Total profit hit by drop in oil prices

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PARIS (AP) — French oil company Total SA says its earnings dropped in the third quarter due to the falling global price of oil.

Total said Wednesday that its replacement cost profit, a key gauge of earnings for oil companies, slid 2 percent to $3.56 billion in the three months to September from $3.63 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Total's oil and gas production slumped 8 percent in the quarter to 2.122 million barrels a day, which the company blamed on the expiration of a license in the United Arab Emirates and a natural decline of older wells. The company recently cut its 2015 production target to 2.3 million barrels a day, down from its prior target of 2.6 million barrels a day.

The price of international crude oil has fallen $28 in the past four months to around $86 a barrel.