Risks related to competition

TOTAL’s main competitors are comprised of national oil companies and international oil companies. The evolution of the energy sector has opened the door to new competitors, increased market price volatility and called the viability of long-term contracts into question.

TOTAL is subject to competition in the acquisition of assets and licenses for the exploration and production of oil and natural gas as well as for the sale of manufactured products based on crude and refined oil. In the gas sector, major producers increasingly compete in the downstream value chain with established distribution companies, including those that belong to the Group. Increased competitive pressure could have a significant negative effect on the prices, margins and market shares of the Group’s companies.

The pursuit of unconventional gas development, particularly in the United States, has contributed to falling market prices and a marked difference between spot and long-term contract prices. The competitiveness of long-term contracts indexed to oil prices could be affected if this discrepancy persists and if it should prove difficult to invoke price revision clauses.

The major international oil companies in competition with TOTAL include ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and BP. As of December 31, 2014, TOTAL ranked fourth among these companies in terms of market capitalization(1).


(1) Based on market capitalization (in dollars), as of December 31, 2014.