A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Chevron reports $6.5bn first quarter income

27 April 2012, Sweetcrude, Houston – US super major, Chevron Corporation, Friday, reported earnings of $6.5 billion for the first quarter 2012, compared with $6.2 billion in the 2011 first quarter.

Sales and other operating revenues in the quarter were $59 billion, compared to $58 billion in the year-ago period.

“In the first quarter, we continued to post strong earnings and healthy cash flows,” John Watson, the company’s chairman and CEO, said.

“New production is coming on as planned, and we continue to see strong customer interest in our Australia LNG projects that underpin our future growth,” he said, adding that the company’s key development projects remained on track to deliver compelling volume growth over the next five years.

Chevron’s important recent upstream milestones include first production at the deepwater Nigerian Usan project, first production at the Caesar/Tonga project in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, signing a nonbinding heads of agreement with Japan’s Chubu Electric for Wheatstone LNG in Australia and bringing the total amount of Chevron’s equity LNG covered by long-term agreements for this major project to more than 70 percent.

Resulting from the company’s performance in the first quarter, its board of directors approved an 11.1 percent increase in the quarterly dividend, to $0.90 per share, payable in June 2012.

Details of the Company’s performance
Upstream
Worldwide net oil-equivalent production was 2.63 million barrels per day in the first quarter 2012, down from 2.76 million barrels per day in the 2011 first quarter. Production increases from project ramp-ups in Thailand and the United States were more than offset by normal field declines, maintenance-related downtime and dispositions.

U.S. upstream earnings of $1.53 billion in the first quarter 2012 were up $80 million from a year earlier. The benefit of higher crude oil realisations was partly offset by lower production and lower natural gas realisations.

The company’s average sales price per barrel of crude oil and natural gas liquids was $102 in the first quarter 2012, up from $89 a year ago. The average sales price of natural gas was $2.48 per thousand cubic feet, compared with $4.04 in last year’s first quarter.

Net oil-equivalent production of 651,000 barrels per day in the first quarter 2012 was down 43,000 barrels per day, or 6 percent, from a year earlier. The decrease in production was associated with normal field declines and an absence of volumes associated with the Cook Inlet, Alaska, asset sale in 2011. Partially offsetting this decrease was further ramp-up at the Perdido project in the Gulf of Mexico. The net liquids component of oil-equivalent production decreased 5 percent in the 2012 first quarter to 456,000 barrels per day, while net natural gas production decreased 8 percent to 1.17 billion cubic feet per day.

Downstream
U.S. downstream operations earned $459 million in the first quarter 2012, compared with earnings of $442 million a year earlier.

Refinery crude oil input of 926,000 barrels per day in first quarter 2012 increased 47,000 barrels per day from the year-ago period. Refined product sales of 1.24 million barrels per day were down 41,000 barrels per day from first quarter 2011, mainly due to lower residual fuel oil and gasoline sales. Branded gasoline sales were essentially flat with a year ago.

U.S. downstream operations earned $459 million in the first quarter 2012, compared with earnings of $442 million a year earlier.

Refinery crude oil input of 926,000 barrels per day in first quarter 2012 increased 47,000 barrels per day from the year-ago period. Refined product sales of 1.24 million barrels per day were down 41,000 barrels per day from first quarter 2011, mainly due to lower residual fuel oil and gasoline sales. Branded gasoline sales were essentially flat with a year ago.

International downstream operations earned $345 million in the first quarter 2012, compared with $180 million a year earlier. Current quarter earnings benefited from gains on asset sales of approximately $200 million, primarily reflecting the sale of the company’s fuels and finished lubricants businesses in Spain. Lower refined product margins were largely offset by a favorable change in effects on derivative instruments and the absence of operating losses in 2011 associated with divested assets. Foreign currency effects decreased earnings by $11 million in the 2012 quarter, compared with a decrease of $38 million a year earlier.

Refinery crude oil input of 779,000 barrels per day decreased 253,000 barrels per day from first quarter 2011, primarily due to the sale of the Pembroke Refinery. Total refined product sales of 1.52 million barrels per day in the 2012 first quarter were 15 percent lower than a year earlier, primarily related to the sale of the company’s refining and marketing assets in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Excluding the impact of 2011 asset sales, sales volumes were 2 percent lower between periods. All Other consists of mining operations, power generation businesses, worldwide cash management and debt financing activities, corporate administrative functions, insurance operations, real estate activities, energy services, alternative fuels, and technology companies.

Net charges in the first quarter 2012 were $504 million, compared with $388 million in the year-ago period. The change between periods was mainly due to higher U.S. environmental reserve additions and other corporate charges, partly offset by lower employee compensation and benefits expenses.

Capital & Exploratory Expenditures
Capital and exploratory expenditures in the first quarter 2012 were $6.4 billion, compared with $5.0 billion in the corresponding 2011 period. The amounts included approximately $350 million in 2012 and $200 million in 2011 for the company’s share of expenditures by affiliates, which did not require cash outlays by the company. Expenditures for upstream represented 92 percent of the companywide total in 2012.

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