Areas in which mining rights are exercised.

API degrees

Scale established by the American Petroleum Institute (API) to measure oil density. A high API degree indicates light oil from which a high yield of gasoline can be refined.

Appraisal (delineation)

Work performed after a discovery for the purpose of determining the boundaries or extent of an oil or gas field or assessing its reserves and production potential.

Associated gas

Gas released during oil production.

Association/consortium/joint venture

Terms used to generally describe a project in which two or more entities participate. For the principles and methods of consolidation applicable to different types of joint arrangements according to IFRS, refer to the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements (Chapter "Consolidated Financial Statements", point "Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements", note "Accounting policies").



Unit of measurement of volume of crude oil equal to 42 U.S. gallons or 158.9 liters. Quantities of liquid hydrocarbons in barrels are expressed at 60°F.

Barrel of Oil Equivalent (boe)

Conventional unit for measuring the energy released by a quantity of fuel by relating it to the energy released by the combustion of a barrel of oil.

Biochemical conversion

Conversion of energy sources (usually biomass) through biological transformation (reactions in living organisms). Examples include fermentation (in the presence of enzymes).


Liquid or gaseous fuel used for transport and produced from biomass.


Biodegradable fraction of products, waste and residues of biological origin from agriculture (including plant and animal substances), forestry and related industries, including fisheries and aquaculture which, through chemical transformation, can become beneficial molecules (carbon molecules) for the production of fuels and specialty chemicals.


Quality of crude (38° API) produced in the North Sea, at the Brent fields.


Risk services agreement (the investments and risks are undertaken by the contractor) combined with an offset mechanism that allows the contractor to receive a portion of the production equivalent to the monetary value, with interest, of its investments and a return on its investment.


Capacity of treatment

Annual crude oil treatment capacity of the atmospheric distillation units of a refinery.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)

Technology designed to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere during the combustion of fossil materials by capturing, compressing, transporting and injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) into deep geological formations for permanent storage. The use of oxygen instead of air in CO2 production is called oxy-combustion.


Substances that facilitate chemical reactions during the refining process used in conversion units (reformer, hydrocracker, catalytic cracker) and desulphurization units. Principal catalysts are precious metals (platinum) or other metals such as nickel and cobalt. There are some catalysts that regenerate themselves and others that are consumable.

Coal bed methane

Natural gas present in coal seams.


Simultaneous generation of electrical and thermal energies from a combustible source (gas, fuel oil or coal).

Commercial sales

Commercial sales’ main activity is the sale of oil, fuel and combustible products to professional customers (resellers and / or end-users) and private customers, outside of the Network’s sale channels.

Concentrating solar power plant

The most advanced form of solar steam plant which concentrates sunlight using mirrors to heat a liquid and produce electricity. This technology consists mainly of tower power plants and cylindricalparabolic plants.

Concession contract

Exploration and production contract under which a host country grants to an oil & gas company (or joint venture) the right to explore a geographic area and develop and produce potential reserves. The oil and gas company (or joint venture) undertakes the execution and financing, at its own risk, of all operations. In return, it is entitled to the entire production.


Light hydrocarbon substances produced with natural gas that exist – either in a gaseous phase or in solution – in the crude oil under the initial pressure and temperature conditions in the reservoir, and which are recovered in a liquid state in separators, on-site facilities or gas treatment units.


Refining operation aimed at transforming heavy products (heavy fuel oil) into lighter or less viscous products (gasoline, jet fuels, etc.)

Cost oil / gas

 In a production sharing contract, portion of the oil and gas production made available to the contractor (contractor group) and contractually reserved for reimbursement of exploration, development, operation and site reclamation costs (“recoverable” costs).


Refining process that entails converting the molecules of large, complex, heavy hydrocarbons into simpler, lighter molecules using heat, pressure and, in some cases, a catalyst. A distinction is made between catalytic cracking and steam cracking, which uses heat instead of a catalyst. Cracking then produces ethylene and propylene, in particular.


Dated Brent

Dated Brent is a market term representing the minimum value of physical cargoes of Brent, Forties, Oseberg, or Ekofisk crude oil, loading between the 10th and the 25th day forward.Dated Brent prices are used, directly and indirectly, as a benchmark for a large proportion of the crude oil that is traded internationally.


Change made to a facility to increase its production capacity.

Deep conversion unit (coker)

Unit that produces light products (gas, gasoline, diesel) and coke through the cracking of distillation residues.

Desulphurization unit

Unit in which sulphur and sulphur compounds are eliminated from mixtures of gaseous or liquid hydrocarbons.

Developed reserves

Reserves that are expected to be recovered from existing wells and installations or for which the cost of the required equipment is relatively minor. This applies to both proved reserves and proved and probable reserves.


Operations carried out to bring an oil or gas field on stream, including in particular construction of the necessary infrastructures for oil and gas production.


Products obtained through the atmospheric distillation of crude oil or through vacuum distillation. Includes medium distillate such as aviation fuel, diesel fuel and heating oil.


Ecosystem services

Benefits humans derive from ecosystems without having to take action. These services include the production of oxygen, natural water purification, biomass that feeds domestic, hunted and fished animals, the contribution of pollinators towards agriculture, etc.

Energy mix

The various energy sources used to meet the demand for energy.


A colorless, odorless combustible gas found in natural gas and petroleum gas.


Also commonly called ethyl alcohol or alcohol, ethanol is obtained through the fermentation of sugar (beetroot, sugarcane) or starch (grains, etc.). Ethanol has numerous food, chemical and energy (biofuel) applications.


Petrochemical products derived from cracking and essential to the production of polyethylene and polypropylene, two plastics frequently used in packaging, the automotive industry, household appliances, healthcare and textiles.

Ex situ oil shale production technology (Red Leaf: EcoShaleTM In-Capsule Technology)

Ex-situ production technology is used for shallow oil shale formations. Shale is extracted using a mining method and then heated in large sealed capsules. Heating triggers a pyrolysis reaction that produces high-quality liquid hydrocarbons and gas.



Farnesane is obtained through the hydrogenation of farnesene, a saturated hydrocarbon (alkane) that can be added to diesel fuel.


A hydrocarbon molecule (iso-olefin containing 15 carbon atoms), farnesene is a molecule that is very similar to fossil hydrocarbons and can therefore be used to produce fuel or chemical compounds. The Amyris company has developed a process to produce farnesene through the fermentation of sugar.

FEED studies (Front-End Engineering Design)

Studies aimed at defining the project and preparing for its execution. In the TOTAL process, this covers the pre-project and basic engineering phases.

Fossil energies

Energies produced from oil, natural gas and coal.

FPSO (Floating production, storage and offloading)

Floating integrated offshore unit comprising the equipment used to produce, process and store hydrocarbons and offload them directly to an offshore oil tanker.


Hydraulic fracturing

Technique that involves fracturing rock to improve its permeability.


Molecules composed principally of carbon and hydrogen atoms. They can be solid such as asphalt, liquid such as crude oil or gaseous such as natural gas. They may also include compounds with sulphur, nitrogen, metals, etc.


Catalytic refining process that uses hydrogen to convert heavy oils into lighter fractions.


In situ oil shale production technology (American Shale Oil, LLC (AMSO) Technology)

In an in situ process, oil shale is heated in place underground in order to trigger an in situ pyrolysis reaction. The very high-quality liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons produced through this reaction are then extracted from the reservoir by gas lift and/or pumping, which are traditional production techniques.



Lignocellulose makes up the wall of plant cells. In the biofuel sector, this term is used to designate wood and straw, two resources that can be used for biofuel production. Lignocellulose can be gasified (thermochemical conversion) or split into its basic components (sugars from cellulose and lignin) in order to transform them through biochemical conversion.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

Natural gas, primarily methane, that has been liquefied by cooling in order to transport it.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)

Light hydrocarbons (comprised principally of butane and propane) that are gaseous under normal temperature and pressure conditions and that are kept in liquid state by increasing the pressure or reducing the temperature. LPG is included in NGL.


Mineral interests

Rights to explore for and/or produce oil and gas in a specific area for a fixed period. Covers the concepts of “permit”, “license”, “title”, etc.


MTO (Methanol to Olefins) involves the conversion of methanol into olefins. OCP (Olefin Cracking Process) is then used to convert these olefins into plastics.



Heavy gasoline used as a base in petrochemicals.

Natural gas

Mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons, composed mainly of methane.

Natural Gas Liquids (NGL)

A mixture of light hydrocarbons that exist in the gaseous phase at atmospheric pressure and are recovered as liquid in gas processing plants. NGL include very light hydrocarbons (ethane, propane and butane).


Oil and gas explorationAll operations carried out to reveal the existence of oil and gas fields.


Products (gas) obtained after cracking of petroleum streams. Olefins are ethylene, propylene and butadiene. These products are used in the production of large plastics (polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC, etc.), elastomers (polybutadiene, etc.) and large chemical intermediates.

Operated production

Total quantity of oil and gas produced on fields operated by an oil and gas company.


Partner of an oil and gas joint venture in charge of carrying out the operations on a specific area on behalf of the joint venture. A refinery is also said to be operated by a specific partner when the operations are carried out by the partner on behalf of the joint venture that owns the refinery.




Area contractually granted to an oil and gas company (or a joint venture) by the host country for a defined period. The permit grants the oil and gas company (or joint venture) the exclusive right to carry out exploration work (“exploration” permit) or to exploit a field (“exploitation” permit).

Petcoke (or petroleum coke)

Residual product remaining after the improvement of very heavy petroleum cuts. This solid black product consists mainly of carbon and can be used as fuel in a manner similar to steam coal.


Molecule composed of monomers bonded together by covalent bonds, such as starch and proteins. They are generally organic (DNA), artificial or synthetic (such as polystyrene). Polyolefins represent the largest family of polymers.

Production plateau

Expected average stabilized level of production for a field following the production build-up.

Production Sharing Contract (PSA, PSC)

Exploration and production contract under which a host country or, more frequently, its national company, transfers to an oil and gas company (the contractor) or a joint venture (the contractor group) the right to explore a geographic area and develop and produce the reserves of the fields discovered. The contractor (or contractor group) undertakes the execution and financing, as its own risk, of all operations. In return, it is entitled to a portion of the production, called cost oil/gas, to recover its costs and investment. The remaining production, called profit oil/gas, is then shared between the contractor (contractor group), and the national company and/or host country.


As used in this document, “project” may encompass different meanings, such as properties, agreements, investments, developments, phases, activities or components, each of which may also informally be described as a “project”. Such use is for convenience only and is not intended as a precise description of the term “project” as it relates to any specific governmental law or regulation.

Proved and probable reserves (2P reserves)

Sum of proved reserves and probable reserves. 2P reserves are the median quantities of oil and gas recoverable from fields that have already been drilled, covered by E&P contracts and for which technical studies have demonstrated economic development in a long-term price environment. They include projects developed by mining.

Proved permit

Permit for which there are proved reserves.

Proved reserves (1P reserves)

Estimated quantities of crude oil and natural gas that geological and engineering data show, with reasonable certainty (90%), to be recoverable in the coming years from known reservoirs and under existing contractual, economic and operating conditions:

  • proved developed proved reserves are those that can be recovered from existing facilities and without significant additional investment;
  • proved undeveloped proved reserves are those that are expected to be recovered with new investments (surface facilities, wells, etc.).



The various processes used to produce petroleum products from crude oil (distillation, reforming, desulphurization, cracking, etc.).

Renewable energies

An energy source whose inventories can be renewed or are inexhaustible, such as solar, wind, hydraulic, biomass and geothermal energy.

Reserve life

Ratio of reserves at the end of the year to the production sold during the past year.


Estimated remaining quantities of oil and gas and related substances expected to be economically producible, as of a given date, by application of development projects to known accumulations.


Porous, permeable underground rock formation that contains oil or natural gas.


Sum of proved and probable reserves and contingent resources (average quantities potentially recoverable from known accumulations) - Society of Petroleum Engineers – 03/07.



Method of exploring the subsoil that entails methodically sending vibration or sound waves and recording their reflections to assess the type, size, shape and depth of subsurface layers.

Shale gas

Natural gas trapped in very compact, low-permeable rock.

Shale oil

Oil in a source rock that hasn’t migrated to a reservoir.


Well drilled from a portion of an existing well (and not by starting from the surface). It is used to get around an obstruction in the original well or resume drilling in a new direction or to explore a nearby geological area.


The most abundant element in the earth’s crust after oxygen. It does not exist in a free state but in the form of compounds such as silica, which has long been used as an essential element of glass. Polysilicon (or crystalline silicon), which is obtained by purifying silicon and consists of metal-like crystals, is used in the construction of photovoltaic solar panels.

Site abandonment

Oil companies may have to incur expenses related to the abandonment of production sites at the end of exploitation of a deposit. This definitive shutdown of the production on a field or part of a site's production capacity (a well, a group of wells, etc.) generally involves the dismantling of production, transport and storage facilities and the restoration of the sites.

Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD)

Technique used in in situ production of bitumen from oil sands which entails injecting water vapor to increase the temperature of the bitumen and reduce its viscosity, making it easier to extract.


Thermochemical conversion

Conversion of energy sources (gas, coal, biomass) through thermal transformation (chemical reactions from heat). Examples include gasification, combustion and photosynthesis (solar energy).

Tower/cylindrical-parabolic collector power plant

Type of solar steam plant consisting of a field of solar mirrors – heliostats – which concentrate sunlight toward a boiler located at the top of a tower. At a cylindrical-parabolic collector plant (a reference to its shape), the mirrors follow the sun automatically as it rises.


Unconventional hydrocarbons

Oil and gas hydrocarbons that cannot be produced or extracted using conventional methods. These hydrocarbons generally include shale gas, coal bed methane, gas located in very low-permeable reservoirs, methane hydrates, extra heavy oil, bitumen and liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons generated during pyrolysis of oil shale.


Creation of a new joint venture and appointment of a single operator for the development and production as single unit of an oil or gas field involving several permits/licenses or countries.

Unproved permit

Permit for which there are no proved reserves.


Refining unit where petroleum products, such as heavy oils, are upgraded through cracking and hydrogenation.