
Changes in the price used as a reference for the proved reserves estimation result in non-proportionate inverse changes in proved reserves associated with production sharing and risked service contracts (which together represent approximately 21% of TOTAL’s reserves as of December 31, 2014). Under such contracts, TOTAL
is entitled to a portion of the production, the sale of which is meant to cover expenses incurred by the Group. As oil prices increase, fewer barrels are necessary to cover the same amount of expenses. Moreover, the number of barrels recoverable under these contracts may vary according to criteria such as cumulative production, the rate of return on investment or the income-cumulative expenses ratio. This decrease is partly offset by an extension of the duration over which fields can be produced economically. However, the
increase in reserves due to extended field life resulting from higher prices is generally less than the decrease in reserves under production sharing or risked service contracts due to such higher
prices. As a result, higher prices usually lead to a decrease in TOTAL’s reserves.
Furthermore, changes in the reference price per barrel used for the proved reserves estimation have an impact on the volume of royalties in Canada and thus TOTAL’s share of proved reserves. Lastly, for any type of contract, a significant decrease of the reference price of petroleum products may involve a reduction of